Issue: January 1, 2017
The English Agent. DePoy, Phillip (Author) Feb 2017. 320 p. Minotaur, hardcover, $26.99. (9781250058430). e-book, $12.99. (9781466862593).
A game to rival Shakespearean comedy is afoot in the realm of Queen Elizabeth I, refereed by FrancisWalsingham, with Kit Marlowe as key player. Readers who snap up M. J. Trow’s Kit Marlowe mysteries,
with their charming, snarky hero, also will appreciate the witty and well-connected student-playwright
Marlowe of DePoy’s series. This time it’s clear from the start that the usually lighthearted Kit faces
unusually serious challenges as he engages with Beak, a rather talented spy, and with gypsy travelers and
the King of the Weird Folk. Complicating matters, Kit is commanded to shoot a poet he admires. Violence, treachery, and rumors of assassinations mix with masquerade, plagiarism, and tongue-in-cheek playacting in an intricate plot that carries readers into the heart of Elizabethan-era social contrasts and political conundrums. The hapless Marlowe skates very close to disaster in service to his queen in this surprisingly suspenseful romp that includes a good number of well-portrayed historical figures alongside the fictional dramatis personae. Readers may be similarly intrigued by the spy-jester in Alan Gordon’s Fools’ Guild mysteries, especially The Parisian Prodigal, and by Edward Marston’s Nicholas Bracewell series.
— Jen Baker
Here's the very nice Kirkus review of A PRISONER IN MALTA, including the phrase "eat your heart out James Bond!"
"I want to tell ancient stories in a new way."