S. J. Parris

Conspiracy

Summary: 
The 5th in the Giordano Bruno series has the most complicated plot yet. Paris, 1585 is a city on the edge of catastrophe: Henri III, a king without an heir, lives in fear of a coup from the Duke of Guise and the Catholic League. His mother Catherine de Medici and her harem of spies are watching over his shoulder. Bruno has been forced to leave London. Unable to find refuge and a source of income, alone and near destitute in Paris, he turns to old friend and zealous preacher, Paul Lefevre. But when the priest is murdered, Bruno is pulled into a dangerous world. If Bruno can't uncover the truth, not only is the future of the de Valois monarchy threatened - but his own life will be the forfeit. S.J Parris (Stephanie Merritt) somehow weaves a plot of such complexity that just sucks you in until the very last pages. A terrific read-- I just hope this isn't the last in the Bruno series.

Recommended By: 

Treachery

Summary: 
S.J.Parris (Stephanie Merritt) sets her 4th Giordano Bruno book in Plymouth, 1585, on the eve of Sir Francis Drake's departure to harass the Spanish ports. With his friend and confidant, Sir Philip Sidney, who has been ordered by Elizabeth I to accompany the exiled Portuguese ruler safely to London, Bruno quickly learns that one of Drake's officers has committed suicide. On examination of the body, Bruno is able to confirm Drake's suspicions, that his man didn't take his own life, but was brutally murdered. Sidney offers Bruno's services to track down the killer, only because he wants to accompany Drake on his much more exciting mission to harass and acquire fame and fortune. Amid the bustling port town of Plymouth, more than one conspiracy emerges and Bruno meets some unpleasant people from his past - as does Drake - men intent on revenge at all costs. I really enjoy Ms. Merrit's style, she is an accomplished writer and her prose is full of detail, that is pleasing to read , plus the the fact that the plot in this and all her prior novels keep you guessing until the closing paragraphs. A must read for all historical fiction addicts!

Recommended By: 

Heresy

Summary: 
Set in 1583 against a backdrop of religious-political intrigue and barbaric judicial reprisals, Parris's compelling debut novel centers on real-life Giordano Bruno, a former Italian monk excommunicated by the Roman Catholic church and hunted across Europe by the Inquisition for his belief in an infinite universe. Befriended by the charismatic English courtier and soldier Sir Philip Sidney, the ambitious Bruno flees to more tolerant Protestant England, where Elizabeth I's secretary of state, Sir Francis Walsingham, recruits him to spy, under the cover of philosophical disputation, on secretly Catholic Oxford scholars suspected of plotting treason. As one Oxford fellow after another falls to gruesome homicide, Bruno struggles to unravel Oxford's tangled loyalties, his mission is dramatically thrown off course by these grisly deaths and the charms of a mysterious but beautiful young woman. He realizes that somewhere within Oxford’s private chambers lurks a brutal killer. Parris (the pseudonym of British journalist Stephanie Merritt) interweaves historical fact with psychological insight as Bruno, a humanist dangerously ahead of his time, begins his quest to light the fire of enlightenment in Europe. A fantastic read and beautifully written.

Recommended By: 

Sacrilege

Summary: 
This book starts in Londoni in the summer of 1584. Radical philosopher, ex-monk, and spy, working for the spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham, Secretary of State to Elizabeth I,Giordano Bruno suspects he is being pursued by an old enemy, but it is in fact Sophia Underhill, a young woman with whom he was once in love. When Bruno learns that Sophia has been accused of murdering her husband, a prominent magistrate of Canterbury, he agrees to do anything he can to help clear her name. With Walsingham's approval he leaves with Sophia for Canterbury, but only if he monitors any Catholic plots against the Queen while he is there. Once in Canterbury, that was once England’s greatest center of pilgrimage, Bruno uncovers a more dangerous plot in the making, one that forces him to turn his detective’s skills to the strange case of Saint Thomas Becket, a twelfth-century cardinal of Canterbury Cathedral whose mysterious murder is only matched by the legend surrounding the disappearance of his body. This is a well-written book, extremely enjoyable to read, with a well constructed plot. Even though this the third book in a series of 4. I will be sure to read the other 3 in the series

Recommended By: