Parris, S. J. Heresy.
In 1583, Elizabeth I is on the throne of England and trying to keep the political and religious turmoil in check.
Her Secretary of State (and spymaster), Sir Francis Walsingham handled both espionage and domestic security. He had close ties with Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester, and his son-in-law was Sir Philip Sidney. Among his reported "intelligencers" were Christopher Marlowe and Giordano Bruno. All but Marlowe play a role in this historical mystery.
The fictional version of Giordano Bruno finds himself recruited by Walsingham and is to accompany his friend Sir Philip Sidney to Oxford, ostensibly to take part in a debate, but also on a mission to uncover secret Catholics suspected of plotting treason.
Bruno finds himself trying to solve a gruesome murder that may or may not have to do with those involved in treason. When another murder is discovered, Bruno is under even greater pressure to solve the mystery, stop the murderer, and prevent the treasonous plot.
If you are familiar with the characters and events of the time period, the sense of paranoia and fear of betrayal are even more palpable. Those who have enjoyed the Matthew Shardlake novels by C.J. Sansom will enjoy this novel that has made use of extensive research into the period, folding real events and real characters into a fictional mystery.
Fiction. Historical Mystery. 2010. 448 pages.