Monday, 19 November 2018

A great murder mystery set at the court of Queen Elisabeth I - review of "Let slip the Dogs" by Anna Castle

"It’s Midsummer at Richmond Palace and love is in the air -- along with the usual political courtships and covert alliances. Secret trysts, daring dalliances, and a pair of famous French hounds keep Francis Bacon and his gallant team busy while trying to catch one devilishly daring murderer."

I really like this novel. It is set at the court of Queen Elisabeth I of England and filled with real historical figures who are depicted true to their real personality. You might think that that narrows down the search for the murderer but the fact that we know a certain person died of old age does not mean he or she was innocent does it?

Sir Francis Bacon, who is a real historical figure and one of the best legal minds of his times, and his two young sidekicks try to solve the murder of the man found dead in an orchard but in the meantime they all fall in love. Trumpet and Tom have to blind-side her new husband and Sir Francis has to keep his homosexual affair hidden because the queen loathes scandals. But they are not the only couples. Thus creating very humorous scenes where every haystack and shed is "occupied" when the lovers seeks a quite place. The fact that one of the leading roles is gay is something my gay friend will appreciate. He always complains that in mean stream novels hardly any homosexual people take the lead.

The fact that the story is so well researched historically (I am reading the biography of Sir Walter Ralegh at the moment as well) offers us glimpses iof court life. The wigs of the queen, the hard working lives of the ladies-in-waiting, the fact that the queen could order nobles to marry each other etc.

This is book 5 in a series and I had not read the prior ones but that is not a problem. However it was such a joy to read it I ordered the first one in the series as well. And that one is FREE.




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