Title: A Murder By Any Name
(An Elizabethan Spy Mystery #1)
Genre: Historical Mystery
Published: October 9th, 2018
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)
When a brutal murder threatens the sanctity of the Elizabethan court, it’s up to a hot-tempered spy to save the day.
The court of Elizabeth I is no stranger to plotting and intrigue, but the royal retinue is thrown into chaos when the Queen’s youngest and sweetest lady-in-waiting is murdered, her body left on the high altar of the Chapel Royal in Whitehall Palace. Solving the murder will require the cunning and savvy possessed by only one man. Enter Nicholas Holt, younger brother of the Earl of Blackwell—spy, rake, and owner of the infamous Black Sheep tavern in the seedy district of Bankside. Nick quickly learns that working for the Queen is a mixed blessing. Elizabeth—salty-tongued, vain, and fiercely intelligent—can, with a glance, either reward Nick with a purse of gold or have his head forcibly removed.
When a second lady-in-waiting is slain at Whitehall, the court once again reels with shock and dismay. On the trail of a diabolical killer, Nick and his faithful sidekick—an enormous Irish Wolfhound named Hector—are treading on treacherous ground, and only the killer’s head on a platter can keep them in the Queen’s good graces.
Historical mysteries are always a blast. Plus that cover is so pretty! I could not deny it.
The story follows Nick who is a spy, rake, and owner of the tavern. He is put on the assignment to find the murderer of two ladies who serve the Queen. The Queen demands he finds this murderer before the Christmas festivities and before the court freaks out.
I liked Nick even though he is a rake. Hector was cute. I honestly liked how Nick wasn't a super genius like so many of these detectives are. He needed help and even got some assistance from the Queen. He listened to her advice and thoughts to help find the murderer.
The story was fun and I enjoyed seeing everything come to fruition. I was really unsure who the murderer was. I had my theories but I was completely wrong. Kuddos to the author! I was in awe when the truth came out! So good, so unexpected. The ending was good. I loved the scene with Nick and the Queen at the end. It was done well.
There were some more modern terms used that bugged me a little bit, but overall, this was well written. I was hooked from page one and got this done within a couple of sittings (darn work getting in the way).
In the end, I really enjoyed this story. The story was written well even with a few more modern terms and words used. The characters were intriguing and the mystery was done well! I want to read more by this author. I hope there will be more books in this series. I liked Nick and Hector. I'll give this 4 stars.