Book Reviews

Review: The Play’s the Thing

The Play's the Thing (The Chronicles of Christoval Alvarez, #7)The Play’s the Thing by Ann Swinfen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Having returned from a journey to Muscovy in the last edition of the series, Dr Christoval Alvarez finds the position at the hospital that was supposed to be held until her return has been given to another. Although Kit manages to eek out a poor existence with the help of some private patients passed on by her mentor and by working as copyist to the company of players who are her substitute family, it is not entirely as she would wish it to be.

Now more firmly ensconced in the world of the theatre, with all that comes from that – including being there for William Shakespeare’s early career – Kit also finds herself drawn into intrigue, mystery and murder as well. The theft of plays via many means, including the murder of the previous copyist of the company, sees Kit forced to bring her other talents in intelligencing to bear on the problem. In the process, Kit is reunited with some old friends and colleagues from the days when she worked for Sir Francis Walsingham.

And all while managing to hide her true identity from almost everyone.

It is, as Ann Swinfen manages consistently to do, a wonderful tale interwoven with historical authenticity in terms of context and themes. It is an engaging tale that kept the reader’s attention. It develops well, and the characters both old and new are sympathetically treated. A marvellous tale that is well worth the read. Very highly recommended.

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