Treachery by S.J. Parris

In the fourth installment of the Giordano Bruno series, Treachery, Sir Francis Drake is still basking in the glory of being the first person to circumnavigate the globe. It is August 1585 and he is preparing for another sea voyage, which this time will take him to the New World via the coast of Spain, which is England’s mortal enemy. 

However, the preparations for the journey come to a sudden halt when a body of one of his officers is found aboard Drake’s flagship, the Elizabeth Bonaventure. A delay such as this is costly as many prominent men of the era, as well as Queen Elizabeth herself, have heavily invested in the enterprise that promises to be hugely profitable. Captain Drake therefore engages the philosopher-turned-spy Giordano Bruno to help shed light on the mystery. For, although apparently a suicide, the death bears marks of potential foul play. 

It takes little time for Bruno, aided by his ambitious and dashing friend Sir Phillip Sidney, to find out that the victim, Robert Dunne, was a man with secrets that included gambling debts and an extramarital affair. However, they soon realize that he was not the only one aboard the Elizabeth Bonaventure living a double life: in fact, several members of the crew have secrets, each of which provides a good motive for murder. 

I previously reviewed another novel in the series, Conspiracy, on this blog, but Treachery is my favorite so far. Despite its length, it is a swift read and the richness of period detail coupled with the twists and turns that you don’t see coming make for an enjoyable read as evenings get longer. I’m looking forward to reading the final installment, Execution, that was released earlier this year.

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If you like historical mysteries, you may enjoy Silent Water, a Jagiellon Mystery Book 1, set at the 16th century royal court in Cracow. It’s available in ebook and paperback on Amazon and FREE to read on Kindle Unlimited.

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