Guaranteed to capture the hearts of everyone who truly loves books, The Bookman's Tale is a former bookseller's sparkling novel and a delightful exploration of one of literature's most tantalizing mysteries with echoes of Shadow of the Wind and A.S. Byatt's Possession.
Hay-on-Wye, 1995. Peter Byerly isn't sure what drew him into this particular bookshop. Nine months earlier, the death of his beloved wife, Amanda, had left him shattered. The young antiquarian bookseller relocated from North Carolina to the English countryside, hoping to rediscover the joy he once took in collecting and restoring rare books. But upon opening an eighteenth-century study of Shakespeare forgeries, Peter is shocked when a portrait of Amanda tumbles out of its pages. Of course, it isn't really her. The watercolor is clearly Victorian. Yet the resemblance is uncanny, and Peter becomes obsessed with learning the picture's origins.
As he follows the trail back first to the Victorian era and then to Shakespeare's time, Peter communes with Amanda's spirit, learns the truth about his own past, and discovers a book that might definitively prove Shakespeare was, indeed, the author of all his plays.
Charlie Lovett’s The Bookman’s Tale is a literary mystery spiced with intrigue and conspiracy. It is also a poignant story about one antiquarian bookseller’s recovery from the loss of his beloved wife. Lovett, himself a former antiquarian bookseller, weaves an engrossing tale that contemplates the influence of literature, the pain of death, and the power of redemption. (Reviewed by Sarah Sacha Dollacker).
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution A Bookman’s Tale has plenty of richness to offer….Daring intricacy.
The Bard is back in this rollicking literary mystery….This novel has something for everyone: William Shakespeare, a love story, murder and even a secret tunnel.
The Fayetteville Observer
All too good to resist….The Bookman’s Tale is a book about books, written for lovers of books.
Fans of mysteries, of love stories, and of rare books will all find moments in Lovett's novel to treasure.
A pleasurably escapist trans-Atlantic mystery is intricately layered with plots, murders, feuds, romances, forgeries - and antiquarian book dealing... A cheerily old-fashioned entertainment.
Starred Review. A gripping literary mystery that is compulsively readable until the thrilling end. For fans of Geraldine Brooks's People of the Book, Shakespeare aficionados, and bibliophiles.
Danial Singer, founder, Reduced Shakespeare Company and co-author of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)
I don't read much fiction. I'm picky. But I loved racing through Charlie Lovett's The Bookman's Tale, a richly rewarding thriller filled with real-world details about the discovery of a rare book that may or may not be a priceless Shakespearean artifact. Fun for everyone who's ever fondled a soft leather binding!
Robin Sloan, New York Times bestselling author of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
With The Bookman's Tale, Charlie Lovett tells us a terrific story - there's mystery and suspense, murder and seduction - but more important, he shows us how it's all connected, all of this: the reading and the keeping and the sharing of books. It forms a chain long and strange enough to tie a heartbroken young scholar from North Carolina back to the Bard himself, who might or might not have been William Shakespeare. Every link along the way is a bookman's tale all its own, and Lovett tells them all, except the very last, of course: because that's you, about to read this book right now.
Jennifer Lee Carrell, author of Interred with Their Bones
Lovett's novel, The Bookman's Tale, is a marvelous new Shakespearean mystery: an intelligent thriller that is also a love song for books and the people who relish them. Lovett knows his stuff about Shakespeare, rare books, and the passions that both inspire, and he weaves from these a delicious tale of love, loss, and the thrill of discovery. It kept me turning pages till the wee hours for days. The only disappointment was that it came to an end.
When Peter discovers the watercolor of the woman that resembles his dead wife, he is standing in a bookshop in the small town of Hay-on-Wye, Wales, in the United Kingdom. This town, known as the town of books, has a population of 1,500 but boasts nearly 30 bookstores. Hay-on-Wye is about three to four hours' driving distance from London.
Hay-on-Wye evolved into its current status beginning in the 1960s when a bookseller, Robert Booth, decided to start collecting used books from around the English speaking world and bringing them home. Since then the small Welsh-border town has become a mecca of sorts for book lovers. The stores specialize in second-hand books with some bookstores selling antiquarian books, some specializing in...
Winner of BookBrowse's 2010 Best Debut Award You are about to travel to Edgecombe St. Mary, a small village in the English countryside filled with rolling hills, thatched cottages, and a cast of characters both hilariously original and as familiar as the members of your own family.
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is exactly what it sounds like: an establishment you have to enter and will never want to leave, a modern-day cabinet of wonders ready to give a jolt of energy to every curious reader, no matter the time of day.
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