It is the year of the Great Conjunction, when the two most powerful planets, Jupiter and Saturn, align - an astrological phenomenon that occurs once every thousand years and heralds the death of one age and the dawn of another. The streets of London are abuzz with predictions of horrific events to come, possibly even the death of Queen Elizabeth.
When several of the queen's maids of honor are found dead, rumors of black magic abound. Elizabeth calls upon her personal astrologer, John Dee, and Giordano Bruno to solve the crimes. While Dee turns to a mysterious medium claiming knowledge of the murders, Bruno fears that something far more sinister is at work. But even as the climate of fear at the palace intensifies, the queen refuses to believe that the killer could be someone within her own court.
Bruno must play a dangerous game: can he allow the plot to progress far enough to give the queen the proof she needs without putting her, England, or his own life in danger?
In this utterly gripping and gorgeously written novel, S. J. Parris has proven herself the new master of the historical thriller.
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"Starred Review. An admirable original sleuth and persuasive period detail bolster the taut plot." - Publishers Weekly
"Parris looks to be an up-and-comer in the historical fiction/mystery arena; buy accordingly." - Library Journal
"Parris populates her tale with interesting characters and plenty of atmosphere but allows the story to ramble on until the reader grows weary of Bruno and his detective work." - Kirkus Reviews
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S. J. Parris is the pseudonym of author and journalist Stephanie Merritt.
Parris first became fascinated by the rich history of Tudor England and Renaissance Europe while researching a paper as a student at Cambridge. Since then, her interest has grown and led her to create this series of historical thrillers featuring Giordano Bruno.
Parris has worked as a critic and feature writer for a variety of newspapers and magazines, as well as radio and television shows. She currently writes for the Observer and the Guardian and is the author of six books. She has one son.
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