BookBrowse Reviews The Spy of Venice by Benet Brandreth

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The Spy of Venice

A William Shakespeare Mystery

by Benet Brandreth

The Spy of Venice by Benet Brandreth X
The Spy of Venice by Benet Brandreth
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  • Published:
    Aug 2018, 448 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez
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Youthful shenanigans propel a brash William Shakespeare into the dangerous mire of international political intrigue.

Benet Brandreth's delightfully diverting historical thriller brings the Bard to vibrant life. Even though I am far from a Shakespeare scholar, I thoroughly enjoyed spotting the allusions to themes that the young protagonist would later explore via his plays. Add to that Brandreth's genius idea of filling Shakespeare's so-called "missing years"* with villainy, adultery, scandal and intrigue and this book climbs to the top of my list of the year's favorite reads.

The Spy of Venice begins in 1585 when William, at twenty, already has a wife, Anne, and three children. Living with his parents, the couple seems happy enough, though the restless young man does regret the mandatory marriage that resulted from one moment's pleasure with the decidedly older woman. Where he is all barely-harnessed energy and mischief, Anne is characterized as perfectly content with home ...

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