The Queen's Head: An Elizabethan Whodunit

The Queen s Head An Elizabethan Whodunit and Mary Queen of Scots dies by the executioner s axe her head shorn of its auburn wig rolling across the platform Will her death end the ceaseless plotting against Mary s red haired cousin

1587, and Mary, Queen of Scots, dies by the executioner s axe her head, shorn of its auburn wig, rolling across the platform Will her death end the ceaseless plotting against Mary s red haired cousin, Elizabeth 1588, the year of the Spanish Armada, is a time of terror and triumph, not just for queen and court but for the whole of England The turmoil is reflected in1587, and Mary, Queen of Scots, dies by the executioner s axe her head, shorn of its auburn wig, rolling across the platform Will her death end the ceaseless plotting against Mary s red haired cousin, Elizabeth 1588, the year of the Spanish Armada, is a time of terror and triumph, not just for queen and court but for the whole of England The turmoil is reflected in its theatres and under the galleries of inns like London s The Queen s Head where Lord Westfield s Men perform The scene there grows even tumultuous when one of the actors is murdered by a mysterious stranger during a brawl.Nicholas Bracewell, the company s bookholder a role far wider than mere producer faces two immediate repercussions The first is to secure a replacement acceptable to its temperamental star and chief shareholder Lawrence Firethorn The second is to keep his promise to the dying Will Fowler and catch his killer.Soon further robberies, accidents, and misfortunes strike Lord Westfield s Men even as their stage successes swell Bracewell begins to suspect a conspiracy, not a single murderous act, but where lies the proof Then the players are rewarded with the ultimate accolade an appearance at court and the canny bookholder senses the end to the drama is at hand First published to great acclaim in 1988, The Queen s Head anticipated the lure of bawdy, boisterous, yet elegant epics like Shakespeare in Love Actor and playwright Marston has

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  1. Librarian Note There is than one author in the database with this name See this thread for information A pseudonym used by Keith MilesAKA A.E MarstonKeith Miles born 1940 is an English author, who writes under his own name and also historical fiction and mystery novels under the pseudonym Edward Marston He is known for his mysteries set in the world of Elizabethan theatre He has also written a series of novels based on events in the Domesday Book, a series of The Railway Detective and a series of The Home Front Detective.Series contributed to Malice Domestic Crime Through Time Perfectly Criminal

704 Reply to “The Queen's Head: An Elizabethan Whodunit”

  1. Entertaining, generally quite historically, culturally accurate, and featuring characters who, and especially with regard to the theatre troupe of Lord Westfield s Men, show nuanced and well developed, intriguingly conceptualised individuals with both interesting and also believable, realistic back stories , Edward Marston s The Queen s Head is not only a readable and enjoyable introduction to his Nicholas Bracewell series of historical mysteries, but also a great general introduction to the mai [...]


  2. First Sentence Death stalked her patiently throughout the whole of her imprisonment.Mary, Queen of Scots, is dead and the Spanish Armada has been defeated In celebration, Lord Westfield s Men is preparing to present a new play, The Loyal Subject The company is beset with problems beginning with the death of an actor in a bar brawl Nicholas Bracewell, the company s manager and keeper of the books, was present and promised to find his friend s killer As other incidents occur, Bracewell suspects mu [...]


  3. This was a fabulous, fast paced story about the book holder akin to a stage manager for an Elizabethan theatre group Lord Westfield s men named Nicholas Bracewell and how, after a friend is brutally murdered, he s tasked with discovering the identity of the killer and seeking justice Ostensibly a murder mystery, this novel is so much The wonderful backdrop of the theatre is used to great effect as is the year this story is set 1588, the year of the defeat of the Spanish Armada and the one in wh [...]


  4. The year is 1588, and England s triumph over the Spanish Armada is the topic of choice through all layers of society, including the colourful, chaotic world of the theater Nicholas Bracewell, bookholder of Lord Westfield s Men, has his hands full as the company prepares a new play celebrating the fleet s success when a tavern brawl ends with the death of actor Will Fowler A replacement must be found swiftly, and Bracewell has a promise to fulfill to catch his friend s killer It soon seems like F [...]


  5. This was a quite good historical mystery, miles better than many of the others out there in plot, characterisation, and historical detail Nicholas, the protagonist, is the book holder read stage manager for an Elizabethan theatre troupe, and this first novel in the series occurs right at the time of the Spanish Armada The mystery is extremely organic, as is the decision to investigate it, and much of the focus of the book is on Nicholas trying to manage the disparate personalities of the company [...]


  6. image error Beautifully researched, cleverly plotted, and totally in harmony with the post Armada time in which this Tud unnit is set, it nevertheless, is a disappointingly lucklustre read but the overall impact cannot be judged until the back cover is shut wink wink Fotheringay CastleFebruary 1587Death stalked her patiently throughout the whole of her imprisonment.All else is on the back burner as I so want to read this What a fantastic cover kudos for that alone blurb 1587, and Mary, Queen of [...]


  7. The second Edward Marston novel I ve read and again I found it to be an easy, pleasurable read with a good feel for the past Before i started to read the novel I wasn t too sure about the theatrical setting as its not something i would usually find interesting, but by the end of the book i was thoroughly enjoying the insight into how a historical theatrical company worked I was kept guessing for a while as to the identity of the person behind the plot, but I had identified the true culprit a cou [...]


  8. Read again 06 15 14 for Maze mystery discussion group.Marston writes several historical mystery series Of all those i have sampled, this is my favorite series Nicholas Bracewell is the bookholder for an acting company in Elizabethan London Such companies needed noble sponsors here Lord Westfield and had to have all new plays reviewed by the Queen s Master of Revels to assure acceptable political and religious content In this story one of the actors is killed and Nicholas promises to find the mur [...]


  9. First thought A book with a stage manager protagonist Sign me up And not just because it fulfills a category on my reading challenge And then I read it.Look, it s fine But I found the mystery to be convoluted and a bit far fetched There are subplots that don t really go anywhere and add little to the whole.I was also hoping for the time period to come alive and it didn t.Same with the theatre scenes.It s obvious that the author did a bit of historical research but the execution was clunky.Detail [...]


  10. I should like this it s my kind of setting but no Very disappointing Completely uninvolving The ending seems very rushed and the twist comes out of nowhere, but not in a good way If you look back at earlier parts, they re basically lying to the reader it insists on telling the reader everything, instead of letting us work anything out it tells us how one of the characters is feeling early on but once you find out the twist, what we were told was obviously untrue Misleading the reader in a clever [...]


  11. I wasn t convinced.I enjoyed the theatrical info and some of the characters, but the mystery did not engage me The cry for revenge at the beginning was not powerful and I don t see Nick as being willing to go searching for the murderer and the last bit of legerdemain that captures the villain is unlikely on so very many fronts On the other hand the whole thing was a fun romp if chasing a murderer can be said to be a romp and I enjoyed the visit to the Elizabethans I don t believe that cradle, th [...]


  12. This is the first in a series of books with Nicholas Bracewell as the hero set in Elizabethan England and, even importantly, in Elizabethan theatre A great introduction to the wild, competitive, ego driven and unstable world of the theatre of the time I found the plotting a little awkward now and then perhaps beginniner s weaknesses and the figure of Blakewell almost impossibly noble But the sheer energy of the theatrical world and the streets of London drove a very fast paced, intriguing tale [...]


  13. Initially felt somewhat two dimensional and took a while to get going Did not get a real feel for the age as the scenes in London felt exactly that, sets or scenes without a real background to hook them on However, the central plot device is a novel one and the book reaches a reasonable climax.


  14. I m finding this hard to get through I like the setting and the characters, but I find the way it is written very distancing Part of it is that the prose is quite diegetic there s a lot of telling and little showing But also I m finding the actual word choice very neutral.


  15. Absolutely terrible.Glbt interest tag the sole queer character is a pedophile and child predator Gender politics tag female characters are whore and thus abused or killed , widows and thus noble , or married and thus harridans.




  16. Jolly mystery set in the world of the Elizabethan theatre Nicholas Bracewell, manager of the company called Lord Westfield s Men, accompanies his friend Will Fowler to a tavern to celebrate a successful performance Out of nowhere a fight starts, and minutes later Will is stabbed to death by a ruffian with a red beard Nicholas tries to track down the killer, while at the same time keeping peace among the volatile actors and preparing for a performance at court.This is good fun, with a sprinkling [...]


  17. Edward Marston is an accomplished novelist and historian The words flow off the page so easily, and the world building is solid The plot felt a little limited but as a pseudo detective series working in a time before criminology and science had taken off, it can be argued that should be expected I ll be looking forward to EM s other output with interest.


  18. Murder of an Elizabethan actor An interesting group of characters and a vibrant world of theatre This pulled me in.




  19. This is the first of Marston s series set in the Elizabethan theatre Our protagonist is Nick Bracewell, the book holder of the Earl of Westfield s Men, and the setting is immediately after the defeat of the Armada After an opening vignette describing in gruesome detail the execution of Mary Queen of Scots, the action centres around the search for the killer of one of Bracewell s actor colleagues The execution scene, seemingly unrelated to the main plot, does have resonance later.Bracewell is a l [...]


  20. This is the first in the series about Nick Bracewell and Lord Westfield s Men, an Elizabethan troupe of actors The series is always full of wonderful period details, but I ve somehow missed the first one over all the years I ve been a fan The most interesting thing about this book is the set up for all the characters who reappear in future books The downside of knowing ahead of time who all the main characters will continue to be is that the one who doesn t show up in future books is obviously e [...]


  21. It hasn t even been three weeks since I read this book and I find that I barely remember it Thank goodness for the summary to jog my memory.Nicholas Bracewell is the bookholder for the acting company, Lord Westfield s Men While negotiating the pitfalls of working with actors and keeping the company intact, Nicholas must keep his promise to Lawrence Firethorn and find his murderer.I liked the era this story was set in I m sure that the fact that I was reading a non fiction book on the Spanish Arm [...]


  22. I m rounding up a bit.The protagonist of this historical mystery, Nicholas Bracewell, at first appears to be something of a male Mary Sue Is there any virtue or skill he does not possess But he turns out to be good company for the reader, and his pragmatic flexibility about telling the truth brings him closer to realism.The historical context and setting are well presented, and many of the characters are entertaining I m not entirely sure whether to find the final twist convincing, but as I don [...]


  23. I m pretty sure I read this book years ago, and really liked it If so, it was long enough ago not to remember specifics beyond a nagging sense of familiarity, and a vague disappointment in not being enthralled than I thought I should be.Which is not to say this is a bad book it is a well told tale set in the world of Elizabethan theatre, with engaging characters and a plot which takes centre stage ha over the historical detail so common in this genre Trouble is, I think I found I missed the his [...]


  24. Review A really clever and innovative start to a series the theatre became an integral part of London at this time, and it is interesting to see how possibly this could have worked, and what kind of people were involved The mysteries are also interesting who would corrupt a stage company and what lengths they would go to.Genre Historical Crime MysteryCharacters Nicholas Bracewell Lawrence Firethorn Edmund Hoode George Dart Richard HoneydewSetting London England Series Nicholas Bracewell 1Recomme [...]


  25. Read this in one day on holidays A bit of a corny romp, which has in all honesty not aged that well It was written in the 1980s and it shows as the atmosphere really is about half way between the 1950s style dashing hero speaking Ye Olde Englishe and today s gritty the past must be somewhere dark where the villain is not the outsider trope I was very surprised to learn that Marston is still writing so I will be sure to check out something recent and see whether he s moved with the times not lea [...]


  26. Set in 1588 in the immediate aftermath of the defeat of the Spanish Armada, this is a fast paced murder mystery set in the unusual surroundings of a theatrical group in London The story is fairly lightweight, with a lot of time being spent introducing situations common to the series Little time is spent trying to make you believe that these are 16th century characters, you are likely to believe that these are just 20th century characters transported into the 16th century A pleasant enough read. [...]


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