Sunday, September 28, 2008

Mystery Book Review: Interred With Their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, is publishing a new review of Interred With Their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

Interred With Their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell

Interred With Their Bones by
Non-series

Plume (Trade Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0-452-28989-0 (0452289890)
ISBN-13: 978-0-452-28989-5 (9780452289895)
Publication Date: August 2008
List Price: $15.00

Review: Jennifer Lee Carrell's debut mystery, Interred With Their Bones, is the gripping story of a pursuit against time and life itself to find the 1st Folio, a collection of the first works of William Shakespeare.

On a midsummer's day in 2004, Katherine J. Stanley, director of the theatrical group at the Globe Theatre, a replica of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre which burned to the ground in June, 1613) opens with their performance of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Before the performance, Rosalind Howard, Kate’s former professor, comes to the theatre with a gift wrapped box for Kate. She tells Kate she has made a ground-breaking discovery but she needs Kate’s help. Before the evening is over the Globe Theatre is set afire, and Roz is found dead in the ruins -- killed in the same manner as Hamlet’s father. Is this an improbable coincidence or was it planned? With nothing to go on but a brooch and a cryptic note found in the box Roz had given her, Kate and Roz’s nephew Ben set out to try to find Roz’s discovery. The journey takes Kate and Ben from Europe to America and back again, followed all the way by a sinister shadow of a man who is also hunting for the secret. While Kate and Ben continue their investigation more people are murdered in a Shakespearian style. Although she has resolved to continue, as she gets closer to the truth she begins to wonder if the solution is worth the lives lost, which now possibly include Ben’s and her own.

The premise upon which Interred With Their Bones is based is itself a literary mystery. It has been suggested that William Shakespeare's plays (his tragedies, comedies, tragicomedies, sonnets, and more) were not written by him at all. Stratfordian scholars strongly believe Shakespeare wrote the work attributed to him; the Shakespearean Oxford Society argues otherwise, that his name was merely ascribed to the work of contemporary playwrights, most notably Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford. Would these organizations resort to murder to promote (or protect) their cause? Who truly wrote the words, "The evil that men do lives after them, The good is oft interred with their bones"?

Interred With Their Bones is a remarkable novel that throughout maintains the drama, ambiguity, and suspense surrounding the authenticity of Shakespeare's literary canon. Though some passages are a bit confusing, the pace of the narrative will keep the pages turning.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Interred With Their Bones and to Penguin for providing a trade paperback edition of the book for this review.

Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved.

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Synopsis (from the publisher): On the eve of the Globe’s production of Hamlet, Shakespeare scholar and theater director Kate Stanley’s eccentric mentor Rosalind Howard gives her a mysterious box, claiming to have made a groundbreaking discovery. But before she can reveal it to Kate, the Globe burns to the ground and Roz is found dead ... murdered precisely in the manner of Hamlet’s father. Inside the box Kate finds the first piece in a Shakespearean puzzle, setting her on a deadly, high-stakes treasure hunt.

From London to Harvard to the American West, Kate races to evade a killer and decipher a tantalizing string of clues, hidden in the words of Shakespeare, that may unlock literary history’s greatest secret.

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