On William Shakespeare’s birthday, I won a copy of Colin Falconer’s The William Shakespeare Detective Agency: The School of Night by simply sending the writer an email asking to enter the drawing. That was easy! (Woot! I actually WON something!)
Stuck in VA for extra days due to endless rain, I figured it was a great time to venture into my freebie. The work is right around novella size and I finished it in four evenings.
The story introduces country bumpkin William Shakespeare, cousin to THE William Shakespeare. Country Will has come to London to seek his fortune and landed on famous Will’s threshold penniless. Of course, he gets into immediate trouble and raucous fun ensues.
I don’t write starred or formal reviews, but I will say this was good entertainment: rough-and-tumble London, complete with murder mystery and forbidden romance. It is a bit bawdy, but then, so is our famous Shakespeare at times, when we high-brow readers are willing to admit it.
The main character is endearing, famous Will is well fleshed-out and the romantic interest has pizazz. Mr. Falconer is setting himself up with plenty of material for future escapades. The second installment – The William Detective Agency: The Dark Lady – has also been published.
I confess, I’m easy pickings for London, theatre history and Shakespeare, but I’m sure anyone looking for a few evenings of escape to into Elizabethan England will enjoy it.
The author’s historical notes at the end are particularly amusing. Falconer has written these as if commenting on the historicity of the story as a found document/journal and notes various anachronisms or “poor memory” by the original “author”. Clever.
Recommended: for laughs and light reading
You can see Amazon reviews here.
And Goodreads reviews here.
Colin Falconer’s Blog is here.