(From the publisher):
1587, 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 more 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 more 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 theatrical 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 actor 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...
Original title: The Queen's Head
Genre: Fiction→ Crime and Mystery→ Detective Story and Detectives→ Historical