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Rebecca Lopez enjoys a life of privilege in Elizabeth's England -- yet she guards secrets she dares not reveal. The beautiful, tempestuous daughter of the queen's own physician, Rebecca is also a converso -- a Jew who practices her prohibited religion clandestinely -- helping others of her banned faith escape persecution and death. And her insatiable hunger for excitement often takes her to the bustling streets of London in male garb to experience the kind of adventure available only to men. But one such outing is leading her into a dangerous viper's nest built of intrigue and foul murder in the company of a dashing young actor who inflames her romantic passions, even as he escorts her toward peril, a charming and fearless would-be playwright who calls himself Will Shakespeare.

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061864889
List price: $8.99
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I loved this book. I first found it in England, and I found that I couldn't put it down. It is not really a mystery, but the story of Elizabethan England, Shakespeare, and a young converso is terrific. I actually allowed students in a course I taught to use this book as one of several that they could write reports on, tying it to the rest of the course. Students loved the book. Fascinating. Kellerman really allows you to get a clear feeling of what living at that time would be like.more
I have read a lot of Faye Kellerman's books and as I like historical fiction thought this would be a good read but I couldn't get into the book at all. I was quite disappointed. Others might find it enjoyable but it was not for me.Back Cover Blurb:1593: Elizabethan London seethes with political and religious intrigue, while across the sea thousands perish in the flames of the Spanish Inquisition. On the surface Roderigo Lopez, the Queen's physician, is a loyal subject of the Crown but secretly he and his family are Jewish conversos, hiding their illegal religion while smuggling ashore Portuguese refugees fleeing from persecution.Rebecca, Roderigo's headstrong daughter, is torn between her duty to her father - which includes marriage to a converso she does not love - and her fascination with the heady world of Elizabethan London she knows lies beyond her door. Slipping out of the household one night, disguised as a man, Rebecca stumbles into a swordfight with someone equally romantic and heedless: Will Shakespeare, an ambitious young dramatist who, like Rebecca, has secrets to conceal and mysteries to unravel. Together, they embark on an adventure that plunges them into the sinks and stews of Elizabethan England - and into the course of history itself....more
This is not your standard Faye Kellerman mystery. This is set in Elizabethan England and is more historical romance than mystery. But that's OK. Kellerman handles the story well.Kellerman starts with the fact that Elizabeth I had a "converso" doctor - Rodrigo Lopez, a Jew who converted to Church of England while still practicing the religion of his ancestors in secret. Much of the book details the lives of conversos and the danger they faced daily. Lopez's daughter Rebecca chafes under the restrictions, both of her religion and her sex. She sometimes dresses as a man and wanders London looking for adventure. On one of her forays, she meets - and duels with - William Shakespeare (yes, THAT Shakespeare). She and Will become friends and lovers.The mystery comes in when Shakespeare's mentor is killed by what appears to be a highwayman. The murdered man's widow asks Shakespeare to find the killer. The mystery in this book truly is not the focus. Most of the story deals with Rebecca and Will and the fate of the conversos - specifically Lopez - in London. It is, however, an enjoyable read, and I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in Elizabethan England.more
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Reviews

I loved this book. I first found it in England, and I found that I couldn't put it down. It is not really a mystery, but the story of Elizabethan England, Shakespeare, and a young converso is terrific. I actually allowed students in a course I taught to use this book as one of several that they could write reports on, tying it to the rest of the course. Students loved the book. Fascinating. Kellerman really allows you to get a clear feeling of what living at that time would be like.more
I have read a lot of Faye Kellerman's books and as I like historical fiction thought this would be a good read but I couldn't get into the book at all. I was quite disappointed. Others might find it enjoyable but it was not for me.Back Cover Blurb:1593: Elizabethan London seethes with political and religious intrigue, while across the sea thousands perish in the flames of the Spanish Inquisition. On the surface Roderigo Lopez, the Queen's physician, is a loyal subject of the Crown but secretly he and his family are Jewish conversos, hiding their illegal religion while smuggling ashore Portuguese refugees fleeing from persecution.Rebecca, Roderigo's headstrong daughter, is torn between her duty to her father - which includes marriage to a converso she does not love - and her fascination with the heady world of Elizabethan London she knows lies beyond her door. Slipping out of the household one night, disguised as a man, Rebecca stumbles into a swordfight with someone equally romantic and heedless: Will Shakespeare, an ambitious young dramatist who, like Rebecca, has secrets to conceal and mysteries to unravel. Together, they embark on an adventure that plunges them into the sinks and stews of Elizabethan England - and into the course of history itself....more
This is not your standard Faye Kellerman mystery. This is set in Elizabethan England and is more historical romance than mystery. But that's OK. Kellerman handles the story well.Kellerman starts with the fact that Elizabeth I had a "converso" doctor - Rodrigo Lopez, a Jew who converted to Church of England while still practicing the religion of his ancestors in secret. Much of the book details the lives of conversos and the danger they faced daily. Lopez's daughter Rebecca chafes under the restrictions, both of her religion and her sex. She sometimes dresses as a man and wanders London looking for adventure. On one of her forays, she meets - and duels with - William Shakespeare (yes, THAT Shakespeare). She and Will become friends and lovers.The mystery comes in when Shakespeare's mentor is killed by what appears to be a highwayman. The murdered man's widow asks Shakespeare to find the killer. The mystery in this book truly is not the focus. Most of the story deals with Rebecca and Will and the fate of the conversos - specifically Lopez - in London. It is, however, an enjoyable read, and I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in Elizabethan England.more
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