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Carpe Librum

Reviews and bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.

If I am lost, you will find me in medieval England.

You can also find me - and my books - on my blog.

Historical Novel Society

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Marbeck and the Gunpowder Plot by John Pilkington

Marbeck and the Gunpowder Plot: a historical mystery (A Martin Marbeck Mystery) - John Pilkington

I enjoyed the fast paced action and twisting plot of this novel. Not having read the first three books in this series, I had no trouble jumping into the story and getting to know the characters. Marbeck is a protagonist that the reader roots for, even if not all of his actions are completely honorable.

Marbeck receives his instructions from an underling of Secretary Cecil, who rose to power under Queen Elizabeth I and continues under the new Stuart king. As an intelligencer, which sounds so much more sophisticated than spy, Marbeck is becoming disillusioned with his unsettled life, various aliases, and doubt that his reports are always used for the best.

Before he can consider another type of life, he is caught up in a meandering investigation that begins with the ravings of a madman and the vague hints of a Jesuit priest. Marbeck is sure that gunpowder is being hoarded but struggles to determine where or why.

This is an action packed adventure centered on one of the best known historical events of the early 17th century. Marbeck has a bad feeling about the Parliament meeting scheduled for the 5th of November, but more than one force is working against him.

My only complaint? The ending isn't really an ending. I'll have to wait to learn Marbeck's fate in Pilkington's next tale.

I thank NetGalley for the opportunity to read this novel. Opinions expressed are my own.