I have been going through a bit of a rough patch lately, and I needed just the right book to distract me and make me laugh. A Prisoner in Malta fit the bill perfectly. It’s packed with all the right ingredients (for me!): humor, history, intricate mystery, witty banter, a dashing hero, and an absolutely kick ass heroine.
I rarely think about picking up mysteries. Maybe that’s because I am such an enthusiastic reader of historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and history. My TBR is already jam-packed with so many of those books. But, when I pick up a great mystery, like A Prisoner in Malta, I almost always enjoy it. Then I end up wondering why I don’t read more mysteries.
The book opens with poet and playwright Christopher Marlowe taking classes at Cambridge. He’s a wee bit of a trouble maker and has a few enemies among his classmates. While at Cambridge he comes to the attention of Sir Francis Walsingham, spymaster for Queen Elizabeth I. Walshingham soon recruits Marlowe and tasks him with retrieving a fellow spy from a heavily guarded prison on the island of Malta. The prisoner has vital information regarding a plot to assassinate the Queen. Marlowe must free the prisoner and bring him back to London.
Along the way, Marlowe encounters many difficulties. The plot twists and turns until the very end. I admit I got a little confused at times, and had to go back and re-read a few passages. This didn’t bother me. What does bother me is figuring out the plot halfway through the book. Thankfully, that did not happen here.
This book is the first in a new series of mysteries starring Christopher Marlowe. I really enjoyed this book, and can’t wait to read the others. A Prisoner in Malta was absolutely what I needed to distract me and lift my spirits. If you like mysteries and some humor, I highly recommend it.
But, will my mom like it? Absolutely! She is into the Tudors, and she will love the humor and mystery.
“The desperate have no other remedy by hope.”
“It lies not in our power to love or hate,” he thought. “For will, in us, is overruled by fate.”
OK…….maybe my pick of quotes hints at my mood while I was reading…..even though the book was definitely NOT sentimental, I was sentimental. Thankfully, I had a good book to distract me.
Book: A Prisoner in Malta (ARC)
Author: Phillip DePoy
Date Published: January 26, 2016
Publisher: Minotaur Books (St. Martin’s Press)
Source: Net Galley