Monday, October 25, 2021

Murder by Misrule (Francis Bacon Mystery #1), by Anna Castle (author), Joel Froomkin (narrator)

Anna Castle, November 2017 (original publication March 2014)

Francis Bacon is a barrister of Gray's Inn, shockingly young for it, and currently in disfavor with Queen Elizabeth due to an ill-received proposal for law reform. Being unable to be received at court, or even by friends who are at court, is a significant obstacle to his ambitions, and even to his ordinary responsibilities.

It does not really look like help when his powerful uncle, Lord Burghley, Lord High Treasurer and Queen Elizabeth's most trusted adviser, asks him to quietly investigate the death of another, far more senior, barrister of Gray's. For various reasons, it's suspected this murder may involve Catholic intrigue aimed at overthrowing and replacing the Queen. Bacon recruits four students, whom he is now tutoring since their former tutor has been murdered (yes, of course.)

Tom Clarady is the son of a privateer, looking to rise in Elizabethan society. Stephen Delabere is the son of an earl, pretentious and self-important. Allen Trumpington, or "Trumpet," is very short, very young, and has a surprisingly strategic mind. Benjamin Whitt is earnest, dedicated to the law, and also quite dedicated to Francis Bacon. Together, they do most of the legwork in this investigation, and Bacon considers their evidence and sends them off to pursue the answers to additional questions.

In truth there are two unrelated mysteries here, one of which becomes a red herring distracting from the real cause of the murder and the killer's motive.

This is a tale of intrigue at the court of Queen Elizabeth and the Inns of Court, not a swashbuckling adventure. It's enjoyable and fun, but won't be to everyone's taste.

Recommended as a fun mystery for those who enjoy this kind of intrigue.

I bought this audiobook.

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