The Shakespeare Murders
Sharon Gupta, author
It’s 1602 and William Shakespeare is at the height of his popularity. South of the River Thames in the borough of Southwark, the Globe playhouse dominates the skyline. The Chamberlain’s Men, led by Richard Burbage, functions there. Shakespeare is their in-house playwright. Burbage’s acting prowess combined with Shakespeare’s literary talent make the Globe the most successful theatre of its time. Other playhouses fall into ruin. Suddenly, in early August, someone begins targeting the players one by one. As the body count piles up and witnesses vanish, The Lord Chamberlain requisitions the services of Geoffrey Drake, a knight with proven detective skills, to unravel the mystery. Drake goes undercover as Shakespeare’s distant cousin Geoffrey Dupont and quickly draws up a list of suspects that includes among others Shakespeare’s younger brother Edmund, who resents the Bard for denying him a career on stage; players present at the scenes of the murders; and Shakespeare’s erstwhile mentor Phil Henslowe of The Admiral’s Men. Besides this, Drake must also unmask the man behind the attempt on Shakespeare’s life at the Lord Chamberlain’s ball. Could it be the Bard’s mistress Marie Blackburn’s husband? Had the same contract killer been knocking off the Chamberlain’s Men? Or is the murderer one of the players? Will Sir Geoffrey Drake succeed in saving the greatest literary genius of the London Stage?