A Kirkus 2018 Best Book of the Year!
Shakespeare in Love meets Philippa Gregory in this witty and thrilling story of star-crossed assassins in Elizabeth England, perfect for fans of My Lady Jane and The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue!
When Lady Katherine's father is killed for being an illegally practicing Catholic, she discovers treason wasn't the only secret he's been hiding he was also involved in a murder plot against the reigning Queen Elizabeth I. With nothing left to lose, Katherine disguises herself as a boy and travels to London to fulfill her father's mission, and to take it one step further kill the queen herself.
Katherine's opportunity comes in the form of William Shakespeare's newest play, which is to be performed in front of Her Majesty. But what she doesn't know is that the play is not just a play. It's a plot to root out insurrectionists and destroy the rebellion once and for all.
The mastermind behind this ruse is Toby Ellis, a young spy for the queen with secrets of his own. When Toby and Katherine are cast opposite each other as the play's leads, they find themselves inexplicably drawn to one another. But the closer they grow, the more precarious their positions become. And soon they learn that star-crossed love, mistaken identity, and betrayal are far more dangerous off the stage than on.
About the Author
Virginia Boecker is the author of The Witch Hunter series and An Assassin's Guide to Love and Treason. A graduate of the University of Texas, she had a decade-long career in technology before quitting to become a full-time writer. When she isn't writing, Virginia likes running, reading, traveling, and trying new things (most recently: learning to drive a boat). She has lived all over the world but currently resides in beautiful Lake Oswego, Oregon with her husband, children, a dog called George and a cat named Thomas.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Loved it!!!! Never have I read a book that entwinces plays with assassins so well! And the romance, spot on!!!!
The setting is Elizabethan England when it is treasonous to be a practicing Catholic. Lady Katherine’s father is killed right before her eyes when he is discovered harboring a Catholic priest, his secrets revealed. Escaping imprisonment, Lady Katherine travels to London dressed as a young man intent on revenge against those responsible for her father’s death. Intent on killing the Queen of England. Overhearing Shakespeare and his players in a tavern talking about a secret play they will be putting on for a private performance for the Queen, Kit decides to try out and lands one of the leads. Little does she know that she is playing opposite a young man named Toby who is a spy and the mastermind behind the plan to catch those plotting to kill Elizabeth. In Elizabethan England women’s roles in plays were played by men or boys so when Kit gets cast as Olivia in Twelfth Night the humor of her success at playing a boy playing a girl is remarkable in that no one has figured out that the girl is actually a girl. Our spy Toby who is trying to catch a potential killer finds himself drawn to Kit the boy a fact that is punishable by death and when Kit seems to return his regard? That is when the plot truly becomes interesting. Even as Kit is one of his suspects, are their feelings for each other more important than saving the Queen’s life? I really enjoyed Kit’s evolution. As Katherine she was restricted to a woman’s life but as Kit so many things were available to her. I think this combined with her feelings for Toby helped her to make the decision revealed at the end of the book. No spoilers here, but the line between life and death was trod very closely and the conclusion was just as dramatic as one of the plots in a Shakespeare play. I am a fan of historical novels and The Assassin’s Guide was right up my alley. A devious plot and a romantic sub-plot set in a Shakespeare play? It had me asking questions about the era and I used Wikipedia a few times to fact check my own knowledge. I was surprised by many things but nothing as much as how enjoyable I found this novel. ❤️❤️❤️❤️