ARC Reviews


A Murder By Any Name (An Elizabethan Spy Mystery #1) by Suzanne M. Wolfe. Historical Murder / Mystery. Release & ARC Review.

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When a brutal murder threatens the sanctity of the Elizabethan court, it’s up to a hot-tempered spy to save the day.

The court of Elizabeth I is no stranger to plotting and intrigue, but the royal retinue is thrown into chaos when the Queen’s youngest and sweetest lady-in-waiting is murdered, her body left on the high altar of the Chapel Royal in Whitehall Palace. Solving the murder will require the cunning and savvy possessed by only one man. Enter Nicholas Holt, younger brother of the Earl of Blackwell—spy, rake, and owner of the infamous Black Sheep tavern in the seedy district of Bankside. Nick quickly learns that working for the Queen is a mixed blessing. Elizabeth—salty-tongued, vain, and fiercely intelligent—can, with a glance, either reward Nick with a purse of gold or have his head forcibly removed.

When a second lady-in-waiting is slain at Whitehall, the court once again reels with shock and dismay. On the trail of a diabolical killer, Nick and his faithful sidekick—an enormous Irish Wolfhound named Hector—are treading on treacherous ground, and only the killer’s head on a platter can keep them in the Queen’s good graces.


The Honourable  Nicholas Holt is one of Queen Elizabeth's domestic spys.  He and his wolfhound have a knack for finding out who has something to hide.  When one of the Queen's youngest ladies in waiting is murdered it's his job to find the killer.  Unfortunately the bodies start to pile up.  There are just so many suspects.  Are they political or crimes of passion???
Our hero leads a complicated life.  He owns a tavern on the south bank (rougher side) of the Thames,  he has friends among the lowest and highest people in the city. 
A fabulous Elizabethan murder / mystery.  With great characters and an insight into the lives of the rich and poor in those days. 
It will certainly make you thankful for modern times. 
I loved it. 




Suzanne M. Wolfe grew up in Manchester, England and read English Literature at Oxford University, where she co-founded the Oxford C.S. Lewis Society. She served as Writer in Residence at Seattle Pacific University and taught literature and creative writing there for nearly two decades. Wolfe is the author of three novels: A Murder by Any Name (Crooked Lane), The Confessions of X (HarperCollins/Nelson, 2016, winner of the Christianity Today Book of the Year Award), and Unveiling (Paraclete Press, 2018, winner of the Award of Merit from the Christianity Today Book of the Year Awards). Thirty years ago, she and her husband, Gregory Wolfe, co-founded Image, a journal of the arts and faith. She and her husband are the parents of four grown children. They live in Richmond Beach, Washington.

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