Monday, July 15, 2013

The Bookman's Tale

"I'll bet you never thought the book world was so dangerous."



The Bookman's Tale by Charlie Lovett is the kind of smart literary mystery that I love.  Peter Byerly is an antiquarian bookseller whose wife, Amanda, has recently died.  Grieving, he leaves his home in North Carolina and moves to the English countryside.  In a bookshop in Hay-on-Wye he discovers a Victorian watercolor portrait that looks exactly like his wife.

 "The mystery of the watercolor's origins felt deeply personal and Peter could already feel curiosity and grief melding into obsession.  He had to know where this painting came from - how a hundred-year-old portrait of his wife, who had been born only twenty-nine years ago, had come to be tucked into an eighteenth-century book on Shakespeare forgeries."

Seeking the truth about the painting, Peter stumbles upon "the Holy Grail" of literary treasures--a book that offers proof of Wm. Shakespeare's real identity. But is the book real, or a clever forgery? Peter is determined to uncover the book's long-buried secrets. There's just one problem--he's not the only one hunting for the truth.

This book weaves together the present and the past in a tantalizing mystery that keeps you guessing until the very end.  It completely exceeded my expectations. (Not to mention making me want to read Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale.) If you love literary thrillers, this is a must-own book!  It's that good.

Similar Reads:  Interred With Their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell
                          What Time Devours by A.J. Hartley

10 comments:

  1. OOH- Shakespeare and paintings? I might have to try that one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? What more could you ask for?

      Delete
  2. Literary mystery and it involves Shakespeare! Sounds like a good read. Thanks for letting me know about this one. (I loved Interred With Their Bones).

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have been thinking about reading this one, thanks for the great review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice of you to say that; I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.

      Delete
  4. I'm waiting to get this from the library! Maybe I should do a readalong with some Shakespeare....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It definitely made me want to pull out my copy of The Winter's Tale...not that you have to know the play to enjoy the book!

      Delete
  5. This sounds like it has all the elements I love too! Shakespeare, booksellers, mysterious documents... seems like a great vacation read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It definitely is! It's one of those books that's so good, and so well-written, you don't want to put it down.

      Delete