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by S. J. Parris
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385531303, Hardcover)S. J. Parris returns with the next Giordano Bruno mystery, set inside Queen Elizabeth’s palace and steeped in period atmospherics and the strange workings of the occult.
It is the year of the Great Conjunction, when the two most powerful planets, Jupiter and Saturn, align—an astrological phenomenon that occurs once every thousand years and heralds the death of one age and the dawn of another. The streets of London are abuzz with predictions of horrific events to come, possibly even the death of Queen Elizabeth.
When several of the queen’s maids of honor are found dead, rumors of black magic abound. Elizabeth calls upon her personal astrologer, John Dee, and Giordano Bruno to solve the crimes. While Dee turns to a mysterious medium claiming knowledge of the murders, Bruno fears that something far more sinister is at work. But even as the climate of fear at the palace intensifies, the queen refuses to believe that the killer could be someone within her own court.
Bruno must play a dangerous game: can he allow the plot to progress far enough to give the queen the proof she needs without putting her, England, or his own life in danger?
In this utterly gripping and gorgeously written novel, S. J. Parris has proven herself the new master of the historical thriller.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 14 Feb 2013 13:27:42 -0500)
Autumn, 1583. It's the year of the Great Conjunction: an astrological phenomenon believed to herald the death of one age and the dawn of another. England's tentative peace is under threat and prophecies foretell the death of Queen Elizabeth and, with her, the end of the Protestant religion. When one of the queen's young maids of honour is found murdered inside the palace walls - astrological symbols carved into her flesh and clutching a sinister witch's doll - Elizabeth refuses to believe the killer could be someone within her own court. In the meantime, Giordano Bruno, now secretly working for Elizabeth's spymaster Francis Walsingham at the French Embassy, is closely monitoring a Catholic conspiracy funded by King Philip of Spain and a cousin of Mary Stuart. But his position is growing increasingly tenuous; though the ambassador trusts him, his presence has been noted by Lord Henry Howard, a devout Catholic who publicly opposes anyone associated with magic or esoteric knowledge. Bruno has cause to believe there's a connection between the murdered girl and the conspirators at the embassy. But when a second maid of honour is killed in the same way, he realizes that the killer may be watching him too. Determined to prove his worth to Elizabeth, Bruno must play a dangerous game: can he allow the plot to progress far enough to hand the queen the proof of conspiracy she needs, without putting her, England or his own life in danger?
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