Thursday, July 3, 2014


ISBN #: 978-0143125389
Page Count: 384
Copyright: May 27, 2014
Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint Edition

(Taken from back cover)

Nine months after the death of his beloved wife, Amanda, Peter Byerly, a young antiquarian bookseller, relocates from North Carolina to the English countryside, hoping to outrun his grief and rediscover the joy he once took in collecting and restoring rare books. But upon opening an eighteenth-century study of Shakespeare forgeries, he discovers a Victorian watercolor of a woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to Amanda.

Obsessed with learning the picture's origins, Peter braves a host of dangers to follow a trail of clues back across the centuries - all the way to Shakespeare's time and a priceless literary artifact that could prove, once and for all, the truth about the Bard's real identity.

Mandy's Review:

If you're looking for a book about books that combines death, murder, mystery, and suspense then this would be the book for you.

Peter's obsession was Amanda and antique books. Since Amanda's death, though, he lost his interest in antique books and just became obsessed with Amanda. One day, while out and about in London, Peter steps into a bookshop and finds a book on forgeries. The book was picked up at random ... or was it? When he opens it, Peter finds a watercolor portrait of, whom he believes to be, Amanda, but how can that be? The portrait was painted in the 1800s and Amanda died in the 1990s. 

Through a series of fortuitous events, Peter loses interest in the watercolor portrait and becomes obsessed with finding a rare book proving Shakespeare's true identity. During this hunt, Peter learns how to deal with his grief over losing Amanda. He's also shot at, lied to, flirted with, locked in an old building, and framed for murder. Will he ever get the proof he needs to prove who Shakespeare really was?

I believe true book addicts will love this book. Not only is this novel about a bookseller who loves books, the author uses the written word as a silent character throughout the entire story. Brilliantly, I might add. I was enthralled with the plot from the very beginning. If you have the chance, add this to your collection.

*A paperback copy of this novel was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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