Book Review: A Dangerous Trade (An Elizabethan Spy Thriller, Book 1) by Steven Veerapen

Genre: Historical fiction

Publisher: Sharpe Books

Pub date: 26 December 2018

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Description from Amazon:

Rebellion stirs in Elizabeth’s England.

In the bleak midlands, Mary Queen of Scots has begun a long imprisonment. Plots and counter-plots swirl around her.

In the earl of Shrewsbury’s crumbling castles, the captive queen hopes for rescue. At the heart of the earl’s household is Jack Cole, a haunted and secretive figure with a dark past. Converted to Queen Mary’s cause by a charismatic secretary, Jack finds himself entangled in a Catholic plot to free her.

Yet the queen’s household is under surveillance. Everyone is a potential spy, or is being spied upon.

As Jack is drawn into the dark web of Catholic plotting, he must face a hideous truth.

Meanwhile, his wife Amy must choose whether to protect her husband or betray him.

Poison is poured, daggers are drawn, and guns are loaded. England’s future hangs in the balance.

Moving from crumbling castles to the imposing palaces of Queen Elizabeth, Jack Cole must decide where his loyalties lie – with queen, country, or wife.

This is the first instalment in the Elizabethan Spy Thriller Series and also the first I’ve read this author.

The idea behind the servants becoming spies and heroes was great!

I loved the character development and how different from each other Jack and Amy are yet they strive for the same thing, to have purpose and be accepted.

I really enjoyed the descriptions of the Tudor buildings like Tutbury and Chatsworth and adored Bess of Hardwick, she came across as such a strong female and a very entertaining character in this book.

Jack and Amy both befriend someone but their friends are not quite as they seem.

As the plot unravels I was sure I knew what was going to happen but I was definitely wrong, this keeps you guessing.

A very well written thriller and I’ll certainly be reading the next two in the series.

The authors note at the end gives insight to where his ideas came from which I found extremely interesting and it’s also provided me with further reading which has all been added to my TBR list!

A Dangerous Trade is available here: Amazon

Or you can get all three books here:

Amazon UK

A little bit about the author:

Steven Veerapen was born in Glasgow and raised in Paisley. Pursuing an interest in the sixteenth century, he was awarded a first-class Honours degree in English, focussing his dissertation on representations of Henry VIII’s six wives. He then received a Masters in Renaissance studies, and a Ph.D. investigating Elizabethan slander. Steven is fascinated by the glamour and ghastliness of life in the 1500s.

You can find him on Twitter @ScrutinEye

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