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Thomas Pryne is a young actor traveling in a players’ troupe through jolly old 16th century England. Except that Tom is not what he appears—he is actually Viola, a girl in disguise under the protection of her actor-uncle. When they arrive in the little village of Stratford, Viola’s secret is threatened by an all-too-observant, overly-inquisitive, and rather annoying boy—who just happens to be named Will Shakespeare. Will is quick to drag Viola into his schemes and adventures, but when the town curmudgeon is found murdered, Will quickly turns from mischief-making to investigating. Viola, though skeptical of Will’s skill, is more than willing to play along—because her dear uncle is accused of the crime, and the brash young playwright-to-be just might be their best chance at uncovering the truth. Author Bailey MacDonald sprinkles her clever mystery with snippets from familiar plays and stays true to the lively spirit of the real William Shakespeare (1564-1616). As irresistible as the boy Shakespeare super-sleuth is, MacDonald has no current plans for a sequel. She does, however, have plans for a young Benjamin Franklin, who stars in his own rousing mystery debut, The Secret of the Sealed Room.
posted Dec 7, 2010 at 12:48PM
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