Wednesday, the 23rd of December, and time for Shelf Control once again! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, all you do is pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it–what its about, why you want to read it, and such. If you participate, link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks as well!

The second-last Shelf Control post this year, wow, it does seem to have flown past in some ways while mostly just dragging on in others. Today my pick is historical fiction, and a book I’d almost forgotten I had since it had gotten pushed to the back row in my shelf. This is The Spy of Venice (2016) by Benet Branderth. This is the first of so far two books.

This one as you can see from the cover is centred around William Shakespeare. A young Shakespeare has fled Stratford to seek his fortune in London where he falls in with a band of players. But there he is also entrusted with a crucial mission, and dispatched to Venice. In Venice he is dazzled by the city’s masques and its beauties, and doesn’t quite recognise the danger he is in. Assassins with sharp knives are on his trail, and also lurking in the shadows is a cruel and clever killer.

This sounds like such good fun–having Shakespeare cast as a spy/secret agent of sorts and that too in Italy where so many of his plays are set. I’m excited to think about not only the story which sounds entertaining in itself but how the author might have woven in perhaps incidents from which Shakespeare got some inspiration for the works he went on to write.

Goodreads readers have given it mixed reviews though mostly on the positive side even from those who didn’t love it. I had picked this one (paperback) up from an online sale because the description sounded like good fun–probably a couple of years ago (may be three), but since it got pushed into the back row of one of my shelves I haven’t gotten down to reading it yet.

Have you read this one or the other book in the series? How did you like it? Looking forward to your thoughts!

Book info and cover image from Goodreads (here)

Find Lisa’s pick this week, Dreams Underfoot by Charles De Lint here.


4 thoughts on “Shelf Control #119: The Spy of Venice by Benet Brandreth

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