Reviewed by Jennifer Chretien, reference librarian,
Rare book expert Peter Byerly has lost his way after his wife unexpectedly and tragically died not long after purchasing their dream home. He decides to move on to pursue their dream alone in hopes to get his life back on track. What results is a mystery that combines Shakespearean legend, the art world, and some modern day intrigue.
On the surface, this book had it all: interesting plot, mystery, murder, an all encompassing love story, and fantastic bibliophile history. It depicted life in Shakespearean times, nineteenth century England, and late 20th century England and America.
But despite the great premise, the author failed to deliver. I felt as though the author was more focused on meeting the plot points in his outline than he was concerned about taking the reader on a journey. As a result, the later storyline felt rushed and incredibly predictable; as if the author had a checklist (much like his main character had) of criteria he was given to complete the novel. Tragic wife? check. New romance? check. Surprise reveal of the murderer? check (It was ridiculously easy to figure out the murderer by the way)
Despite it's failings, the book was suspenseful enough to classify itself as an engaging beach or pool side read.