Tag Archives: detective novels

Her Majesty’s Will by David Blixt is a Pun-filled Period Adventure

Her Majesty's WillHer Majesty’s Will, by David Blixt, was an unexpected breath of fresh ink on a stage flooded with a sea of books that is today’s publishing world. Blixt’s novel stands out as a unique and original prose that will have you laughing so hard you’ll spit out your drink. 

About Her Majesty’s Will~(Review continued after synopsis)

Publication Date: April 23, 2012 | Sordelet Ink | 247p


Before he was famous, he was a fugitive.
Before he wrote of humanity, he lived it.
Before he was the Bard of Avon, he was a spy.

A very poor spy.

England, 1586. Swept up in the skirts of a mysterious stranger, Will Shakespeare becomes entangled in a deadly and hilarious misadventure as he accidentally uncovers the Babington Plot, an attempt to murder Queen Elizabeth herself. Aided by the mercurial wit of Kit Marlowe, Will enters London for the first time, chased by rebels, spies, his own government, his past, and a bear.

Through it all he demonstrates his loyalty and genius, proving himself to be – HER MAJESTY’S WILL.

My Review Continued~

Though I knew the book was historical in nature, a period novel with a main character like William Shakespeare, I was pleasantly surprised by Blixt’s writing style. Being a playwright himself, and commanding the stage and festivals that surround the works and times of Shakespeare, I found this influence in Blixt’s books as well. From starting chapters proposed as  “Acts” to writing to make the audience (this time the reader) laugh, with a good mix of action as well, this book was fantastic and extremely fun! It really came to life off the page and I found a new love for Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe as unlikely (and sometimes bumbling) detectives. Pure genius!

Blixt’s vocabulary and precision in his workmanship is literary gold. The way his words seemed to flow and move around on the page, it’s as if my eyes were deceiving me.  They seemed to dance and joust on the iPad as if I was watching a real live production. The words were so seeped in detail and the choices so extravagant that they seemed to roll around on my tongue as I savored and swallowed the plot.

I love to read novels set in the time period of the Elizabethan Age. And certainly there is alot that deal with the extravagance of court life, romance, and political intrigue. While this one deals with intrigue too, of course it was everywhere during this time period (the start of the intelligence agencies as we know them even now), it was presented through characters (commoners) that people sometimes forget were from the same jeweled era as the Tudors.  An era of society transition under Queen Elizabeth, no one knew who they could trust. Blixt takes this familiar scenario and shows it to the reader from a separate angle, from the life of simple playwrights, and takes on imaginative versions of the lives of Shakespeare and Marlowe, filling all the inconsistencies and holes in their history with “what ifs” and exciting adventures. Full of puns and slapstick harmony between the two friends, Blixt spins a truly hilarious yarn that you won’t want to put down.

Blixt has several other books out that I can’t wait to read now. His Majesty’s Will was a riot, as well as a good mystery, and should be a hit with period novel readers who have a funny bone or are looking for some light-hearted entertainment.

Stay tuned tomorrow (Dec. 14) for an EXCLUSIVE guest post brought to us by David Blixt! It’s one you won’t want to miss reading so schedule it on your calendar now!


One (1) e-book copy of His Majesty’s Will to a lucky reader!


–Open everywhere (it’s an e-book in .pdf or .mobi file)

–Leave a comment with your email (or email your email to hookofabook(at)hotmail(dot)com

–Open until 11:59 p.m. Dec. 19, 2012. Winner randomly drawn and notified by email on Dec. 20.

–Extra entries:  +1 additional entry each for following David Blixt on Twitter, his Facebook Fan Page, or Clicking Like on Amazon book page.  Please inform me which you did in comments or by email.

About the Author: David Blixt~

David BlixtAuthor and playwright David Blixt’s work is consistently described as “intricate,” “taut,” and “breathtaking.” A writer of Historical Fiction, his novels span the early Roman Empire (the COLOSSUS series, his play EVE OF IDES) to early Renaissance Italy (the STAR-CROSS’D series, including THE MASTER OF VERONA, VOICE OF THE FALCONER, and FORTUNE’S FOOL) up through the Elizabethan era (his delightful espionage comedy HER MAJESTY’S WILL, starring Will Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe as inept spies). His novels combine a love of the theatre with a deep respect for the quirks and passions of history. As the Historical Novel Society said, “Be prepared to burn the midnight oil. It’s well worth it.”

Living in Chicago with his wife and two children, David describes himself as “actor, author, father, husband. In reverse order.”

For more about David and his novels, visit www.davidblixt.com.

Link to Tour Schedule for other reviews, interviews and guest posts on David, and all his other books, by clicking on tour button below.  Follow the Tour on Twitter with Hashtag: #DavidBlixtVirtualTour.

David Blixt Tour Button FINAL

I was given this complimentary copy in return for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

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Detective Novel Unravels Mystery Behind Lincoln’s Assassination in Grand Fashion

Reading The Lincoln Conspiracy by Timothy L. O’Brien was a mysterious thrill ride through history to a time shortly after President Lincoln’s assassination.  Presidential history has always intrigued historians, but has become a mainstream topic currently with politics, conspiracy theories, and intrigue heating up the entertainment industry. Books and movies about Abraham Lincoln, or the surrounding era and issues, seem to be at the forefront of material.  O’Brien’s new book fits right in as a must-read for your Holiday vacation or as a gift for someone you know who loves historical mysteries!!

Read on to find out more about the book, my thoughts, and ENTER TO WIN your very own copy or to give as a gift!

About the Book: The Lincoln Conspiracy

Publication Date: September 18, 2012 | Ballantine Books | 368p

DESCRIPTION: A nation shattered by its president’s murder. Two diaries that reveal the true scope of an American conspiracy. A detective determined to bring the truth to light, no matter what it costs him

From award-winning journalist Timothy L. O’Brien comes a gripping historical thriller that poses a provocative question: What if the plot to assassinate President Lincoln was wider and more sinister than we ever imagined?

In late spring of 1865, as America mourns the death of its leader, Washington, D.C., police detective Temple McFadden makes a startling discovery. Strapped to the body of a dead man at the B&O Railroad station are two diaries, two documents that together reveal the true depth of the Lincoln conspiracy. Securing the diaries will put Temple’s life in jeopardy—and will endanger the fragile peace of a nation still torn by war.

Temple’s quest to bring the conspirators to justice takes him on a perilous journey through the gaslit streets of the Civil War–era capital, into bawdy houses and back alleys where ruthless enemies await him in every shadowed corner. Aided by an underground network of friends—and by his wife, Fiona, a nurse who possesses a formidable arsenal of medicinal potions—Temple must stay one step ahead of Lafayette Baker, head of the Union Army’s spy service. Along the way, he’ll run from or rely on Edwin Stanton, Lincoln’s fearsome secretary of war; the legendary Scottish spymaster Allan Pinkerton; abolitionist Sojourner Truth; the photographer Alexander Gardner; and many others.

Bristling with twists and building to a climax that will leave readers gasping, The Lincoln Conspiracy offers a riveting new account of what truly motivated the assassination of one of America’s most beloved presidents—and who participated in the plot to derail the train of liberty that Lincoln set in motion.

So what are my thought after reading?

I was set to get into a good historical mystery in a world of men, but was pleasantly surprised at meeting such a strong woman, Fiona, within the first few chapters. I always love feisty women, but especially from an era such as the latter part of the 1800s when women were considered second-class citizens. I am always encouraged by the women who break those limits and boundries.  Yes, how dare she wear pants! Yes, how dare she be intelligent! Yes, that is sarcasm.  I loved her determination. Showcasing her was a great way for O’Brien to set us up into meeting our Washington D.C. Irish-American detective Temple McFadden (her husband)!

Detective McFadden certainly finds himself caught up in a myriad of historical machinations.  O’Brien does a superb job of mixing historical possibilities in a time period he researched and chronicled extremely well. There were many characters to sort out, but that was reminiscent to me of the time period when it always seemed so many hands stirred the pot. I didn’t think they were hard to keep track of if you really stayed focused on the book, which wasn’t hard since the mystery kept me turning the pages.  O’Brien pens fluidly and Journalistic short sentence structure served him well in this book.  I felt many of the characters, especially McFadden and Fiona, truly came to life off the page and became acquaintances in my own life. I can’t wait to continue on being engaged in more mystery with such a unique couple.

If you like historical detectives like Sherlock Holmes, you’re sure to love this book. It will make a great series in that regard. I know I am a huge fan of international detective novels, but having a duo in such a volatile time period of American history is really compelling as well. A fan of history, I think I rather liked this book more as a mystery thriller. I enjoy secret diaries and papers and de-coding, so this book also fit well into that category for me. I loved how he set-up the plot with these diaries.

It was not surprising to me that he chose the route of detective mystery in creating this book, as Journalism (which is O’Brien’s profession as well as mine) is so closely related to gumshoe research sometimes! I am sure he researched this time period as well as his fictional “case” much like he would a Pulitzer prize-winning article. Uncovering the truth is something both Journalists and criminal investigators have in common. I think O’Brien did an excellent job creating and solving this mystery based on vintage thoughts surrounding the truths of Lincoln’s murder.  America’s obsession with dead Presidents and their conspiracies now has another fantastical resolution to ponder!

I can’t wait to see what else Temple and Fiona take on in the next book. For now, don’t miss the opportunity to get your hands on The Lincoln Conspiracy!  Come back to my blog tomorrow (11/27/12) for an exclusive interview with the author Timothy O’Brien as he discusses his book and writing with me.

I was given this book as part of The Lincoln Conspiracy blog tour; however, all opinions expressed are my own.  To check out more tour dates, interviews, guest posts, giveaways, and more, click on the tour button below.


One (1) copy of Timothy L. O’Brien’s The Lincoln Conspiracy! To enter to win, please leave a comment below on my blog including e-mail to get in touch if you win, a note on Twitter to @ErinAlMehairi, or e-mail me to hookofabook(at)hotmail(dot)com.  Only those who leave e-mail for notification will be considered. Enter no later than 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 1, 2012.  Winner will be randomly chosen on Dec. 2 and notified. This giveaway is for US only.

Gain one extra entry for each extra thing you do:  Like my blog, Follow me on Twitter, or Follow me on GoodReads.

Author Bio~Timothy L. O’Brien

Timothy L. O’Brien is the Executive Editor of The Huffington Post, where he edited the 2012 Pulitzer Prize–winning series about wounded war veterans, “Beyond the Battlefield.” Previously, he was an editor and reporter at The New York Times. There, he helped to lead a team of Times reporters that was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in Public Service in 2009 for coverage of the financial crisis. O’Brien, a graduate of Georgetown University, holds three master’s degrees — in US History,Business and Journalism — all from Columbia University. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with his wife and two children.

Learn more about or contact Timothy L. O’Brien at: www.timothylobrien.com

Follow the book tour on Twitter at #LincolnConspiracyTour!


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