Queen's Progress

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 29 Jun 2018

Member Reviews

M J Trow continues his Kit Marlowe Elizabethan historical mysteries in Queen's Progress.  Robert Cecil, the Queen's spymaster has commissioned his agent Kit Marlow, the play writer, to keep Queen Elizabeth safe on her progress. He will act as the Master of Revels who coordinates the entertainment on the progress and in his spare time spy out and root out any plot against the Queen.  Murders and conspiracies against the queen and against others intermingle to create a puzzle of competing conspiracies. Whodunit?
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As much as I love historical fiction, if it is too immersed in language from five centuries ago it can get dry. Luckily, this book didn't have that problem. We have here a book of intrigue and murder around a queen who really just wants to stay alive but also has to see her public once in a while. Overall, a fantastic read and I can't wait to read more.
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More Elizabethan plots and shenanigans

This is the latest in the hugely successful and popular Kit Marlowe series. Christopher Marlowe (Kit) is a playwright, actor and ex-projection (spy) to the court of Queen Elizabeth 1. His life is spent around the Rose theatre where he mixes with the likes of Philip Henslowe, the theatre’s owner, Tom Sledd the Stage Manager and the actors Sir Christopher Hatton and Ned Alleyn, not to mention the much-reviled Will Shaksper.

When Sir Robert Cecil, the Queen’s Spymaster, calls him in, he is happy to take on the job of checking that the Queen will be safe from attack when she embarks on one of her ‘Progresses’, this time to the South including Titchfield, Petworth and Chichester. It is on these progress that the Queen is most visible to all and therefore at the most risk of plots against her life.

As Kit, together with Tom Sledd, visit each of the castles on the route, there emerges a disturbing pattern of deaths and near misses. Clearly, the Queen does have something to fear, but can she cancel her Progress without losing face?

Kit Marlowe is a likeable character with fingers in many pies and is the ideal frontman for this Elizabethan romp.  In addition, there are many more intriguing characters, fleshing out the tale with aplomb.

A fast-paced and easy read, this will not disappoint existing Trow fans and will no doubt attract new followers.  Almost a five star, but the odd lapse into modern idiom just stopped it getting first to the post.

Pashtpaws

Breakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review.
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The ninth title in the Kit Marlowe mystery series has the playwright-intelligencer investigating potential threats to Elizabeth I as she begins her summer progress. Deaths pile up in advance of Elizabeth’s arrival at several stops in her progress, and Marlowe has to discover the underlying connections among these acts of violence and ensure the queen’s safety—and accomplishes this through a clever plan of his own.
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I liked the synopsis more than the story, I think. It's definitely an interesting premise but the execution of it could have been a bit better. It's an entertaining read overall.
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This is the first book I’ve read in the Kit Marlow series, and I loved it. Even though I haven’t read the other books, I still understood everything. Some of the characters weren’t described in detail, because they were probably introduced in past novels, but it wasn’t a big problem.

I loved the mystery elements of the story. I had no idea what the solution would be. Each of the stops on the planned route of the Queen’s Progress had to be cancelled due to a commotion or death on the property. Each situation seemed so unique that I wondered how they could be connected. The mystery came together in a great ending.

Some of Christopher Marlow’s contemporaries were in the story. Robert Cecil, Queen Elizabeth’s spymaster, was an important character. Will “Shaxsper” also made a couple of appearances in the Rose theatre. I loved how he made up words when he spoke to other people, because he created many of the words that we use today.

I loved this story, and I will definitely look for more in this series in the future!
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The Queen’s Progress is likely excellent read for fans of renaissance mystery.  The language felt a bit clunky and over descriptive, but I expect it fulfilled the purpose of the author, M.J. Trow.  

The overall impression was neither comfortable nor engaging, due mainly to the heaviness of the linguistic choices.  That said, Trow successfully painted clear pictures throughout the book.

At this time, it remains unclear who I would recommend the book to.  It is not one I should enjoy reading again nor would I seek out the author for other works – which is not to say it is poorly written, only that it did not appeal to this reviewer.
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Marlowe is sent by Robert Cecil to scope out places for the Queen to 'progress' - a way for the people to see their monarch but also a way for the monarch to leave her own properties to be aired and cleaned. Elizabeth I's progresses were legendary and brought many a rich man to near bankruptcy. As usual Marlowe is only told half of the story and has to work out the rest for himself. 

I love this series, Kit Marlowe is such an intriguing character to write about and this instalment is yet another hugely entertaining read. Thanks to NetGalley and publishers, Severn House, for the opportunity to review an ARC.
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In 1591 Queen Elizabeth decides to go on a progress. It is up to Marlowe to ensure the festitives are handled correctly, but it doesn't take long for the first death. What really is happening, it's for Marlowe to discover.
I liked the idea of the story but not the excution. I just couldn't get that interested in it. 2 stars for finishing the book, but only just.
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Excellent story line which was gripping from start to finish. Great characters.  I would highly recommend this book.
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I found this novel quite unique in its setting and story-line.
The characters were well written, the story line was good. You could tell the author did their research on the time and places the book takes you to. I just was not happy with the modern day English, but that is a personal issue not the book's fault.
I look forward to the next installment in this series.
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We all know the turbulent start to Queen Elizabeth's rule so knowing that you already know the main plot line behind this story. Though it was well written out and had quite a bit of mystery and intrigue in it, I was not impressed with the writing style and the author's use of modern language. I do not expect complete language of the time but this was written almost in complete modern English slang and all. It just left me wanting more of a language of the age book then a modern language book. 

I am not saying that the book was bad, it was quite good actually. The characters were well written, the story line was good. You could tell the author did their research on the time and places the book takes you to. I just was not happy with the modern day English, but that is a personal issue not the book's fault.

The clever plan was quite interesting and even I did not pick it apart until the whole thing was finished. In the end, it was a very interesting book and kept you engaged and wanting to know more so in that it was a very good book.
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The Queen is ready to go on her progress. She will be staying at some of the richest and stately homes. To be sure her path will be secure, and the Queen safe a person is sent forth to visit in advance. Kitt Marlowe is this person. With his felliw riders they set out on their way. First a grandfather is thrown to gis death. Than a woman is shot dead. Everything that should not happen, is happening. What can they do to insure the Queen' s safety?
A book of intrigue, and mystery. Interesting.
5 Stars
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An enjoyable, fast read. The tone was similar to the other books I've read by Trow, nothing really out of the ordinary, nothing terribly unique or unexpected. This was a fun read for a lazy afternoon. I definitely enjoyed it and would recommend it for Tudor fans. Marlowe is a fun, well-sketched character, thoroughly entertaining.
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I absolutely adored this book. I am a huge lover of all things from the Tudor and Elizabethan Era, so was very excited to read QUEEN'S PROGRESS. What I wasn't expecting was how MUCH I would love it! The author creates a raw and vivid portrayal of the time period, as well as fleshing-out the characters and bringing them to life for the reader. I found myself so wrapped up in this story, from the plot to the characters, that I couldn't put the book down and it has stayed with me long after the last page. PLUS, if I am understanding correctly, this book is part of a series. Which means that I now need every single thing that M.J. Trow has ever written.
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A thoroughly enjoyable Elizabethan tale of intrigue and treason.

Christopher 'Kit' Marlowe is one of history's mysteries, we know enough of him to simply be intrigued by the missing bits.  It is fact that he was a spy for Elizabeth I, and that he was a poet and playright of considerable repute.  It's also clear that he mixed with some very 'interesting' characters and trod a fine line between the light and the dark of Elizabethan society, a line he is believed to have slipped from, resulting in his untimely death - but was it murder or self-defence? 

This makes him the perfect character to send into the murky underworld of Elizabethan England, allowing poetic licence free rein. 

In this story, we find Kit on the hunt for Catholic aristocrats who may pose a risk to the Queen as she commences one of her famous Progresses around the counties of England, staying with ancient families - some of whom may be something other than they seem.  Of course,  they are all something other than they seem, and it takes Kit's convoluted approach to investigation to bring the truth to light.

I'd like to get deeper into Marlowe's life and character in these novels, and have no care that it's imagined or not.  He's presented to us as a hero, yet he's painted but faintly in our imaginations, when some glorious technicolour would be gratefully received.

That being said, the book is a fun, light read and just the thing for lounging about on a beach or in a garden on a warm summer's day - one of those described so eloquently in this novel, perhaps.
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Fabulous, I have loved every book by this author. She evokes the past so beautifully. Highly recommend.
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Historical fiction featuring Christopher Marlowe as Queen Elizabeth’s advance scout to find a route for her tour of the English countryside, where the queen and her many attendants become visible to her subjects. This tour was known as a “progress,” and included sequential visits to the country houses of nobles. They entertained the queen with masques (stage performances), speeches, music, food, and drink. During Marlowe’s advance visits, several unexplained deaths and unpleasant incidents took place. The story revolved around solving the mystery of these incidents. 

I found this novel quite unique in its setting and storyline. The author provided vivid descriptions of England in 1591 using period-appropriate language, in the time of Shakespeare (spelled Shaxsper) and Marlowe. I was interested to find out how these seemingly unrelated events were eventually explained. This story has an extremely long build-up and a quick denouement. I found it a solid story that transported me into the time-period. Recommended to readers of historical fiction of the Elizabethan era.
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I am voluntarily submitting my honest review after receiving an ARC of this ebook via NetGalley.

This historical mystery features Christopher Marlowe first and foremost as a spy and investigator in Cecil's vast network, with his talent as a playwright and entertainer serving as a convenient and productive cover role. While this novel is the ninth in the author's Christopher Marlowe series and I might have enjoyed it more had I read the previous eight novels, I had no trouble following the plot without having read them. Queen's Progress has a lively and engaging mystery, however, the plot's progression relies upon a series of extremely unlikely events. SPOILER ALERT!!!

SPOILER ALERT!!!

For example, there is no way a royal visit would ever have been granted to a family that wasn't already highly in favor and hadn't been extremely thoroughly vetted, so the Middlehams would have been arrested long before any of the events in the book could have unfolded. In addition, the Queen was so well known that there is simply no way a man could have played her part for courtiers who knew her and interacted with her on a regular basis. Also, her not being escorted by her regular ladies-in-waiting, as well as her regular bodyguards and a full contingent of soldiers for protection would have tipped off the entire gathering that something was amiss. These and other details make the ending falter in what is an otherwise entertaining historical mystery.
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Kit Marlowe, playwright and sometimes spy, is back on another adventure.  This time he is enlisted by Sir Robert Cecil to arrange for all the entertainment and logistics for Queen Elizabeth's Royal Progress as she visits the homes of some of her subjects.  But, as Kit and his crew travel to each manor, tragedies strike which prompt Kit to cancel the slated stops at those venues.  Are these tragedies isolated incidents or are they all somehow connected?  It's up to Kit and his crew to figure things out.

I enjoyed this book.  The characters are well developed and the plot is plausible.  I look forward to the next installment in this series.
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