Saturday, May 06, 2006

Shakespeare's Secret - Elise Broach

I first found out about Elise Broach's Shakespeare's Secret from Camille's review at Bookmoot last September, and although it's not a fantasy novel (it's a mystery novel with a historical element), I was too intrigued not to want to read it. However, I've had to wait since September for the UK publication and then for the library to get a copy before I could get my hands on it. It finally arrived this week and I raced through it in a few hours as I was so hooked ! This is a well researched story about a missing diamond and a centuries-old puzzle: who was Willliam Shakespeare ? Was he really the man from Stratford or was that just a pseudonym for the Earl of Oxford ? The book's protagonist is a girl named Hero who always gets teased about her weird Shakespearean name every time she and her family move to a new town and she starts a new school. Not that being used to the teasing makes it any more bearable. When her next-door neighbour, a divorced older woman, tells her about the missing diamond that's believed to be hidden in her new house, Hero knows she has to find it. But why is Danny, who's the most popular boy in her sister Beatrice's year, so keen to help her ? And just how is the diamond connected to Shakespeare ? Hero is determined to find out all the answers. I highly recommend this book to everyone who likes mystery novels, history and/or Shakespeare.

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