The Shakespeare Secret by J.L. Carrell was another historical fiction. It reminded me a lot of The Da Vinci Code, except it was definitely more literature based (not just historical). The scene starts with Kate, our heroine, being visited by an old friend after many years of distance. She is told that something has been “found” relating to Shakespeare – possibly who is was, or a lost play? But when Roz (the old friend) turns up dead in The Globe Theatre as it burns, Kate is launched into a plot which she can’t shake off. Not to mention almost every scholar she meets turns up dead in a manner befitting Shakespeare, echoing the deaths of the plays; drowned like Ophelia, poisoned like Old Hamlet.
This idea was really well thought-out. Based upon a lot of actual facts – such as theories about who Shakespeare was and the lost plays – the book explored these truths through the dialogue. I think that this book would lend itself very well to a film, although I probably shouldn’t say that because the movies never live up to the book. I really enjoyed the historical side and the exploration into the plays and the theories of Shakespeare.
I just got a book for my birthday called The Oxford Reference Book of Shakespeare (or something like that) and it was great to look up some of the names and ideas and read more because it definitely got confusing in the book. It was also interesting to read the Author’s Note at the back where she explained what was ficiticious and what was historicaly accurate. I’m always curious about this after I finish a historically-based fiction novel and J.L. Carrell explained her choices and research very well.