It’s very rare for me to get many opportunities to pick up a book at random and start reading – either my choices will be something that has been on the must-read list for a while or is part of my dad’s continued efforts to educate me in literature through Christmas presents. The Vagabond Clown (An Elizabethan Mystery don’t you know) was one of those books you can pick up in a 3 for £5 kind of deal. It’s part of a series apparently, The Bracewell Mysteries, but I read the whole thing without realising that and coped pretty well.
The story line basically focuses on the character of Nicholas Bracewell, a book-keeper and unofficial leader of an Elizabethan acting troupe based in London. Following a badly received performance which ends in murder, Westfield’s men decide to tour Kent early to save their reputation. Unfortunately murder trails them across the county and Nicholas is forced to assume that the troupe is the target.
Simple and easy to read, The Vagabond Clown is not about to tax any brain cells – it is a read for pleasure kind of thing, which I guess is what reading should be all about. As a history student maybe I am being a tad pernickety about how romanticised this book seems, but it could be that I am not used to the murder mystery type genre which can overly accentuate the detective and his/her genius.
I would recommend The Vagabond Clown as a good holiday read, I myself am thinking of picking up another from the The Bracewell Mysteries series. If the Tudors are not for you, Edward Marston has various created various detective heroes – having first published his work in 1988.