31 Jul 2013



SOURCE: Received for review from Alma Books.

A mysterious portrait ignites an antiquarian bookseller's search - through time and the works of Shakespeare - for his lost love.

After the death of his wife, Peter Byerly, a young antiquarian bookseller, relocates from the States to the English countryside, where he hopes to rediscover the joys of life through his passion for collecting and restoring rare books. But when he opens an eighteenth-century study on Shakespeare forgeries, he is shocked to find a Victorian portrait strikingly similar to his wife tumble out of its pages, and becomes obsessed with tracking down its origins. As he follows the trail back to the nineteenth century and then to Shakespeare's time, Peter learns the truth about his own past and unearths a book that might prove that Shakespeare was indeed the author of all his plays.
..... Outer back cover

FIRST SENTENCE (Hey-on-Wye, Wales, Wednesday, 15th February 1995): Wales could be cold in February.

MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 362): "You've read far too many murder mysteries set in old English houses. What Agatha Christie has done to the image of this country!"

MY THOUGHTS: A cleverly penned historical mystery combined with a wonderfully tender and moving romance at the heart of which is a fascinating story about the conservation and forgery of rare literary masterpieces.

With a host of memorable characters, many of whom struck a chord deep within, and a plot that follows the changing of hands of a book that may or may not have been a forgery.The Bookman's Tale, set in three time periods (the mid 1990's, the 1980's and and the Elizabethan time of Shakespeare), sees the author seamlessly and skillfully weave an accomplished and powerful story that I found to be provocative and heart-stoppingly descriptive. 

Every inch a work of passion, the author's adoration for antique books shine through. Not just for fans of the Bard, this is very much a read for all those who love books about books.

Disclaimer:  Read and reviewed on behalf of publishers, ALMA BOOKS, I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given.
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Kelly said...

This looks wonderful! Although I'm not a great lover of Shakespeare, the premise of the book still looks like something I'd really enjoy. Thanks for this review!

Mary (Bookfan) said...

Making note of this title. I love books about books :)

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Oh I like the sound of this one. All the time periods woven together sounds fab. I must add this one to the wishlist.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

sounds like a good read! I do love Shakespeare. :)

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

This book sounds so good! I can't wait to check it out. I haven't read a good hf mystery in a while. :) Thanks for sharing!

Nikki-ann said...

Is the first sentence a typo by you or the author? (It's "Hay-on-Wye"!). And it certainly is cold here in February, usually :D

I've not heard of this one before, but it sounds like an interesting read.

Joan Robertson said...

Like the look of this one , especially where you say it's for those who likes to read a book about a book and that is me
One to look out for , my next book purchase

Naida said...

I love books about books and this one sounds great.

Brandi Kosiner said...

Love the sound of the tender and moving romance

Brian Joseph said...

This book sounds intriguing to me in many ways. The e bookish connection, Shakespeare, strong characters, the plot itself all sound appealing.

Claudine G. said...

Ooh, sounds good, sounds good again. I do love books about books.

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

This one really sounds intriguing, despite the fact that it comes pretty close to a re-telling of a classic author, which you know I am very much against.

There is enough of an original story to make it readable for me, although the author's next book is apparently going to do the same for Jane Austen, as this one did for William Shakespeare, so probably won't interest me at all.

Why oh why can't these auhors think of something original to write about?

Your thoughts about this book are clear and concise and could really tempt me into giving it a try.


Lindsay said...

I loved this book and I'm so glad to read how much you enjoyed it too Tracy! x

Gina R said...

Well you've certainly captured my attention. ..*adds to wish list*. Thanks for the great rec!

Michael said...

I'll be adding this one, too. Thanks for discovering and sharing it with us! Sounds great!