Bookworm, writer, radio host—I blog about history, fiction, and publishing in the Internet Age. You can find the full blog on my website. This space is for books.
I have enjoyed all of this series—some books more than others, but every one has its own charms. This one was a particular pleasure. Kit is installed as an assistant physician at St. Thomas's Hospital, the second great facility caring for the poor in late 16th-century England, and in charge of the maternity ward. Abandoned, abused, and unwanted children are everywhere in this novel—the most compelling a group of young urchins who beg for food outside the playhouse where Kit's friend Simon makes his living as an actor. A young playwright named Will (with an unpronounceable last name—guess who?) has just joined the theater, and there are amusing references to his plays. But the central story line involves the approaching death of Sir Francis Walsingham, the potential threats to his secret service as a result, a kidnapped child, and, of course, a plot against the throne. It's all fast-paced and riveting and sets Kit up for the next journey, to Muscovy, which I loved even more.