Publish and Perish

Publish and Perish

4: Francis Bacon Mysteries

Won an Honorable Mention for Mysteries in Library Journal’s 2017 Indie Ebook Awards!

It’s 1589 and England is embroiled in a furious pamphlet war between an impudent Puritan calling himself Martin Marprelate and London’s wittiest writers. The archbishop wants Martin to hang. The Privy Council wants the tumult to end. But nobody knows who Martin is or where he’s hiding his illegal press.

Then two writers are strangled, mistaken for Thomas Nashe, the pamphleteer who is hot on Martin’s trail. Francis Bacon is tasked with stopping the murders — and catching Martin, while he’s about it. But the more he learns, the more he fears Martin may be someone dangerously close to home.

Can Bacon and his band of intelligencers stop the strangler before another writer dies, without stepping on Martin’s possibly very important toes?

Awards & honors


Honorable Mention, Mysteries, Library Journal Indie Ebook Award Winners 2017

Castle, Anna. Publish and Perish. Anna Castle. (Francis Bacon, Bk. 4). Jun. 2017. 338p. ebk. ISBN 9781945382116. MYS
In 16th-century England, a mischievous Martin Marprelate wreaks havoc on London’s most proficient writers. His fiery pamphlets in support of a stronger Protestant Reformation in the Church of England send Puritan society into an infernal rage—including the archbishop, who would love to see him hang. Between the enraged pamphleteers with whom he is at constant war and the aggravated religious figureheads, Marprelate faces certain peril. There’s just one problem: nobody knows who he actually is or where he’s been printing his controversial works. When two writers are murdered after being mistaken for Thomas Nashe, a man who appears dangerously close to nabbing Marprelate, Francis Bacon steps in to find the killer—and hopefully Marprelate. VERDICT In this aptly titled fourth book in the “Francis Bacon” series, Castle combines her impressive knowledge of English religion and politics during the period with masterly creativity. The result is a lively, clever story that will leave mystery fans delighted.—Emilie Hancock, Mount Pleasant Regional Lib., SC

Historical Novel Society Magazine, Issue 83 (February, 2018)

It is an art to bring the past to life, an art at which Ms Castle excels. Through a myriad of small details, she firmly anchors this 16th-century murder mystery featuring Francis Bacon in the heady times of the aging Elizabeth I: a time of political and religious unrest, capably managed by the aging but as yet very powerful Lord Burghley.

At the heart of the story lies religious dissent. A non-conformist pamphleteer going by the name of Martin Marprelate has pointed a finger at the Anglican Church, accusing it of being anything but a reformed church. The archbishop fights back, hiring his own pamphleteers to refute the accusations. A war of words turns into something far more sinister when two of these unfortunate writers end up dead. Francis Bacon and his engaging clerk, Tom Clarady, are soon involved in a dangerous game to catch the murderer.

Other than a deliciously convoluted plot and the richly described historical setting, Ms Castle gives us a wonderful cast of characters, all the way from the charming Tom and his best friend (and secret love) Trumpet, a.k.a. Lady Alice, to real historical figures such as Francis Bacon’s intimidating aunt, Lady Russell and, of course, Bacon’s uncle and cousin, Lord Burghley and Robert Cecil respectively. Flowing prose, precise and tight dialogue, and characters that grow on you: what more can a reader ask for? All in all, Publish and Perish is a delightful and very satisfying read.
— Anna Belfrage

Discovering Diamonds review coming! 7 May 2018