The historical thrillers by Oliver Clements are set in the early, shaky years of Queen Elizabeth I’s reign, where the old religion is not completely dead, and Elizabeth’s Catholic cousin Queen Mary makes mischief from her prison in Scotland.
The Agents of the Crown series features the newly formed Secret Service, whose shady and ungentlemanly tactics are not widely admired by Elizabeth’s courtiers. But John Dee, spy, scholar, and alchemist, is a favorite of the Queen, having served time with her in the Tower. (The tie that binds!)
Clements’ novels are not as complex or as historically rigorous as C.J. Sansom’s wonderful Matthew Shardlake series, but are fast-paced, enjoyable reads.