Saturday, 13 January 1599.
Poet and politician Edmund Spenser is found dead in his lodgings on King Street, London.
Summoned to the corpse’s bedside, Tom Musgrave – Spenser’s friend and fencing tutor – suspects murder.
Musgrave begins an investigation, only to find himself fighting to untangle a web of political backstabbing, black magic, poisoning and treason.
There are initially more questions than answers, but the trail leads Musgrave to study the poet’s early work, including the notorious satire Mother Hubberd’s Tale – which even now threatens to destroy some of the most powerful men in England.
As the Earl of Essex arranges the most famously extravagant funeral of the age, only three days after the poet’s death, Musgrave races to unmask the man who has been so outraged by Spenser’s verse that he has had the poet murdered.
And he must do so, before his own name is added to the death list.
Read Peter’s feature about responsible research and visiting the places in his Elizabethan and Roman novels.