Pressed into investigation in service of the queen, playwright Christopher Marlowe must learn the truth about a plot to destroy the nation.
Marlowe may have found the best distraction ever from poor reviews of his disastrous new opening: a mission from Queen Elizabeth. Fearing for the life of her Dutch ally William the Silent and worried about what potential threats against him may mean for her, she seeks England’s best investigator in Marlowe. She sends her request via Dr. Rodrigo Lopez, that “Portuguese Jew [and] remorseless assassin” who also happens to be Marlowe’s childhood tutor. Without thinking to question his monarch, the patriotic Marlowe goes on his mission, paired with Leonora Beak, a capable young woman who may be his match in combat and wit. The two verbally tussle throughout their mission, arguing about everything from the best way to interact with Travelers to who gets to ride at the front of the horse. Finally, in Delft, Leonora and Marlowe wonder whether they’re too late to save William the Silent, yet both seem aware their adventure is only beginning. What greater scheme is the plot a part of? On returning to London, Marlowe tries to use his cunning and his connections to figure out who the mastermind is. He’s disquieted by the feeling that even past allies may take sides against him when it comes to choosing between allegiance to Elizabeth or to Mary. A more minor mystery that catches his attention, this one more personal, threatens to derail his apparently preordained path to saving the country and the true queen.
Fairly nonsensical but par for the course for DePoy, who writes characters from child protective workers (Cold Florida, 2016) to Christopher Marlowe as fast-talking action heroes.