Perfect for fans of C.J. Sansom and The Name of the Rose, Conspiracy is the fifth historical thriller featuring heretic, philosopher and spy Giordano Bruno. Here, author S.J. Parris introduces us to the novel’s inimitable hero.
I’d like to introduce you to the most charismatic historical sleuth you’ll meet this year, and a man who’s obsessed me for the past twenty years.
Giordano Bruno was a sixteenth-century Italian philosopher, poet and spy who spent most of his adult life travelling through Europe, writing bold and dangerous books that saw him pursued by the Inquisition for heresy. He was a mass of contradictions: a scientist who believed in magic; an ex-monk who was imprisoned by both Catholics and Protestants for his ideas; a friend of kings and courtiers who lived in exile. I’d wanted to turn his extraordinary life into fiction since I first discovered him as a student, and in 2009 I started writing my series of Tudor thrillers featuring Bruno as a spy for Elizabeth I who finds himself caught up in complex and dangerous murder plots.
“An early review called him ‘the Tudor James Bond to Shardlake’s Morse’, and I like to think he has a sexy, irreverent quality that appeals to readers.”
Since then, hundreds of thousands of readers around the world have come to love Bruno as much as I do. An early review called him ‘the Tudor James Bond to Shardlake’s Morse’, and I like to think he has a sexy, irreverent quality that appeals to readers. His latest adventure, Conspiracy, sees him move from London to Paris as France stands on the brink of civil war. In order to find his way back to the king’s favour, Bruno must solve a murder that brings him face to face with deadly enemies on both sides and entangles him in the snares of the Flying Squadron – the Queen Mother’s harem of beautiful female spies.
I’d like to thank you for all your support for the series so far, and hope you will have as much fun reading this new adventure as I had researching and writing it.
Heretic-turned-spy Giordano Bruno arrives in Paris to find a city on the edge of catastrophe. King Henri III lives in fear of a coup by the Duke of Guise and his fanatical Catholic League, and another massacre on the streets.When Bruno’s old rival, Father Paul Lefèvre is found murdered, Bruno is drawn into a dangerous web of religious politics and court intrigue. And watching over his shoulder is the King’s mother, Catherine de Medici, with her harem of beautiful spies.
When murder strikes at the heart of the Palace, Bruno finds himself on the trail of a killer who is protecting a terrible secret. With the royal houses of France and England under threat, Bruno must expose the truth – or be silenced for good…
About S. J. Parris
S.J. Parris is the pseudonym of author and journalist Stephanie Merritt. It was as a student in Cambridge researching a paper on the period that Stephanie first became fascinated by the rich history of Tudor England and Renaissance Europe. Since then, her interest has grown and led her to create this series of historical thrillers featuring Giordano Bruno. Stephanie has worked as a critic and feature writer for a variety of newspapers and magazines as well as radio and television. She currently writes for the Observer and the Guardian, and lives in Surrey with her son.
Conspiracy is out now.