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The Richard Palmer: Investigator Trilogy

Chris Crowcroft


Book 1: Shakespeare in Trouble

Book 2: Fire, Burn!

Book 3: The Trouble with Words


Shakespeare in Trouble

Amazon reviews

   I thoroughly enjoyed Shakespeare in Trouble - it's a page-turner by Shakespeare fan
on 6 Oct. 2015

   This alone makes a transfer to other media easy to imagine and      
          probably inevitable. Shakespeare's Sherlock has arrived!

by Richard Lynam
on 8 Oct. 2015
   A highly enjoyable canter through late-Elizabethan England. by Josephine Walker
on 13 Oct. 2015
   A highly plausible plot, nuanced by reference to the Dark Lady
         of the sonnets. I loved this gripping yarn.
by A dark lady
on 18 Oct. 2015
   Shakespeare on the run.....
         A 'page turner'. I romped through the book - difficult to put down.
         Characters sketched out clearly and simply and not overburdened with
         irrelevancy. Great sense of time and place that draws on the author's
         knowledge of Shakespeare and the period. Thrilling plot that is clearly
         linked to and cleverly uses historical fact and adds plausible speculation.
         Images that stick in the mind.. by Tony S
on 23 Oct. 2015
   It's tight-paced with plenty of action
         well-written and researched, with a corkscrew plot. A good read. by Amazon Customer
on 24 Oct. 2015
   A stunning debut
         His sleuth, Richard Palmer, has a touch of the Daniel Craigs - tough,
         resourceful, laconic but with a back-story which fuels just the right
         level of latent resentment. This is a superb debut, and I hope it will be
         followed swiftly by another Palmer tale. by John McLaren
on 25 Oct. 2015
   A must-read for anyone who has an interest in the Bard’s
         personal life as alluded to in his sonnets

         I have to declare a personal interest, in as much as Emilia Bassano,
         my first cousin 12 times removed, Rowse’s candidate for the Dark Lady,
         is partly the cause of the trouble. Having fled London Will is pursued
         to Stratford by a government agent who would like to question him
         over his agreeing, on the eve of rebellion, to the Earl of Essex’s
         commission to resurrect the play of Richard 11 with its insurrection
         plot and usurpation of the crown by Bolingbroke. This revival was
         intended as a rabble rouser to Essex’s cause against the ageing and
         increasingly unpopular Elizabeth 1. As we know, it failed and Essex
         and Shakespeare’s Patron, Southampton were tried and found guilty.
         I read this book in two days; rather unusual for me these days. by Peter Bassano
on 10 April 2016
Blog reviews

It's an entertaining and amusing read and a definitely strong addition to the      
canon of historical crime thrillers.

May we see Palmer on another case? I hope so.

by Andy Sawyer, Reviews Editor, Foundation
on 10 Oct. 2015

An enormously entertaining read

by Simon Buteux
on 24 Nov. 2015
Accidentally caught up in the events of the Essex Rebellion against an ageing Queen Elizabeth is down-on-his-luck 'investigator' Richard Palmer. Do the sonnets of actor/playwright and aspiring gentleman William Shakespeare implicate him in treason? Who put his company up to staging Richard II - where a king is deposed and murdered - on the eve of the rebellion? Chief Minister Robert Cecil wants to know, and Palmer is his man in the seedy, dangerous and paranoid world of a queen without an obvious heir. Shakespeare is in trouble.

This is an enormously entertaining read, where history and fiction are deftly woven together in a very satisfying mix of thriller, detective story, literary mystery and - particularly effective - courtroom drama. Crowcroft is clearly a Shakespeare scholar who has immersed himself in the details of his life and times, but he wears the scholarship lightly, and both Shakespeare and his pursuer come across as real flesh-and-blood people, both too with quite a 'back story', The evocation of Shakespeare's Stratford and of his family there is brilliantly done and very convincing (as is the state of the roads - never more will I complain about the M6).

I, for one, hope that there will be another case for Richard Palmer soon...

Reviews in print

An intriguing twist to the Shakespeare tale.

Simon Tait, editor, ai Magazine
     p.12 issue 329. May 2016

Fire, Burn!

Amazon reviews

   Palmer has gown slyer,craftier, harder......ever more compelling and fascinating. Shakespeare in Trouble was brilliant, but this is even better. Crowcroft is on a roll.

by John McLaren
on 2 Oct. 2016

   fast-moving storyline that was so gripping I just couldn't put the book down.

by P.G. Delduca
on 1 Oct. 2016

(USA)   cleverly weaves historical fact with fiction to create an immensely readable and exciting detective tale.Another pageturner from Chris Crowcroft.

by Tony S
on 1 Oct. 2016

   Palmer is a well-drawn character......and the engaging figure of Shakespeare's contemporary Ben Jonson.....Guy Fawkes is fascinating as well. I wish I'd had this book to read when I did 17th century history for A level.

by Amazon customer
on 5 Nov. 2016

   "........this gripping read.

by Peter Bassano
on 8 Nov. 2016

   Palmer is ... conflicted, cynical, but with a soft centre which comes to the fore when - sometimes against his will - he becomes a good man. Crowcroft gives us a sympathetic and cool look at the gunpowder plot, and a wry glance at the playwrights of early 17th century London.

by Andy Sawyer
on 13 Nov. 2016

Other reviews

   Another innovative Shakespearean detective yarn featuring the saturnine Master Palmer - digging out history with a modern spade.

by Simon Tait
on 15 Nov. 2016

   An immensely readable and exciting detective tale.

by Tony Snapes, USA
on 1 Oct. 2016

The Trouble with Words

Amazon reviews

   Palmer 1 was a sensational debut. In 2 the investigator hits his stride. But Palmer 3 is by far the best.

by John McLaren
on 17 Oct. 2017

   Crowcroft's strongest writing......an elegiac quality.......this is the best Palmer yet.

by Andy Sawyer
on 28 Oct. 2016



1. Order from publisher

Shakespeare in Trouble
Paperback Edition

Chris Crowcroft

Genre: Fiction

AESOP Modern, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-930301-28-9

Format: 216 x 140mm (Demy 8vo), perfect bound paperback on Creme w/gloss laminate cover, 200 pp

Pub. date: 1 Sep. 2015

Availability: print on demand


£8.99 GBP

$13.99 USD
€12.99 euro
$18.99 AUD
Please allow 7-10 days for delivery of all orders.

< Fire Burn!Paperback Edition

Chris Crowcroft

Genre: Fiction

AESOP Modern, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-910301-34-0

Format: 216 x 140mm (Demy 8vo), perfect bound paperback on Creme w/gloss laminate cover, 220 pp

Pub. date: 1 Sep. 2016

Availability: print on demand


£8.99 GBP

$13.99 USD
€12.99 euro
$18.99 AUD
Please allow 7-10 days for delivery of all orders.


Please note: This title will be published and on sale on 1 September 2017. You may order copies now and they will be sent to you once the title is available.

The Trouble with Words
Paperback Edition

Chris Crowcroft

Genre: Fiction

AESOP Modern, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-910301-42-5

Format: 216 x 140mm (Demy 8vo), perfect bound paperback on Creme w/gloss laminate cover, 230 pp

Pub. date: 1 Sep. 2017

Availability: print on demand


£8.99 GBP

$13.99 USD
€12.99 euro
$18.99 AUD
Please allow 7-10 days for delivery of all orders.

2. Order via Amazon

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