Heresy is an excellent mystery novel set in Oxford in 1583. Giordano Bruno is a former Catholic monk who has escaped the clutches of the church after heretical behavior. Now working on behalf of Queen Elizabeth I, he goes to Oxford for a debate, but is told to be on the lookout for Catholic plots against the state. While at Oxford a series of murders take place and Bruno sets out to find the murderer and of course does indeed stumble across some rather strange doings.
This novel is well written and quite entertaining. The characterization is outstanding, especially that of Bruno who is a real historical figure. The characters in this novel are all well drawn the setting, 16th century Oxford, is brought to life. The author also does an excellent job of drawing out the mysteries behind the deaths that occur, as it slowly unwinds to a conclusion.
Readers interested in mysteries in interesting historical settings, this novel is highly recommended.
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With Heresy, S.J. Parris has constructed a splendid, unputdownable whodunnit.
In 1583, England was approaching one of the greatest crises in its history. Queen Elizabeth, excommunicated by the Pope for her refusal to return the Church of England to Rome, was under threat from all the Catholic powers. Her spymaster Francis Walsingham had his own army of informers searching for conspiracies against the English crown. Everyone was on the lookout for trouble.
Yet in May of that year, amongst the quiet and dreaming spires of Oxford University, a public debate took place that was nothing short of revolutionary.
On one side, John Underhill, an unpopular figure, forced upon Lincoln College as their Rector by his powerful patron the Earl of Leicester. On the other, Giordano Bruno, a wandering Italian scholar-monk, in trouble with the Inquisition, and in the story (and probably in fact) serving Walsingham as an anti-Catholic informer.
But what is truly amazing about Bruno is that he believed not like Copernicus and Galileo that the Sun and not the Earth was the center of the universe, but ...