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The Desperate Remedy: Henry Gresham and the Gunpowder Plot (Henry Gresham, #1)
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The Desperate Remedy: Henry Gresham and the Gunpowder Plot (Henry Gresham #1)

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  48 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Thief. Informer. Double-dealer. Pimp. Will Shadwell may not be the most moral of men, but to gentleman spy Henry Gresham he is invaluable. During the reign of King James I a man must know his enemies to survive and Shadwell is one of Gresham’s best sources.

Then Shadwell is discovered brutally murdered. And before Gresham is able to establish why, he is summoned by the man
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published March 14th 2003 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published January 2002)
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The Desperate Remedy: by Martin Stephen was recommended to me.

It takes place during the reign of James I of England and VII of Scotland, and revolves around the thwarted Gunpowder Plot which was an attempt to blow up Parliament, by Catholics who are trying to bring England back into the fold of Mother Church.

The main characters are Sir Henry Gresham, a master spy who has as many enemies known and unknown. His mistress Jane who is a young woman he rescues from an abusive grandfather years befor
Despite the potential for a great story line and a catchy blurb, I was thoroughly disappointed with this novel. Henry Gresham himself is one of the most pretentious, egotistical character I have ever come across. I was also extremely detached from the other characters as well, not caring whether they lived or died. I found myself wondering whether Gresham's thoughts and voices were a tad too 'modern', using some phrases that weren't even invented during the Stuart Period!

I struggled and soldier
Christa Huffman
A story with a lot of potential, poorly executed. Flat, uninteresting characters, poor attempts at humour. It felt to me much like reading an early draft of a novel, rather than a polished finished product.
Fictional spy Henry Gresham uncovers the Gunpowder Plot and takes an active part in the capture of all those involved. The sections of the book involving Gresham and his associates were light hearted and witty but the sections involving historical detail were tedious and in some ways annoying (eg referring to Queen Elizabeth the First - surely just Queen Elizabeth at this time). I felt the whole story was dragged out more than necessary and the poor editing made it a slow and clumsy read.
Jack Zhong
I think i read someone's review before i started the read. As i recalled, the review said, the names are hard to remember, indeed.
Far too many characters - I got confused.
Cathy (cathepsut)
If you're English or ever lived there, you will know at the end of the prologue what story you are reading... But it is still good fun, even if you have known the outcome of that particular one, since you were a child. London is dark, the bad guys are sinister and the hero is not just black and white, but has plenty of gray shades as well.

This was better written than I expected and I enjoyed reading it.
It drew me in straight away and kept me hooked. I liked all the twists and turns that the plot took.
This book is quite similar to my favourite series - Matthew Shardlake by C.J. Sansom, but not as good. An entertaining read though.
This is the first book I read by Martin Stephen and I really liked it. It took me a while to get my head around all the different people and events that go on but I love the way the author has made a fictional story around events and people that actually happened/existed.
Good historical information, I am generally more a Tudor girl, but was nice change to have a go at the Stuarts. Language was too melodramatic in places and the love interest unnecessary IMO.
I absolutely adored this book. A action packed spy novel for those of us with an interest in the past. Well written and I just couldn't wait to read the rest of the series.
Fiona Hyland
Loved this book of plot and counter-plot: it keeps you on your toes and demands you pay attention.
Michael Arnold
Absolutely loved this (all too short) series.
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George Martin Stephen is High Master of St Paul's School,London, and ex-High Master of The Manchester Grammar School. Author of 16 academic titles on English literature, modern naval history and war poetry, the highly-acclaimed four Henry Gresham novels are crime thrillers set in the London and Cambridge of Elizabeth 1 and James 1.
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Other Books in the Series

Henry Gresham (4 books)
  • The Conscience of the King (Henry Gresham, #2)
  • The Galleons' Grave: Henry Gresham and the Spanish Armada (Henry Gresham, #3)
  • The Rebel Heart: Henry Gresham and the Earl of Essex (Henry Gresham, #4)

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