Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Conspiracy (Giordano Bruno, #5)” as Want to Read:
Conspiracy (Giordano Bruno, #5)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(Giordano Bruno #5)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  1,625 ratings  ·  128 reviews
Perfect for fans of C.J. Sansom and The Name of the Rose, the fifth historical thriller featuring Giordano Bruno, heretic, philosopher and spy.

Paris, 1585.

Giordano Bruno, heretic, philosopher and spy for Elizabeth’s minister Sir Francis Walsingham, has come to Paris, a city on the edge of catastrophe. King Henri III is surrounded by enemies: the Duke of Guise’s Catholic
Kindle Edition, UK, 416 pages
Published February 25th 2016 by HarperCollins (first published February 23rd 2016)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Conspiracy, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Katherine Kreuter I read this as first in the series, as it was recently published to good reviews. One of the other reviewers says it can stand alone, i.e. you don't…moreI read this as first in the series, as it was recently published to good reviews. One of the other reviewers says it can stand alone, i.e. you don't need to start at the beginning. But i think I've missed some of the references and back stories by starting in mid-series. I'd say start at the beginning. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,625 ratings  ·  128 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Conspiracy (Giordano Bruno, #5)
I waited for this one... the next, fifth, book on Giordano Bruno, ex-monk and assumed heretic, and a new adventure in the Elisabethan age. Very enjoyable, once again. For those who like historic fiction, this series (Heresy, Prophecy, Sacrilege, Treachery, Conspiracy) is great reading.
This fifth book, again, was a good read, vivid scenery, intriguing, entertaining. This time, located in Paris, under the rule of King Henry III. Now I'm waiting for the next in C.J. Sansom's Shardlake series...

Zoe Hall
Mar 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads, 4-stars
I was lucky enough to win this book in a Goodreads giveaway so thank you to the publishers for sending me a copy of this book.

This astonishing book oozes historical richness. The writing, setting, characters, etc. are full of history; every line of every paragraph immerses you in the contextual period (1585 to be exact) in which it is set.

This is only the second of Parris' books I've read but I would highly recommend her writing. I adore Tudor history (in fact I adore most historical periods)
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I have mixed thoughts about this book. On one hand i love the historical setting (1500s) , and the location Paris. Great detail in this element of the book.
However, on the other hand the book in my opinion gets a little tangled, between historical writing and mystery writing. This would be hard to achieve The author Sanson is the same. Combining two genres together historical / mystery and though Parris has done a fairly good job there are times when we he loses focus and the historical becomes
Katheryn Thompson
I haven't actually read any books in this series before, but there are so many great series I either discover late or get around to late that I don't like to always start at the beginning, and Conspiracy worked perfectly well as a standalone.

In this fifth installment, Giordano Bruno, who once saw his excommunication for being a heretic as a mark that he was a free-thinker, true to himself, which he bore proudly, but as the years pass he finds himself longing to return home and no longer to have
Keith Currie
Apr 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Giordano Bruno is in Paris, a decade or so after the St Bartholomew's Day Massacre, and seeks forgiveness from the Catholic Church. He asks help of an old friend, a priest involved with an extreme Catholic group, who is abruptly murdered. Has the murder been committed on the orders of the king, seen as insufficiently hostile to heretics, or by another unknown assailant? Bruno is employed by competing factions to find out. On the way, the reader experiences the corrupt court of Henri III of ...more
Paul Collis
I was very fortunate in being a Goodreads giveaway winner of this the latest (5th) book in the series of Giordano Bruno, philosopher and spy for spy-master Sir Francis Walsingham. As in previous books in the series (which I would also recommend), Bruno reluctantly gets involved in needing to solve a murder quickly, this time in Paris, France.

S.J Parris has done it again, another high class 'who-done-it', which has twists and turns aplenty to keep you engrossed and guessing throughout, and some
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Elizabethan historical fiction
Perhaps I did myself a favor by purchasing this fifth book late as I will not have quite as long to wait for book six coming in May 2018. I was also pleased to read that television rights were purchased for the Bruno series and will certainly look forward to seeing these books as well as enjoying the reading experience.
Bruno is in Paris and hoping to be again under the protection of King Henry, but then there is his ever present mother Catherine and her "Medici ways" to untangle and survive.
Jill Meyer
May 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read all of British author S J Parris' previous Giordano Bruno novels and rated them as 5 star reads. I was a bit hesitant to give "Conspiracy" five stars and am, in fact, rating it at 4 stars. The reason: it's too long and too complicated. But Parris's books usually ARE long and intricate looks at the Elizabethan England reflected through Giordano Bruno's service to Francis Walsingham, the queen's spymaster. This one is too much "long" and "complicated".

"Conspiracy" is set in Paris at the
Right from the beginning of "Conspiracy", Bruno is careless and bumbling in his approach, particularly as he starts off completely alone in Paris without trustworthy allies or Walsingham's protection (which he probably badly needs!). He shows no discretion or investigative talent this time; instead completely lacking a logical approach and not taking any time for some common sense and reflection on events and parties involved, before throwing himself into ridiculous situations and ending up ...more
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I do like Bruno - even if I do feel haunted by knowing his eventual fate. This time he is in Paris rather than Elizabethan England though and I felt slightly less interested. I missed the usual suspects around him but otherwise all the plot elements are in place - a turbulent historical time, some unpleasent deaths and a threat to our hero .
Kelly Martin
I don't think I can read any more in that series.
Peter Stern
Not as historical as I had hoped, but a good detective yarn set in 1585 Paris. Lot gets a little convoluted at times, but overall a fun read.
Michael Austin
SJ Parris's Giordano Bruno series is one of my favorite active mystery series, and most of the other books have been five stars and then some. This one, for me at least, missed the mark on several points. This one takes place in France, rather than England, which brings in a whole host of new historical characters and gets rid of two of my favorites--Phillip Sidney and Sir Francis Walsingham--who both really worked well in the first four novels. But Parris is working with historical characters, ...more
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bruno is back to solve another mystery! I greatly enjoyed this book. I liked the setting, the characters and the plot. Can't wait for the next book in these series.
Tracey Sinclair
May 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5/5 really - well-written, solid thriller, with convincing historical detail, though at times it felt like Bruno just stumbled from one arrest/disaster to another, and one of the final 'twists' felt predictable and even a bit cheap.
Steve Read
May 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely brilliant. Once again S J Parris spins an exciting story leaving us breathless until the last pages. And, I am pleased to say, leaves us with just enough encouragement to allow for yet another book in the series - I can hardly wait.

Very highly recommended, along with the whole series.
To say that I’m wounded at the fact I’ve now finished this series is an understatement. Paris’s writing, and her characterisation is wonderful. She creates very rich, atmospheric scenes, and doesn’t give in to the usual character assassinations that are often rife where historical fiction is concerned.
In this book, Bruno is now back in France. He’s hoping to seek the patronage of his old student, and friend, king Henri III of France. However, nothing is ever so simple. After meeting an old
I was putting off reading this last (to date) Giordano Bruno book for a while in case it featured his demise! However, I was mistaken - he is still very much alive at the end of the book even though his years are sadly numbered. The book ends with the poignant words, "perhaps another journey would bring me one step closer to home."

The whole novel is full of poignant and thoughtful moments and again I loved to be immersed in Bruno's world. This fifth book is set in Paris and starts with Bruno
Andrew Doohan
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Our hero finds himself back in Paris and almost immediately drawn into the intrigues of the French court. Add to that some murder and mystery, and a liberal smattering of religious and political tensions, and you have an excellent narrative to keep your attention.

Returning to Paris at the behest of Sir Francis Walsingham, Queen Elizabeth's chief secretary and spy, Bruno encounters old friends from his previous time in the city. He, unfortunately, meets some new residents of the great city, some
Sue Cartwright
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, history
Following my review on the first four books of this series, 'Heresy', 'Prophesy', 'Sacrilege' and 'Treachery', this fifth book is set in Paris in 1585 where heretic turned spy, Giordano Bruno, returns after nine years in exile.

He finds Paris embroiled in rivalry between the supporters of King Henri III, his mother Queen Catherine de Médicis, the Duke of Guise (leader of the Catholic League), and the French Calvanist Protestants known as the Huguenots.

King Henri III is living in fear of a coup by
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, mystery
Conspiracy finds Bruno in exile from England and back in Catholic France where he no longer has the patronage of King Henri and where the taint of heresy hangs dangerously over him.

Bruno seeks the help of an old acquaintance, Pere Paul Lefevre to try and get his excommunication lifted so that he can live more easily in France. But a week after his meeting with the priest, Pere Paul is found near death in the Seine. The priest asks for Bruno and with his dying breath he whispers to Bruno the word
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great book that I freely admit I chose on the basis of its cover. Giordano Bruno is a solid character, engaging to spend time with, and I feel like I've ventured down the secretive backstreets of Paris, blagged my way into its glittering soirees, and visited every high chambers and low tavern in between, whilst avoiding the clutches of the Catholic League. Even though the book is set in the 1500s the feel of it is entirely relatable, and I will almost certainly read another (didn't ...more
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book. I haven't read any others in the series and there were occasional references to previous incidents in the life of Bruno but essentially can be enjoyed standalone.
1585, Paris.
Excommunicated former Dominican friar Bruno is a heretic and has been living in London. Things got a bit hot (in an earlier book) and he has now returned to Paris where religious fanatics, the Catholic League, are looking to overthrow King Henri III. Queen (mother) Catherine de Medici keeps a tight hold on
Helene Harrison
Review - I didn't enjoy this one as much as the previous ones in the series, possibly because the actual spy element in Francis Walsingham was missing for much of it. However, it was interesting to see Catherine de Medici running the French court, and the chaos that went on within the court during the reigns of her sons, focusing here on Henri III. I still love Giordano Bruno though and his way of stumbling on the truth while actually just floundering around and following a completely different ...more
Phil Shaw
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant. Each episode is better than the last. It is rare that I can “see” what I am reading, but that is exactly what S.J. Parris manages to do in this instalment of her Giordano Bruno tales.
Her description of the characters at the court of Henri and his truly dreadful mother Catherine are wonderful. I couldn’t wait for them to reappear each time we left them and the story moved on. I really did want Catherine to get her cum-up-ance, and for a brief, marvellous moment I almost thought she was
Katherine Kreuter
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a little sorry I read this book first, without having read the earlier works in the series, but I'm determined to go back and read them all. These are well-researched and well-written historical thrillers, with plenty of plots, sub-plots, this-must-be-the-plots, etc... The central character, Bruno, is engaging and an excellent guide to all matters Elizabethan. This particular book is set in Paris in winter, and concerns machinations of Catherine de Medici, Duke of Guise, several courtesans, ...more
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bruno has moved to Paris from Elizabethan England but still gets caught up in murder and intrigue. He has friends in high places, but do they really want him to solve the crimes? Will he get caught out by playing off the Catholic League with the French royal family? Paris is on the verge of riots and Bruno has to move fast to sort the mess out. I like the use of real life characters in this book and Bruno himself is a flawed hero living on his wits. I still slumped about half way through, like ...more
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Plots within plots

Not sure if it was the change of setting to Paris but I still preferred the earlier books. That said, this was still a good page turner with numerous new key characters adding to familiar friends resulting in plenty to keep you guessing. Previous stories had already introduced the French Valois king from afar but this time we get involved in the Royal family politics as well as the religious and, without giving anything away, we are given a huge indication of where the next
Michael Hillman
My response to this book is shown in a quote from near the end.

'Some would say there is a very fine line between brave and foolhardy.’ Jacopo came around the desk and laid a hand on my shoulder. ‘And I would say the difference is obvious. Bravery is doing something foolhardy for the sake of others.’

Although I enjoyed the book, Bruno's "foolhardy" exploits and subsequent escapes, stretched the limits of belief.
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Around the Year i...: Conspiracy, by S. J. Parris 4 14 Jul 01, 2016 08:02PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Revenger (John Shakespeare, #2)
  • Traitor (John Shakespeare, #4)
  • The Serpent's Mark (Nicholas Shelby, #2)
  • Tombland (Matthew Shardlake, #7)
  • Holy Spy (John Shakespeare, #7)
  • The Heretics (John Shakespeare, #5)
  • Prince (John Shakespeare, #3)
  • Martyr (John Shakespeare, #1)
  • Incendium (Christopher Radcliff, #1)
  • The Angel's Mark (Nicholas Shelby, #1)
  • The King's Spy (Thomas Hill, #1)
  • The Bastille Spy (Revolution Spy #1)
  • The Black Friar (Damian Seeker, #2)
  • A Conspiracy of Violence (Thomas Chaloner, #1)
  • Lamentation (Matthew Shardlake, #6)
  • The Butcher Bird (Somershill Manor Mystery, #2)
  • The Fire Court (Marwood and Lovett, #2)
  • Destroying Angel (Damian Seeker #3)
See similar books…
Pseudonym for author Stephanie Merritt

S.J. Parris began reviewing books for national newspapers while she was reading English literature at Queens' College, Cambridge. After graduating, she went on to become Deputy Literary Editor of The Observer in 1999. She continues to work as a feature writer and critic for the Guardian and the Observer and from 2007-2008 she curated and produced the Talks

Other books in the series

Giordano Bruno (6 books)
  • Heresy (Giordano Bruno, #1)
  • Prophecy (Giordano Bruno, #2)
  • Sacrilege (Giordano Bruno, #3)
  • Treachery (Giordano Bruno, #4)
  • Execution (Giordano Bruno, #6)
“knew when Henri brought you here for” 0 likes
More quotes…