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Treachery (Giordano Bruno, #4)
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(Giordano Bruno #4)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  2,195 ratings  ·  197 reviews

Perfect for fans of C.J. Sansom and The Name of the Rose, the fourth historical thriller featuring Giordano Bruno, heretic, philosopher and spy.

August, 1585. England is on the brink of war…

Sir Francis Drake is preparing to launch a daring expedition against the Spanish when a murder aboard his ship changes everything.

A relentless enemy. A treacherous conspiracy.


Kindle Edition, 545 pages
Published February 27th 2014 by HarperCollins (first published February 1st 2014)
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  2,195 ratings  ·  197 reviews

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Jun 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great and entertaining historic read. It is the 4th in the series of Giordano Bruno, fugitive Italian monk, free-thinking philosopher, writer and heretic turned spy, working for Queen Elizabeth and Sir Walsingham.

Better than the previous one, book 3, which kind of annoyed me, especially the love interest part of the story, whereas the setting, Canterbury was great.

This story is better for me. It's about Sir Francis Drake, preparing to launch a daring expedition against the Spanish,
Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
I never buy books based upon the cover art but I made the exception for this one: I have a soft spot for Griffins, just look at the cover.

However, the Griffin has very little to do with the book. The book is set in England and that is the only relation between the two. I really should have read the blurb before I bought this. This is a murder mystery set in Elizabethan England in which Bruno, the protagonist, is sent to uncover the murderer, so no Griffins at all. But that, of course, isn’t the
Susan Johnson
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
I like historical mysteries and this was a fine one. It features a former Italian monk, Bruno, who has been excommunicated and exiled to England. There he seems to specialize in undercover investigations for Queen Elizabeth mostly using his intellectual abilities. This one features Sir Francis Drake.

Bruno and his friend, Sir Philip Sidney, travel to Plymouth to escort an official from Portugal to the Queen but Sidney has another idea. He wants to travel on Drake's new expedition to the New
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, netgalley
The Giodano Bruno series of historical mysteries by S. J. Parris, just gets better and better. I read a lot of historical mysteries, and the genre's greatest weakness is that most authors can either develop characters effectively or design mysteries complex enough to remain mysteries until the novel's end. Parris is one of those rare writers who can offer both simultaneously, which makes her Giordano Bruno series a particular pleasure.

In Treachery, Bruno is headed to Plymouth with Sir Philip
Nov 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sir Francis Drake's fleet assembles in Plymouth, its intent to sail to the New World to plunder Spanish holdings and disrupt Spain's ability to invade England. But when one of Drake's officers is found hanging in his cabin, plans are delayed. The death looks like suicide; a grievous sin that would ruin the man's family. However, Drake suspects he was murdered, which is even worse. It can only have been one of his trusted advisers - but who, and why? He cannot set sail for months, and into enemy ...more
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, crime
The hero runs around accusing various Elizabethans of having done it guv. It's starts off brightly but sadly deflates with each blind alley.
Alison Jones
Feb 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was fortunate enough to win a copy of this on Goodreads. Providence indeed for this proved to be a rich and talented story that tells of a murder aboard Francis Drake's ship as it waits in the harbour of Plymouth to set sail around the world.
The reader is thrust into the seedy dwellings and streets of Elizabethan Plymouth with such accomplishment that one can smell the stench and feel the depravity that existed there. This added to the variety and originality of the story's intriguing
Mar 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read the three previous Giordano Bruno books, I was eagerly awaiting this one and wasn't disappointed. Once again, very interesting historical detail and lively descriptions of a very seedy Elizabethan Plymouth - all drunken sailors and pox-ridden ladies of the night. All wrapped around a classic whodunnit with plenty of possible suspects, red herrings, cryptic clues and false turnings. And, as always, poor old Giordano finds himself unlucky in love. If you enjoy historical mysteries, ...more
Christina Rochester
I absolutely loved this one. This has to be my favourite installment in the series so far and I think this is in part because everyone has a secret that they want to hide. And Toby and Sam both stole my heart a little bit.

This one is full of twists and turns although with my knowledge of Elizabethan History I can't help but wonder whether this would have been the perfect place to end the series.

Definitely recommend it.
Elizabethan conundrums!

Caught up with intrigue, the Spanish question, the French and English monarchs, and his own troubles Italian "defrocked monk, excommunicated for heresy," and now spy, Giordano Bruno accompanies his friend Sir Philip Sidney, a favorite of Queen Elizabeth's to Plymouth where Sir Francis Drake's fleet is readying to set sail for the Spanish Main. It's 1585 and Drake is on the eve of departure. Ostensibly Sir Philip is to escort Dom Antonio, the pretender to the Portuguese
Sep 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Giordano Bruno, philosopher and spy for Queen Elizabeth, travels to Plymouth on a diplomatic mission and finds himself caught up in a murder. The victim is a sailor on Sir Francis Drake's ship, but as Bruno investigates, he uncovers more than one motive for the killing, and reveals a possible conspiracy to undermine Drake's whole expedition.

This is a gripping historical thriller, with an engrossing plot, full of twists and turns, so that there are multiple possibilities for the resolution of the
R.M.F Brown
Honest, by the numbers, historical fiction.

Somebody gets murdered, a few ruffs get ruffled, and an opportunity presents itself to take a trip through Tudor England.

If the above sounds cynical, then it's not meant to be. Giordano Bruno is certainly one of the more interesting 'historical' characters to feature in these types of novels, and he certainly has his work cut out for him whilst investigating skulduggery in Tudor Plymouth.

As much as I enjoyed reading this, Treachery did present a few
Mar 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
All good things come to those who wait,and the extra wait for the new Giordano Bruno only made the arrival of Treachery even more exciting then usual,add to that over 500 pages and the excitement goes through the roof,now sometimes when you get over 400 pages it can become a bit of a marathon,but i am glad to say this had me page turning well into the early hours of the morning and by the end i could have gone another 500 with Bruno.Not only do we get a quality Historical Novel but on top of ...more
Aug 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't disappointed with this this book. Well written as always from S J Parris and a cracker of a story that kept me up way passed midnight on a few nights despite having a stinking cold and really needing to sleep! There were enough twists and turns to keep you guessing throughout. It's been a while since I've finished a book so quickly.
Polly Clarke
Poorly written. The characters didn't engage me, they weren't believable, the pace was slow for no other reason than just filling 'stuff' within the paragraphs. It's corny and after 8 chapters, I couldn't keep my eyes open. I gave up and will be happy to read something else worth reading. This wasn't worth reading.
May 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Another entertaining romp this time through Drake's fleet and Plymouth. The usual suspects and the attention to authentic detail that makes this series better than the run of the mill historical myteries.
Aug 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
To me not the best of Bruno, To tell the truth I was waiting the action to start!! and it did to far in to the tale.
Jackie Gonzales
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it, couldn't put it down.
Sue Cartwright
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, history
Following my review on the first three books of this series, 'Heresy', 'Prophesy' and 'Sacrilege', this fourth book is set in Plymouth in 1585 where Giordano Bruno agrees to investigate a murder that occurred on Sir Francis Drake's ship whilst preparing to launch a daring expedition against the Spanish.

This story corresponds with real history, when war had already been declared by Phillip II of Spain after the Treaty of Nonsuch in which Elizabeth I had offered her support to the rebellious
Simon Binning
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This series by S J Parris has been something of a slow burn for me. Her fictional account of the life of Giordano Bruno puzzled me at first. Many writers choose a real character as the central figure of their fiction; it can work very well indeed. But it is unusual to choose someone as relatively unknown to modern audiences as Bruno, and to choose someone who was famous principally for his esoteric philosophical and religious works is, perhaps, rather brave.
As the series has progressed, I have
Jill Meyer
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My oh my, there are certainly a lot of historical novels about Elizabethan England being published these days. Two major authors have series, Rory Clements' "John Shakespeare" and SJ Parris's "Giordano Bruno". Both authors have new books out, and this review is about "Treachery", the fourth book in the Bruno series.

Giordano Bruno was a real person. He was an Italian monk, who questioned scientific teachings of the Church and was forced to flee for his life. He ended up, eventually, in England,
Andrew Doohan
Dec 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
The hero of our series, Doctor Giordano Bruno of Nola, meets Sir Francis Drake as Drake prepares for a great adventure designed to upset the Spanish and enrich England. The only problem is an unexplained death aboard Drake's flagship, a death that threatens to delay the fleet sailing and potentially completely destroy Drake's plan.

Accompanied by his close friend, Sir Philip Sidney, the son-in-law of Sir Francis Walsingham, the Queen's chief spy and Bruno's paymaster, Bruno is drafted into the
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It has been a while now since I read the first three books in this series - I was disappointed by the third book - however this was much better, in fact my favourite of the texts I have read so far. This time the action is in Plymouth before Sir Francis Drake sets off on another journey. As other readers have commented, "Treachery" is fantastically atmospheric and you do literally feel you are in Plymouth with Bruno and Sir Philip Sidney. It also has a more philosophical edge that the others so ...more
Boar's Head Eastcheap
There's a tang of salt in the air as Bruno and Sidney head to Plymouth in this instalment of his adventures. Drake is about to set out on another quest for fame, glory, and riches, plus of course the opportunity to pull a few Spanish beards ... until one of his crew is murdered.

Whilst not particularly profound, the plots are decent enough and rattle along, with a fairly typical cast of dodgy-looking priests, beautiful duchesses, and whores. This time round, some of the subject matter was a bit
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All five of these stars are based on sheer entertainment value. This is the first book in this series that I have read, and I found that it was completely entertaining. There may have been points where the red herrings got a bit over-the-top, but for e that only added to the enjoyment.

I love Bruno. He's sly and interesting, and sometimes frustratingly silent as he allows the reader to contemplate the evidence for themselves, somewhat Sherlockian, I thought. In any case, I enjoy tales of the
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Philip Sidney, son in law to spymaster Walsingham and pet of Queen Elizabeth, has ambitions to do deeds of derring-do, so he plots to join Francis Drake's next voyage to the New World along with his friend Giordano Bruno. However, the voyage is held up following what appears to be a suicide on board.
The tale then follows how this pair track down the real killers and determine their motives. There are some excellent historical elements - and the description of the sad lives of young prostitutes
D.K. Hundt
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
There were several, what I like to call, Clue-like moments throughout the book, when you think the big reveal of who done it comes to light, (That Aha! Moment, the likes of uttering – with pure confidence – that ‘Colonel Mustard killed Professor Plum in the Library with a candlestick!’), however, upon looking at the page count left in the book you would be mistaken, several times over. A few extra twists added to drive the mystery forward, revealing that not everyone is as innocent as they ...more
Kim McGee
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Murder and mayhem on the almost open seas of Elizabeth I reign. Sir Francis Drake is eager to be gone on his next voyage assaulting Spanish galleons in the name of the queen and his own fortune but he is delayed by a suicide/murder on his ship. Bad luck for Drake but it could mean good luck for a British nobleman who yearns for adventure and his best friend, a heretic philosopher with a knack for solving mysteries. A well researched, authentic tale with all the corruption, political backstabbing ...more
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, mystery
I think this may be the best Giordano Bruno book yet.

Bruno is dragged off to Plymouth by his friend Sir Philip Sidney who has hopes of wheedling his way onto one of Sir Francis Drake's ships and finding fame and fortune across the seas. Bruno does not share Philip's desire to go to sea and fortunately for Bruno they find themselves stuck on land due to a death aboard Drake's ship that looks like a suicide but may not be.

As Bruno and Philip investigate the death of Robert Dunne they find
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent read akin to Stephen Saylor's Gordianus the Finder series. The style is similar as the the premise. However, rather than a murder mystery in Roman times it is set in Elizabethan England. The author conveys a great sense of the period with its slums at one end of society and nobility at the other. Treachery is set in Portsmouth with Sir Francis Drake about to lead an expedition to the New World for plunder. However a suicide on board requires investigating and Bruno, an Italian ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Feb 15, 2015 06:31PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Release Date incorrect 2 22 Aug 16, 2013 06:21AM  

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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)
  • Conspiracy (Giordano Bruno, #5)
  • Execution (Giordano Bruno, #6)
“All our past deeds, gentlemen, one way or another, will be washed up on the shore of the present.” 0 likes
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