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The Angel's Mark

(Nicholas Shelby #1)

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  502 ratings  ·  49 reviews

'A gorgeous book - rich, intelligent and dark in equal measure... Historical fiction at its most sumptuous.' Rory Clements

LONDON, 1590. Queen Elizabeth I's control over her kingdom is wavering. Amidst a tumultuous backdrop of Spanish plotters, Catholic heretics and foreign wars threatening the country's fragile stability, the body of a small boy is found in the City of L

Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Published September 6th 2018 by Corvus
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Community Reviews

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4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  502 ratings  ·  49 reviews

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Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
SW Perry's debut is set in Elizabethan England with a medical profession that is often more of a danger to their patients than of any help, and which works side by side with the Barber-Surgeons. It is 1570 in London, Catholics are hunted as paranoia spreads about plots to overthrow Queen Elizabeth. Suffolk yeoman, Dr Nicholas Shelby, notices strange signs on the body of a young crippled boy that suggest he was murdered. However, the boy is a nobody and no one wants to hear Shelby's suspicions, l ...more
When a book comes with a glowing recommendation from a respected author of historical fiction like Rory Clements (whose ‘John Shakespeare’ series I absolutely love by the way), you have a real sense of expectation as you turn the first few pages.  I’m happy to say that in the case of The Angel’s Mark those first few pages – and all the pages after that, as it happens – didn’t disappoint.

As other writers of historical fiction have discovered, the latter part of the 16th century is a promising per
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
interesting novel based in the late Elizabethan age with several unconnected murders with people being washed up from the thames its a mixture of political spying and a crime thriller. can see the links with it being would interest c j Sansom fans
Very enjoyable mystery set in late Elizabethan London. Somebody is preying upon the city's most vulnerable and it's up to Nicholas Shelby, a physician fallen on hard times, to find justice for these victims. Well-written, atmospheric and really interesting. 4-4.5 stars. Review to follow shortly on For Winter Nights.
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Angel’s Mark takes us from the dirty and grimy streets of London in the late 1500’s to the opulence of Nonsuch Palace, on a quest to find a serial killer.

A young boy’s body is pulled from the river Thames. With deformed lower limbs, it looks as if he was merely discarded. Nobody seems to know who he is, nor care about what happened to him. Except for physician Nicholas Shelby, an expectant father, who notices a mark on the young boy’s leg during an anatomy lecture. Nicholas is determined to
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story is set in Elizabethan England and explores the nature of medicine at the time. There are physicians and barber-surgeons and very incorrect views about how blood travels around the body. Women are not allowed to practice medicine despite their previous positions in Padua. This provides the backdrop for a murder story involving Nicholas and Bianca - two characters I’d really like to learn more about in future books. Nicholas is a physician and the story starts with him attending the ‘au ...more
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My two favourite genres are crime and historical fiction, particularly from the Tudor period so this novel ticked all of the boxes. When I have read novels from this period they have mostly been set in and around the courts and palaces. This novel is unique with it being set in the less affluent areas of London, in this case Bankside which is in Southwark. This is an area whose inhabitants live in poverty, some are diseased and their entertainment is the bear pits and the hostelries in the area. ...more
Blodeuedd Finland
Someone is killing people and leaving marks on them. And there is just one person who finds this strange. But then why would the rest care, poor people die all the time.

Nicholas is a physician. A good man. An honest man. And then he kind of looses himself. Poor man.

I find it hard to review this one without saying too much. I did not expect it to be this hard.

So, it is a country of suspicion. You have to belong to the right church or else!
A woman doing a man's job! Take her down!
And physicians do
Cheryl M-M
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Most periods in English history are darkened by either war, conflicts about the who sits on the throne, and of course religion. The Elizabethan era is no exception, and is defined not only by the strong female monarch, but also by the religious friction caused by Henry VIII and his merry-go-round of wives and mistresses.

Heresy is a felony, and there are plenty of people willing to whisper in the ears of the authorities to rid themselves of someone they dislike or feel slighted by. A dangerous ti
Melanie (Mel's Bookland Adventures)
Tudor fiction set at the end of Elizabeth I reign. A good read and shall certainly pick up the next in the series.
Between The Pages Book Club (Gemma M)
WOW. Where do I start? Such a beautiful cover. Well I must start by admitting if I was to see this in a shop I probably wouldn’t have picked it up as it’s not what I usually read… HOWEVER, I am so so glad I got the chance to read this story cause it was bloody brilliant. I was shocked at how much I loved and enjoyed this book. I devoured it in two days and had a late night as I just had to finish it.

I was blown away to find that this was the authors debut as it was perfect! The story was told br
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
As a time period, Elizabethan England is a perfect setting for a historical mystery.
For a country that’s riddled with suspicion through religion and plots, and constantly feels threatened by invasion, it easily conveys a sense of those who are ignored and seen as vermin of society just because they’re poor or deformed or any number of other reasons to be forgotten about or ill treated.

For Nicholas Shelby, the truth of the country he lives in is brought to his attention by the little boy used fo
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent historical fiction. Not centered totally around Elizabeth so not just another Tudor novel.
Karen Mace
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a debut! I found this to be an engrossing and chilling historical read, that brings Elizabethan London to life in stunning fashion, and allows a fascinating period of history to be looked at in a very different way.

At the heart of the story is Nicholas Shelby, a phsyician who tends to think outside the box, becomes fascinated by a mark he spots on the body of a young boy washed up on the side of the Thames. Where others dismiss the death of a poor boy as an accident he is convinced there is
Jo Barton
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When young physician, Nicholas Shelby attends the autopsy of a young child who has been dragged from the Thames, he notices a sinister mark on the child’s body which, it would appear, isn’t of interest to anyone but him. Convinced that there’s something about the child’s death which isn’t quite right makes Nicholas all the more determined to find out what is happening to the weak and destitute of the great Elizabethan city of London.

Grief stricken by a personal tragedy, Nicholas, is set on the
Anne Brown
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Rich in historical detail that really bring Elizabethan England to life, The Angel’s Mark is an excellent historical thriller. Bodies of vagrants and people with afflictions of the body and mind are being washed up from the river Thames. No one is interested even when a young doctor notices the same unusual marks on the bodies, pointing to murder. These are throw aways so why waste time on them, especially when the young doctor in question has a reputation for drunkenness, madness even, after th ...more
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a well plotted Elizabethan "detective" thriller.

Nicholas Selby wonders about the marks he sees on a dead body during an autopsy. His interest is further heightened when another body is pulled from the river with the same marks. Will anyone listen to what he has to say or will they disregard him as his life crumbles around him?

I really enjoyed this book. It is a bit different from the run of the mill. Nicholas Selby is a physician with a general practice, a wife and a baby on the way. Con
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A vivid and engrossing historical novel

I do not usually read historical fiction but the description for The Angel's Mark sounded interesting so I thought I would give it a try.

The Angel's Mark had me hooked from the start and flowed effortlessly from chapter to chapter. It is clear that the author spent a considerable amount of time researching life in Elizabethan London prior to writing this novel and he manages to present his findings in a clear, readable and realistic way. The book is wonderf
wendi wigham
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A Physician's Tale

Having aleays had a strong interest in this period of history, this book was 'right up my street'.
Well written as a fiction novel, it is well researched & provides an insight into this period using recordedobservations of this period.
It never ceases to amaze me, how similar in many ways both Elizabethan periods are. Full of discovers in science, travels to unexplored lands - though most of them involve space travel in our Elizabethan age. Will there be another age of discov
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In Times Long Gone

This is not usually the type of book I pick to read but I am so very glad I have, its brilliant.
It was the cover that first attracted me just called out "look this is interesting".
It is a "who done it" that leaves you guessing right up to the last few pages.
So interesting as the author puts in so many interesting facts on how life was lived in London in 1590.
It is so skillfully written.
I loved the authors style of writing, its dramatic and gripping and I found it a book
Angela L
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I struggled initially with the writing style on his story which almost felt too "third party" at times and flipped to and fro between characters. Once I got familiar though and the story progressed it became quite the gripping tale.
Someone is murdering the weak - targeting the vulnerable and throwing their bodies into the Thames. It's only physician Nicholas Shelby who notices a strange mark on the bodies and realises a connection.
A terrible personal loss leaves him devastated and almost destitu
Sep 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is S. W. Perry’s debut novel about 1590 London. Unfortunately the first third of the book is very heavy going but if you can force yourself to read that far the rest is a lot better. I think there’s too much scene setting and explanation but not enough action to keep you interested. The plot is inventive and the characters eventually well rounded enough for you to care what happens.
The plot is based on idealistic physician Nicholas Shelby who lost his wife and child in childbirth and lost h
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018
I only got halfway through this one before giving up on it. It was very slow and the mystery didn't grab me at all.

However, the writing was very literary and the characters did capture my heart. The feel of the book was very bleak, which to me is a sign of strong writing, as you really felt a part of those historical, hard times. The detail was amazing and the book was clearly well-researched. It just needed a little work on plot.

It's a shame this didn't work for me, as the Tudor times are on
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a brilliant book!
Nicholas Shelby is a doctor who becomes embroiled in an investigation of several murders. The bodies have been severely mutilated and have an inverted cross cut into them.
Shelby writes to John Lumley, asking to discuss medical procedures with him. However, what Shelby really wants is to ask Lumley if he knows anything about the bodies.
Robert Cecil coerces Dr Shelby into going to Nonsuch to get evidence of Roman Catholicism, against John Lumley and his household. During his
Margaret McCallin
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A Tour de Force

Absolutely gripping! An extraordinary new take on the historical novel. There is so much to learn from this book, and paths to follow to build on the author's careful research. Modern medicine would do well if the skills and knowledge of the herbalists was better appreciated. I will be 'googling' happily and adding new plants to my garden - literally and metaphorically. Thank you, Mr Perry!
Donna Maguire

I absolutely LOVED this book - it was everything that I look for in a historical fiction story!! It has fantastic characters, the scene setting was fabulous and I loved how the author transported me back to London in the 1590s.

I really enjoyed the plot and I thought that the writing style for the book was spot on. It flowed so well and I didn't put the book down, reading it all in an evening - I was completely addicted to it and it made me remember why I l
Mr Mark Byrne
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Superbly around researched. Captivating from first to last, definitely one for Shardlake fans!

Superb! A thrilling read with twists and plots, all with exceptional historical relationship albeit a work of fiction. Highly recommend
Unseen Library
Oct 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of The Angel's Mark from Allen & Unwin Australia to review.

I did a short review of this book in the Canberra Weekly.

Click link for full review:

Or visit my blog at:
Paul barter
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Bo detail. Enjoyable plot and very descriptive portrayal of life in London added to my enjoyment.

Enjoyable plot and very descriptive portrayal of life in London. .A beautifully written novel that spared nothing with its attention to detail, all of which added to my enjoyment.
Mrs C E M Hicks
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Angels Mark

I didn’t know whether I would get on with this book, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Elizabethan England at its worst & best. Well written, a really good story which kept me turning the page, plus learning new facts about that era.
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S. W. Perry was a journalist and broadcaster before retraining as an airline pilot. He lives in Worcestershire, England with his wife.

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