A Plague on Both Your Houses (Oliver Wade #3), by David Field

Eight stars

Reaching for the latest piece by David Field, I was taken back to post-Elizabethan England, where Oliver Wade finds himself in yet another adventure. James I is the new King of England, seeking to rid the country of any Catholic remnants. While many embrace this, there is a core who remain put out by those who would seek to dilute the ‘true faith’. As whispers grow, Oliver Wade is asked by Robert Cecil, the king’s Head of Government, to uncover any plots and report back. Under the guise of a travelling dramatic troupe, Wade and his group discover that a terror plot exists, whereby the House of Lords will be blown up during the State Opening of Parliament, when James I is to be in attendance. With Guido ‘Guy’ Fawkes in charge of the explosives, Wade learns the intricacies of the plot, which includes a major act that is sure to kill all those close to the act of terror. Armed with news that could save the king and keep a Catholic monarchs from ascending to the throne, Wade must decide if it is worth his interference, as he is happy remaining out of the limelight. England could forever change as both religious groups vie for power. A wonderful piece of historical fiction that is sure to entertain. Recommended for those who love pieces from times long past, as well as the reader who is familiar and enjoys the work of David Field.

I have always found something interesting in the work of David Field, as he entertains and educates in equal measure. This story, purported to be the final the Oliver Wade series, offers the reader some of the most exciting plots yet. Filled with history and an England on the brink of change, the reader can see how the country remained shaky in this post-Tudor era. Oliver Wade remains an interesting, if quiet, protagonist. Enjoying his life writing plays and entertaining an audience, he seems always to be pulled into the middle of something special. His unassuming character sees him be the confidant of many, which makes his spy work all the more effective. Others find their place in this story and keep the plot on point, as the action heats up. England is on the brink of major upheaval and both sides are ready to claim victory. The story that Field shares is both historically on point and full of wonderful fictional shades, which keeps the reader enthralled as they make their way through this short piece. One can only hope that Field will have more to write about years past, filled with aspects of fact and a peppering of fiction.

Kudos, Mr. Field, for another winner. I can only hope others find these stories as interesting while learning about important times in English history.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons

The Game’s Afoot (Oliver Wade #2), by David Field

Eight stars

David Field delivers the second of his new three-novella series, dealing with the early rule of James I (or IV, depending on how you view history). The story picks up just after the debut novella ended, with the first plot against the king foiled and those responsible preparing for execution. A new plan emerges to remove the king and replace him with a Catholic sympathizer. The king’s Master Secretary, Sir Robert Cecil, is eager to quell all the issues and turns to William Wade. A promise by Cecil to Wade includes a high-ranking position at the Tower of London, turning the former soldier towards this powerful man. Meanwhile, William’s son, Oliver, is back to writing and staging his own plays. When Oliver is approached to assist with an investigation into the death of Christopher Marlowe, he reluctantly agrees. It would seem there is more to the story than a simple tavern brawl, but perhaps some out of place sympathies that needed snuffing out before they could be shared with a larger audience. When the two Wades learn that their investigations are linked, they work together to foil the plot to overthrow the king and round-up the usurpers. Cecil surely has his fingers in many pies and his power is only becoming more concentrated with the monarch refusing to tend to England’s daily needs. When truths come to light, the Wades discover that there is no middle ground in the battle, where everyone will have to choose a side, or die for their indecision. Field does well in this second novella, continuing his ability to pull the reader in with history and fiction linked arm in arm. Recommended to those who love much of David Field’s work, as well as the reader who enjoys all things historical.

David Field continues to impress me with all his writing, much of which takes me back into English time periods that are full of history and thrills. The reader is able to discover so much, as Field is detailed and entertaining in equal measure. Oliver Wade returns as an intriguing character, still wanting to focus his life on all things related to the stage. However, he seems to get pulled into the middle of yet another mystery. His reclusiveness is apparent throughout, though this likely comes from living in the shadows of his father, William. The chemistry between the Wade men is apparent from the start, forcing them to work together even as the elder cannot understand Oliver’s need to live in the world of the arts. They are able to forge a connection and see that they are both operatives from the cunning and deceptive, Sir Robert Cecil. There remains an interesting chemistry between Cecil and those working under him. Using the impetus of keeping England safe, Cecil forges a split between friend and foe, with little middle ground. It will be interesting to see how Field resolves this in the final novella, which is sure to prove highly entertaining and full of history. Field does well with this piece, highlighting some events in English history while also finding a fictional thread to keep the reader turning pages. Short chapters, full of information, keep the reader wanting to know more as they trudge forwards. There is little room to breathe, as the action is ongoing and the reader cannot help but want to know more. Field is a master and I can only hope he’ll keep producing pieces of such interest to me.

Kudos, Mr. Field, for keeping the caliber of your writing high and the topics of interest to many. Where you will take us next, I can only imagine.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons