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A Tip for the Hangman

Best Seller
A Tip for the Hangman by Allison Epstein
Hardcover $26.95
Feb 09, 2021 | ISBN 9780385546713

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  • Feb 09, 2021 | ISBN 9780385546713

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“Epstein presents Marlowe as supremely capable, something of a trickster, a consummate liar, a fiendish lover – and someone capable of murder . . . The suspense is palpable, as is the sense of doom, as Marlowe finds himself in thrall to a devil’s bargain.”
–The New York Times Book Review

“Allison Epstein pens a vivid, unforgettable hero in Kit Marlowe, Elizabethan playwright-turned-spy always sprinting one step ahead of disaster and talking a blue streak as he does so. Recruited by Elizabeth I’s spymaster to infiltrate the cabal of Mary Queen of Scots, Kit finds his conscience tested to the limit even as his heart yearns for an unattainable beloved. A Tip for the Hangman is simultaneously moving, unsettling, hilarious, and tragic–a debut that will linger long after the last page is turned.”
–Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network

“[Epstein’s] fizzy debut is a Tudor espionage tale, set among spies close to Mary, Queen of Scots. One of them is Christopher Marlowe, whose spy work bankrolls a rather promising theater career. It’s more of a clever Netflix binge than a Hilary Mantel historical masterpiece — and that’s perfectly fine.”
–The Chicago Tribune, 25 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2021

“In Epstein’s fun, irreverent debut, [Christopher Marlowe] takes center stage in a spy thriller. The real Marlowe’s plays were incredibly popular in his time, due to his use of exciting plot twists and lots of murder. Epstein presents Marlowe’s story here as the playwright may have told it himself: full of adventure, fun . . . and murder.”

“Epstein’s debut is a clever concoction of genres, with a generous helping of historical fiction, espionage, class critique, and theatrical flair. . . Epstein vividly conjures up the world of Elizabethan theater, building off details of the scene’s wild history, and adds on top a genuinely compelling spy story, creating an exuberant, irreverent romp through literary history.
–Crime Reads

“Stunning. With wit and humor, Epstein expertly weaves in authentic social, political and religious details, creating a compelling and evocative story that soars. Fans of thrilling historical fiction will be highly engaged by this fast-paced read.”
–Susanna Calkins, author of the award-winning Lucy Campion historical mysteries

“Debut author Allison Epstein delivers an absolute tour de force. This masterfully researched, beautifully written novel takes the reader inside the spy networks, taverns, theatres, and halls of power of Tudor England, with the irreverent Christopher Marlowe as our guide. Epstein is a talent to watch!”
–Alyssa Palombo, author of The Borgia Confessions

“Allison Epstein’s imaginative take on Christopher Marlowe is virtuoso on many levels. Her London is perfectly rendered in all its pungence and pageantry. But the double-crossing, the moral ambiguity, and the bloodlust all give fresh legs to a literary mystery that has as much Philip as Kit Marlowe in it.”
–Lee Irby, author of Unreliable

“Epstein’s diverting debut gallivants through Elizabethan England . . . a fun escapade.”
–Publishers Weekly

“[T]hrilling and romantic . . . Epstein successfully evokes both the beauty and the brutality of 16th-century England.”
–Historical Novel Society

“Anyone who likes Elizabethan bad boys, theater, spies, high intrigue, suspense, and sex is going to be delighted by A Tip for the Hangman. The writing goes down like a pint of good ale on a hot day and the characters are excellent company to enjoy it with. Christopher Marlowe himself would have loved it. I certainly did.”
–Delia Sherman, author of The Porcelain Dove

“The Christopher Marlowe book we’ve been waiting for! Here is the sexy, witty, self-destructive genius who can’t stay out of trouble, blazing through an Elizabethan period that comes vividly to life in Epstein’s well-researched novel. Epstein’s sentences shine, with nothing fussy or ‘Ye Olde’ about them. More than once I was stopped dead by a sentence that nailed me in my tracks with its insight and clarity.”
–Ellen Kushner, author of Swordspoint

“A historical thriller filled with spies, royal secrets, and deadly intrigue.”
–The Young Folks

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