December 28, 2008

Interred With Their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell

In Interred With Their Bones, author Jennifer Lee Carrell plunges you without delay into a suspenseful story revolving around Shakespeare and the burning of The Globe Theatre. In the present day Globe, Kate Stanley is directing soon to be premiered Hamlet when Rosalind Howard, her mentor not seen for many years, asks her to take a gift - an adventure, a secret - and follow when it leads…The Globe Theatre is on fire, the same day when The Globe Theatre burned in 1613 and Rosalind Howard is found dead within. 

I think Jennifer Lee Carrell must have done a mind-boggling amount of research, with the amount of knowledge and historical content of Shakespeare required within all of the details in the story. It would have been daunting to keep all the back-story organized. I did like that the story was convoluted with layer upon layer of plotlines, but reading was confusing and challenging at times, doubly so since the last time I had any familiarity with Shakespeare was in high school. The plot skipped from idea to idea a little to quickly for me, but those who have read any Shakespeare recently, especially Hamlet, would enjoy Interred With Their Bones and doubtless find the story progressing more smoothly than it did for me. 
I also liked the partitioning of the novel into Acts and historical Interludes. I found the shorter chapters particularly effective; giving you enough time to absorb what was just read before the story twisted and turned again. 
There are a limited amount of characters in the present day story, so with this being a suspense/murder mystery…you know at least one of the characters must be a murderer, otherwise the character is superfluous to the story. It wasn’t that difficult to figure out the whodunits but it was difficult determining motives. 
A couple of things that grated on my nerves were that Kate Stanley’s character has an abundance of thought but not an abundance of emotion, leaving me with little sense of who the character was until toward the very end of the book; I did not like the dichotomy that Kate is supposed to be intelligent but she cannot reason out who her killer is; And why have her kiss Ben and then Matthew kiss her? 
I did like the book a lot but I didn’t absolutely love it so I have to rate it 4.0. I am left with a lot of questions about Kate Stanley and will look out for the sequel released in 2009 “Haunt Me Still” (probably why the author held back so much detail on the character). Similar books are The Book of Air and Shadows by Michael Gruber and Ghostwalk by Rebecca Stott. Out of the three I would recommend Interred With Their Bones over the other two.
My Rating: 4.0 

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