Double, Double is a literary mystery in which the murder of a prominent scholar during a performance of Macbeth draws police investigators directly into the smoke-and-mirrors world of the Authorship Controversy—the debate over who really wrote the plays attributed to Shakespeare.
On the day following the murder, scholars on both sides of the controversy were to have advanced their cases in a high-profile public debate. The murdered professor had given to know, however, that he had found the “smoking gun” that would clear up the matter once and for all—damaging the careers, purses and romantic aspirations of his opponents, who staked all of the above on the claim that Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, was the real author of the plays.
Detective Superintendent Ian Stokes now has exactly the case he never wanted. His relationship to academia is tensely loaded: his parents are both professors at Oxford University. Determined to find the murderer but bristling at the academic catfight, he reluctantly asks his mother’s help in uncovering Thompson’s secret. Their parallel investigations, criminal and academic, lead each of them independently toward the killer, but also back into the past, to the breakdown of their relationship many years before.
The novel is set in Stratford-upon-Avon in 2006. The exposition of the historical Shakespeare/de Vere controversy, on whose resolution the case seems to hang, is interwoven with the contemporary murder mystery.
Two mysteries in one: a Whodunnit—who was the murderer? And a Whowroteit—who wrote Shakespeare’s plays?
Prominent professors will stop at nothing—was Shakespeare Shakespeare, or was he the Earl of Oxford? The detective couldn’t give a damn—he wants the guilty party. But he’ll only find the murderer if he finds out the real Shakespeare. Murderer Macbeth stalks about as well. To say nothing of the witches.
A gripping conjunction of two “cases”—as if it were a murder mystery by Shakespeare. He would read it with delight.
—Frank Günther, German translator of the complete works of Shakespeare.
Foto © Werner Geiger
Foto © Werner Geiger
Kommode Press. March, 2019 (in German).
Interested English publishers are invited to contact the Kommode Press.