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Quality Of Mercy [Mass Market Paperback]

Faye Kellerman
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Mass Market Paperback, Jan. 17 2002 --  
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Book Description

Jan. 17 2002
Rebecca Lopez enjoys a life of privilege in Elizabeth's England -- yet she guards secrets she dares not reveal. The beautiful, tempestuous daughter of the queen's own physician, Rebecca is also a converso -- a Jew who practices her prohibited religion clandestinely -- helping others of her banned faith escape persecution and death. And her insatiable hunger for excitement often takes her to the bustling streets of London in male garb to experience the kind of adventure available only to men. But one such outing is leading her into a dangerous viper's nest built of intrigue and foul murder in the company of a dashing young actor who inflames her romantic passions, even as he escorts her toward peril, a charming and fearless would-be playwright who calls himself Will Shakespeare.


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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Kellerman's ( Sacred and Profane ) first departure from her series featuring Detective Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus is a tour de force that shouldn't be missed. The story is brilliantly original and breathtaking in its scope. The beautiful and intelligent heroine, Rebecca Lopez, and her family are conversos : Spanish Jews, posing as Anglicans in Elizabethan England, who practice their faith in secret. Rebecca's father, Roderigo, the queen's personal physician, leads a clandestine movement committed to smuggling Jews out of Spain. Rebecca's betrothed has just died during a mission and, though she mourns him, she yearns to be independent, to remain unmarried. Meanwhile, the young actor-playwright William Shakespeare is seeking revenge for the murder of his mentor, Harry Whitman. He decides to retrace his friend's last days in hopes of discovering clues to the killer's identity. Intent on different endeavors, Will and Rebecca eventually cross paths, changing their lives forever. Deft characterization and dazzling prose evoke the ambiance of the period. More than just a mystery, the novel is a spectacular epic--romantic, bawdy, witty and abounding with adventure. It's a stellar performance.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Rebecca Lopez and William Shakespeare first encounter each other in a London graveyard where she is burying her betrothed and he his mentor and best friend. Their paths cross again as they seek to avenge these untimely deaths, she joining in her family's mission to rescue fellow Jews from the Spanish Inquisition, he searching for the murderer among London's criminals. Shakepeare offers excitement and intellectual stimulation to the brilliant, adventurous Rebecca, stifled by the restricted life of an Elizabethan woman, but political and religious events overtake them and doom the relationship. Lack of development in both plot and characters renders many events gratuitous and makes the characters seem one dimensional. For avid historical fiction buffs only. Kellerman is the author of two well-received mysteries, The Ritual Bath (LJ 5/1/86) and Sacred and Profane (LJ 6/1/87) . -- Cynthia Johnson Whealler, Cary Memorial Lib., Lexington, Mass.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Quality Read Feb. 21 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
An excellent read! Kellerman's detective novels are good, but I think perhaps she has found her true calling in historical fiction. The Quality of Mercy is a fast-paced, enthralling, and diverse novel, switching easily from adventure to intrigue to romance and back again. The characters are absorbing; likable yet very human. By the time the reader has finished following Shakespeare, Rebecca, and co. through their myriad adventures, which follow such timeless themes as fighting, gambling, crossdressing, and prostitution, he will wonder where the six hundred pages have gone. Nothing, though, will prepare him for the cold shock of the ending, which is excellent, but will bring all but the most stoic individuals to tears. This book is highly recommended to anyone with an interest in Faye Kellerman, Shakespeare, Judaism, or historical fiction.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great concept, enjoyable read, a bit too long Oct. 6 1999
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Kellerman has written an enjoyable mystery featuring a young detective named...Will Shakespeare? Yes, it's a surprising adventure with a young Will searching for his mentor's killer, and romancing a lovely young lady named Rebecca Lopez who has problems of her own (she's a secret Jew, in hiding from the Inquisition). You may also notice some interesting similarities to the film "Shakespeare in Love" and Kellerman's book came first!
While it's a good read, the book does go on a tad too long (a sometime failing of Kellerman's), and the revelation of the killer seems a bit tacked on, as Rebecca's story takes center stage late in the book. Still, this is a very entertaining novel, and well worth a look.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A rolicking Shakespearean mystery Dec 28 1996
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Imagine the detective/protagonist is none other than William
Shakespeare, the poet and playwrite! This story is set in
the the time of the first Queen Elizabeth, the late 1500's. It
combines a murder of Shakespeare's good friend and mentor with
a love story complicated by the religious intolerance of the
day. The heroine is a Jewess whose family harks from Spain and
whose father is a physician to the Queen. The novel romps all
over England, the high seas and Spain. It may sound an
unlikely combination of circumstances and people, but the story
is so well written and so much fun that it is impossible to
put down--and at the same time makes one sorry to see it come
to a close. Great reading!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating reading experience.... May 5 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
While I enjoyed the plot -- I did not care for Faye Kellerman's delivery. Now don't get me wrong - I love a good mystery, good historical fiction, and a good romance, but this book just didn't deliver. Ms. Kellerman's dialogue between our lovers was often overkill and would go on for pages and seemed rather unrealistic. There was no warmth between the characters. I was intrigued enough to get to the end of the story - but the who-done-it answer made me feel like I had wasted a lot of energy looking for the killer in the book. Just a frustrating experience.
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book really held my attention. It was a wonderful combination of romance (William Shakespeare and the wonderful Rebecca), history (yes, many of the details of the story are true), adventure (a swashbuckling fight on the high seas), and mystery (Shakespeare is trying to avenge the unsolved murder of his best friend). Shakespeare came so alive for me that I longed to meet him while reading this book and for some time afterwards. Not many books make me cry, but I did at the end of this one. I won't tell you the ending, but it inspired true emotion in me
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2.0 out of 5 stars fiction can be misleading Nov. 22 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Although Literature is fiction, and bearing that fact in mind, I would like to say that Roderigo Lopez (1525-1594) existed (in flesh and bone) and was a physician to Queen Elizabeth I. He was killed under dubious circumstances, after being charged of trying to poison the Queen. NEVERTHELESS, the Doctor was a PORTUGUESE Jew and not Spanish as the novel (eventhough fiction) says or imagines he was. I think History students and readers in general should bear that in mind. Enjoy your reading.
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book was a great disappointment to me. I really like her contemporary mysteries. The speech of the characters was a mixture of fake 16th century and anachronistic 20th century language, i.e. "attention span". The events that befell them were totally unrealistic and were rather like the "Perils of Pauline". Lots or gratuitous sex and violence. It was a total strain on my credibility. Don't waste your money or your time.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Graphic yet compelling
I was so engrossed in this book, I couldn't put it down. I found Rebecca's storyline particularly interesting, Shaespeare's, not so much. Read more
Published on Sept. 9 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars RE: Review by 12 year old Portuguese reader
To correct this readers review, the book states the Lopez family IS Portuguese, and not Spanish -- Page 220 in hardcover.
Published on Dec 10 2002
3.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment
I found this book to be very dark, with scenes of torture and rape. While she might have been attempting to show the position of women in this society, it could have been done in a... Read more
Published on March 4 2002 by K. E Hart
1.0 out of 5 stars Too many historical errors
Queen Elisabeth I was not a lesbian. Enough said.
Published on Nov. 25 2000 by D. E. W. Turner
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not amazing
My best friend and I had to read this book for school (we all had to team up and read a book set in the middle ages) I am completely sure that if my teachers had read this book... Read more
Published on June 2 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED IT, LOVED IT, LOVED IT
I am unable to write just how much I enjoyed and have recommended this book to others.
Faye Kellerman would do well to write another historically based book. Read more
Published on May 15 1998
5.0 out of 5 stars Since reading his poems, I'v wanted to kiss Shakespeare
Faye Kellerman knows her Shakespeare and brings alive every emotion his poems and plays ever stirred! As a historical mystery it's fantastic! As a historical novel it's great. Read more
Published on May 12 1997
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