"In this riotous fifth novel...the tragedies being performed onstage pale in comparison to all the blood and thunder offstage." -The Washington Post Book World Though the lusty star of Lord Westfield's Men, Laurence Firethorn, is always ripe for seducing women bewitched by his art, the vicious rivalry that disrupts the acting troupe erupts between two other players. Owen Elias is a surly, envious Welshman, while Sebastian Carrick is an amiable and attractive gentleman. Their onstage duels become ever more realistic, but it is an axe that splits open Sebastian's head one night in a Clerkenwell alley. Company book holder Nicholas Bracewell, accustomed to damage control, begins to investigate the victim's death and learns that in life, he was prone to make enemies from his weakness for women and his willingness to welch on debts. A web of deception has in fact been spun that stretches from lowly to high ranking courtesans, all the way to the Virgin Queen. And what of the horse Nimbus, promised to perform Pegasus-like at the very top of St. Paul's Church? Edward Marston, under his real name, was raised in Wales and went on to study modern history at Oxford. He has been a university lecturer, radio, television, and theatre dramatist, and in addition to writing has worked as an actor, director, and dramatist. His Elizabethan novel, The Roaring Boy, was a 1996 Edgar Allan Poe Award nominee for best novel. He lives in Kent.