Author(s): Charlie Lovett
A mysterious portrait ignites an antiquarian bookseller's search - through time and the works of Shakespeare - for his lost love. Guaranteed to capture the hearts of everyone who truly loves books, The Bookman's Tale is a former bookseller's sparkling novel and a delightful exploration of one of literature's most tantalising mysteries with echoes of Shadow of the Wind and A.S. Byatt's Possession. Hay-on-Wye, 1995. Peter Byerly isn't sure what drew him into this particular bookshop. Nine months earlier, the death of his beloved wife, Amanda, had left him shattered. The young antiquarian bookseller relocated from North Carolina to the English countryside, hoping to rediscover the joy he once took in collecting and restoring rare books. But upon opening an eighteenth-century study of Shakespeare forgeries, Peter is shocked when a portrait of Amanda tumbles out of its pages. Of course, it isn't really her. The watercolour is clearly Victorian. Yet the resemblance is uncanny, and Peter becomes obsessed with learning the picture's origins. As he follows the trail back first to the Victorian era and then to Shakespeare's time, Peter communes with Amanda's spirit, learns the truth about his own past, and discovers a book that might definitively prove Shakespeare was, indeed, the author of all his plays.
* Widespread review coverage in newspapers such as the Herald Sun, West Australian, Courier Mail, NZ Herald and Sunday Star Times * Review coverage expected in magazines such as the Australian Women's Weekly, NZ Listener, Next Magazine, Big Issue, Australian Bookseller & Publisher * Q&As in publications such as Good Reading magazine and Readings Monthly * Online interviews on sites such as The Hoopla, Booktopia and Sydney Writers' Centre * Early reading copies available to the trade * Light-wall advertising in major airports * Major advertising push and significant budget for bookseller catalogues * Banner advertising on bookseller websites * Feature title in Text newsletters and website * Promotions and giveaways with targeted subscriber groups
Long-listed for Barry Award 2014.
'A marvellous new Shakespearean mystery: an intelligent thriller that is also a love song for books and the people who relish them. Lovett knows his stuff about Shakespeare, rare books, and the passions that both inspire, and he weaves from these a delicious tale of love, loss, and the thrill of discovery... The only disappointment was that it came to an end.' Jennifer Lee Carrell, author of Interred with Their Bones 'With The Bookman's Tale, Charlie Lovett tells us a terrific story - there's mystery and suspense, murder and seduction - but more importantly, he shows us how it's all connected, all of this: the reading and the keeping and the sharing of books. It forms a chain long and strange enough to tie a heartbroken young scholar from North Carolina back to the Bard himself, who might or might not have been William Shakespeare. Every link along the way is a bookman's tale all its own, and Lovett tells them all, except the very last, of course: because that's you, about to read this book right now.' Robin Sloan, author of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore 'a gripping literary mystery that is compulsively readable until the thrilling end.' Library Journal 'Fans of mysteries, of love stories, and of rare books will all find moments in Lovett's novel to treasure.' Booklist
Charlie Lovett is a writer, teacher, and playwright whose plays for children have been seen in over 3000 productions worldwide. He served for more than a decade as writer-in-residence at Summit School in Winston-Salem, NC. He is a former antiquarian bookseller, and he has collected rare books and other materials related to Lewis Carroll for more than 25 years. He and his wife, Janice, split their time between Winston-Salem and Kingham, Oxfordshire.