Item description for Thirteenth Night (Fools' Guild Mysteries) by Alan Gordon...
Orsino is dead. Feste, a top operative of the Fools' Guild, returns to Illyria in disguise to investigate in this sequel to Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. This Mystery Company edition restores to print the 1999 novel that marked the debut of Alan Gordon and his Fools' Guild series.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 4.75" Height: 7.25" Weight: 0.5 lbs.
Release Date Jun 1, 2004
Publisher The Mystery Company
ISBN 1932325034 ISBN13 9781932325034
Availability 0 units.
More About Alan Gordon
Alan Gordon is a lawyer working with the Legal Aid Society. He is the author of one previous novel, "Thirteenth Night," and several short stories which have appeared in "Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine," among others. He lives with his family in Queens, New York.
Reviews - What do customers think about Thirteenth Night (Fools' Guild Mysteries)?
Historical mystery at its finest Jun 5, 2008
If you love history, mystery and a dash of humor with intrigue, you will enjoy the Fool's Guild Mystery series. This is the first I've read and have ordered several others, starting with number one. Enjoy the subtle references to Shakespeare's 12th Night, and stay hooked 'til its satisfying end without 'deus ex machina' to make everything work out. A great romp into the past with engaging characters and a flair for fun.
A delightful series debut Jan 9, 2008
First Sentence: We were gathered in the tavern to taste the new beer.
It's December 1200 and Feste, the jester, is at a tavern near the Fools' Guildhall when he receives a message at "Orsino is dead." Although a play by Shakespeare, "The Twelfth Night," relates the events somewhat differently, Feste had been in the town of Orsino 15 years earlier. Then, he disrupted the plans of Malvolio, a Saladian agent, who swore revenge. Now the Duke of Orsino is dead and Feste suspects Malvolio has returned. Feste is on this way to Orsino to stop him again.
"Brush up your Shakespeare..." Although it's not essential, it does help a bit if you are familiar with the plot of "Twelfth Night" and a bit of the history of 13th Italy. Even so, Gordon has created a cleverly, and delightfully plotted story. The language and dialogue are a joy to read. The character of Feste is fascinating. Who ever thought about the fools in history? I like that he's not a young man, but more mature with a history which gives him wonderful dimension. The supporting characters are real and interesting. This is a wonderfully inventive book and I didn't see the twist coming. I'm definitely reading more in this series.
Gordon weaves us a great tale about the secret and serious life of a fool! Mar 22, 2007
When William Shakespeare was writing plays for the Globe Theater, he often used existing stories as the foundation for his plays. Using an existing story has the advantage that many people already know and like the characters and are familiar with the basic plot. So it seems appropriate that Gordon has chosen to piggy-back his book onto Shakespeare's play Twelfth Night.
Thirteenth Night basically picks up the characters of Twelfth Night fifteen years later. For those of you who have forgotten, Twelfth Night was about a young brother and sister who are shipwrecked at Orsino, separated, find love, are reunited, and thwart the power hungry Malvolio. Gordon's story presents us with a slightly different picture of events - these incidents didn't happen by accident, but were engineered by the fool Feste. Feste is a member of the Fool's Guild, a secret organization that seeks to subtly manipulate leaders and governments toward what it feels are more favorable outcomes.
Fifteen years later, a message finds Feste and the Fool's Guildhall informing him that the Duke of Orsino is dead and Feste is sure that Malvolio has come back for his revenge. Feste makes his way back to Orsino in disguise and tries to uncover determine if Malvolio is behind the Duke's death and, if so, determine his present identity among Feste's old friends in Orsino.
This book is a delightful blend of history, literature, supposition, and conspiracy. Gordon weaves us a great tale about the secret and serious life of a fool. The writing, characters, and setting are all good and tickle the imagination. And, of course, the fools provide the humor.
Favorite character? Feste, who doesn't juggle as well as he used to. Did I guess it? Most of it. Will I read another? Definitely.
Interesting variation on a theme Mar 15, 2007
I love the idea of a fool's guild. Fools had influence and one can imagine an attempt to control things using them.
The mystery was fairly transparent, but the tale was still an interesting and satisfying read.
A fun read for any historical mystery buff. Dec 5, 2002
_Thirteenth Night_ was a great, fun mystery read and I enjoyed it thoroughly. It's not a detective mystery in the purest sense, since the emphasis is not on clues and investigations but on character. In fact, the book's strongest point is its development of the sometimes one-dimensional characters of _Twelfth Night_ into believeable people. I did not always agree with Gordon's view of the characters; still, I enjoyed what he did with them.
The narrator Theophilus does not let us in on all his reasoning, and knowledge until the very end, when he lets the characters in on it as well. Without this knowledge, no reader could solve the mystery before Theophilus does. I find the withholding of information annoying, but it is a typical and traditional technique of the mystery genre (Conan Doyle does it). Still, this is not the book for readers who like to match their wits against those of fictional detectives.
I still recommend the book for an interesting and entertaining read.