Forge, Dec 2000, 22.95, 240 pp.
On his way to London to become an actor, Symington “Tuck” Smythe has been accosted three times by highwaymen, but no one succeeded in robbing him since he had no money. On the fourth attempt Black Billy believes Tuck' statement of nothing to rob and flips the traveler a silver crown so he can have a bite to eat and a room in the nearby Haw and Mouse Inn. However, no rooms are available, but a guest short on funds, Will Shakespeare, offers to share a bed with Simon in exchange for sharing the cost. Tuck agrees.
Tuck and Will learn each wants to work in the theater. They agree to journey together in search of fame and a lot of cash. However, neither one expected to become targets of killers who mistakenly identify Will as someone else all because Tuck wanted to help Elizabeth Darcie avoid an unwanted marriage.
A MYSTERY OF ERRORS is an amusing historical mystery that willingly shakes a spear at the exorbitances of the Elizabethan drama. The story line is fun, never loses its step (except when Tuck performs), and makes its cast seem genuinely sixteenth century. Simon Hawke has begun a new series that will bring pleasure to those who enjoy a satirical look at heroism and a few tucks at the historical famous.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner