The Counterfeit Crank Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Counterfeit Crank

St. Martin's, August 2004, 3.95, 288 pp.
ISBN 0312319495

In Elizabethan England the acting troupe of Westfield's Men is having their share of woes. Playwright Edmund Hoode has taken ill and it is up to his protégée Michael Grammaticus to finish the new play the actors are to perform. Michael is so grateful to his mentor for his support that he pays for the doctor and the special food he prescribes. A card player Alexander Marwood entices some of Westfield's Men into a game of cards with him. More times than not he is the winner, but there is no evidence that he is cheating but bookholder Nicholas Bracewell has his suspicions.
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Someone steals their best costumes; nobody has a clue who is behind the thefts. Two young beggars who Nicholas befriended end up at Bridewell's workhouse where Dorothea is raped before she is released and her best friend Hywell is killed for his righteous attempt to hunt down the people who run the workhouse. Nicholas is determined to bring those responsible for the boy's death to justice as well as a couple of thieves who thought Westfield's Men were easy pickings.

Readers get a taste what it was like for actors who have the backing of a lord in Elizabethan England. Nicholas Bracewell is more heroic than usual as he tries to right many wrongs by bringing thieves and killers to justice. THE COUNTERFEIT CRANK is an exciting historical mystery and readers will be delighted to become reacquainted with characters they have come to regard as friends as it is always a treat to read about the endearing Westfield's Men.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Counterfeit Crank

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) Time/era of story:    -   ancient england/scotland Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book The crook is....    -   stalking/killing innocents Any non-mystery subplot?    -   rapes Crime Thriller    -   Yes Is MAIN CHARACTER an EVIL criminal?    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   actor Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   British


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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