book cover of A Tip for the Hangman
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A Tip for the Hangman

(2021)
A novel by

 
 
An Elizabethan espionage thriller in which playwright Christopher Marlowe spies on Mary, Queen of Scots while navigating the perils of politics, theater, romance—and murder.

England, 1585. In Kit Marlowe's last year at Cambridge, he is approached by Queen Elizabeth's spymaster offering an unorthodox career opportunity: going undercover to intercept a Catholic plot to put Mary, Queen of Scots on Elizabeth's throne. Spying on Queen Mary turns out to be more than Kit bargained for, but his salary allows him to mount his first play, and over the following years he becomes the toast of London's raucous theater scene. But when Kit finds himself reluctantly drawn back into the world of espionage and treason, he realizes everything he's worked so hard to attain—including the trust of the man he loves—could vanish in an instant.
 
Pairing modern language with period detail, Allison Epstein brings Elizabeth's lavish court, Marlowe's colorful theater troupe, and the squalor of sixteenth-century London to vivid, teeming life. At the center of the action is Kit himself—an irrepressible, irreverent force of nature.


Genre: Historical Mystery

Praise for this book

"Stunning. With wit and humor, Epstein expertly weaves in authentic social, political and religious details, creating a compelling and evocative story that soars. Fans of thrilling historical fiction will be highly engaged by this fast-paced read." - Susanna Calkins

"Allison Epstein's imaginative take on Christopher Marlowe is virtuoso on many levels. Her London is perfectly rendered in all its pungence and pageantry. But the double-crossing, the moral ambiguity, and the bloodlust all give fresh legs to a literary mystery that has as much Philip as Kit Marlowe in it." - Lee Irby

"The Christopher Marlowe book we’ve been waiting for! Here is the sexy, witty, self-destructive genius who can’t stay out of trouble, blazing through an Elizabethan period that comes vividly to life in Epstein's well-researched novel. Epstein's sentences shine, with nothing fussy or ‘Ye Olde’ about them. More than once I was stopped dead by a sentence that nailed me in my tracks with its insight and clarity." - Ellen Kushner

"Debut author Allison Epstein delivers an absolute tour de force. This masterfully researched, beautifully written novel takes the reader inside the spy networks, taverns, theatres, and halls of power of Tudor England, with the irreverent Christopher Marlowe as our guide. Epstein is a talent to watch!" - Alyssa Palombo

"Allison Epstein pens a vivid, unforgettable hero in Kit Marlowe, Elizabethan playwright-turned-spy always sprinting one step ahead of disaster and talking a blue streak as he does so. Recruited by Elizabeth I's spymaster to infiltrate the cabal of Mary Queen of Scots, Kit finds his conscience tested to the limit even as his heart yearns for an unattainable beloved. A Tip for the Hangman is simultaneously moving, unsettling, hilarious, and tragic--a debut that will linger long after the last page is turned." - Kate Quinn

"Anyone who likes Elizabethan bad boys, theater, spies, high intrigue, suspense, and sex is going to be delighted by A Tip for the Hangman. The writing goes down like a pint of good ale on a hot day and the characters are excellent company to enjoy it with. Christopher Marlowe himself would have loved it. I certainly did." - Delia Sherman


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Used availability for Allison Epstein's A Tip for the Hangman

Hardback Editions

February 2021 : USA Hardback
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Title: A Tip for the Hangman: A Novel
Author(s): Allison Epstein
ISBN: 0-385-54671-8 / 978-0-385-54671-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Doubleday
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

January 2022 : USA Paperback
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Title: A Tip for the Hangman: A Novel
Author(s): Allison Epstein
ISBN: 0-593-31134-5 / 978-0-593-31134-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Anchor
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Audio Editions

February 2021 : USA Audio edition
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Title: A Tip for the Hangman: A Novel
Author(s): Allison Epstein
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon   


February 2021 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: A Tip for the Hangman: A Novel
Author(s): Allison Epstein
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

February 2021 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
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Title: A Tip for the Hangman: A Novel
Author(s): Allison Epstein
Publisher: Anchor
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA