Tom Falconer is in trouble. Pursued by the notorious criminal Ratsey, Tom soon finds himself alone and hungry on the streets of London. Luckily enough, the mysterious Dr. Mobius soon recruits Tom to play an important role in a play to be performed in front of Queen Elizabeth. Tom knows there�s something not right about Mobius, but he�s willing to take a risk in order to keep his neck out of Ratsey�s murderous hands. Little does Tom realize that Mobius�s dark secret will trap him in the middle of an international conspiracy, holding the fate of the English empire in his hands.
Gr 5-7-Finding himself in London when he fully expected to spend all of his days in Framlingham where he worked, or more precisely slaved, for Sebastian and Henrietta Slope, young Tom Falconer hardly knows what to make of the startling turn of events in his life. Taken from the Slopes' inn by a gentleman who is then murdered by the highwayman, Ratsey, Tom is now on his own. Befriended by a pickpocket, Moll Cutpurse, he decides he wants to be an actor. As luck would have it, no appropriate parts are available for him in Will Shakespeare's new play at the Rose Theatre, so he accepts work with the mysterious Dr. Mobius, whose play The Devil and His Boy is to be presented before Queen Elizabeth. The fast-paced plot quickly thickens. Tom finds himself pursued by Ratsey, warned of danger by a fellow actor, and caught up in political intrigue. Needless to say, when he lands in the lap of the queen while trying to save her life, Tom finds himself in more trouble than he ever thought possible. Horowitz paints his characters, or in some cases, caricatures, with broad strokes and keeps the melodramatic story moving at a rapid clip. There's no subtlety here, but it's a rollicking good tale that is mostly based on historical fact, or at least historical rumor.-Barbara Scotto, Michael Driscoll School, Brookline, MA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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December 31, 1997
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