When the deathly horrors of the Black Plague decimate the audiences in London’s theatres, the acclaimed troupe of players called Lord Westfield’s Men take to the high road to seek out fresh audiences. But wherever they go, they are thwarted by misfortune, and are baffled by mysteries. Their scripts are stolen, their players abducted. A dead man walks, and a beautiful woman hears the voice of God. Only one man is clever enough to match swords with the troupe’s burgeoning troubles. Upon Nicholas Bracewell falls the burden that may cost him his life - as they head for an ancient inn called The Trip to Jerusalem, where the last act of a bloody drama is about to begin.…
The Trip to Jerusalem owes something to The Canterbury Tales; and as such, isn’t a bad yarn. But it purports to be a Who-dun-it, and that it doesn’t achieve satisfactory.
“Only one man is clever enough to match swords with the troupe’s burgeoning troubles.” offers so much … but it doesn’t fulfill the tease.
Nicholas Bracewell is an interesting main character, but the writing never imbues his actions with enough prominence that he takes centre stage. He seems more one of the players than the lead actor.
This seems to be the first of a series based on the setting and Nicholas Bracewell as detective. The story is self contained and entertaining enough if you are after a lite read that doesn’t require too much attention.
Andrew Wincott does a good job with the players’ different voices. Maybe his even pace is a little too Canterbury and erodes some of the "drama" and "pace", but he is good to listen to.
The context, Elizabethan England and the time of the blossoming of theater that lead the world, is very well represented with a real transference from now to those days with excellent writing of detail; just enough, not too much.
If you wish a lite listen where nothing intellectually demanding is required, this will pass the time sufficiently well.