Guarding Shakespeare by Quintin Peterson
Guarding Shakespeare by Quintin Peterson is a novella that follows Lt. Norman Blalock after he is made an offer he cannot refuse. He has dedicated twenty-five years of his life to The Folger Shakespeare Library, and has been passed up for promotion for the second time. A femme fatale and professional thief introduces Norman to a criminal fat cat. The collector offers Lt. Blalock a million dollars to steal an artifact from the museum’s vault. Not too long after, he is made a second offer, also for stealing something of value. Norman must choose between two more than generous offers, but he feels there is more to the story, and that he is being played for a fool.
The most beautiful part of Guarding Shakespeare is the immense amount of detail and history pertaining to The Folger Shakespeare Library, and Shakespeare’s own history, that Peterson weaves into this novella. When reading, you feel as though you’re standing in the library yourself, looking around at each room. The novella is a thriller, yet it offers exquisite detail and information that you will carry with you forever. The most interesting part of Peterson’s novella is that you never know what to expect from any of the characters. The fat cats offering millions of dollars for their respective items seem to have ulterior motives, but you are never sure what they are. The professional thief that acted as liaison between Lt. Blalock and the collectors is not exactly trustworthy either. As Norman goes through the story, you are never really sure if he is being duped, or if he is the one that will be doing the duping. This thriller has the perfect combination of crime, mystery, and action, and you won’t be able to turn the pages of this captivating novella fast enough.
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