Originally published at http://rubys-books.blogspot.com/2011/10/book-review-shakespeare-secret-by.html Two years ago I was browsing my favorite bookshop in Italy in search for something fun to read on the plane on my way back home. I was a very happy camper that the bookshop had a special floor just for books in English, so I just HAD to buy at least one book. I saw the cover, which I absolutely loved, and the blurb convinced me that this might be a good book. I was wrong. It's an amazing book.The book starts with the scene of the original Globe Theater burning on June 29, 1613. That prologue left me with so many questions, I felt I had to read the rest of the book, to at least find some answers. In the present day, we meet Kate Stanley and her former teacher and mentor, Rosalind "Roz" Howard. Fast forward a few hours, and Roz is dead, the Globe Theater is again on fire and Kate is followed by a killer. The only link between these events is Shakespeare.I won't go into details, for fear of giving something away. I can tell you what I liked about the book, though. First of all, I liked the way Ms Carrell managed to throw little scenes from the past, adding even more mystery to the book. I can't comment on their accuracy, but the small details, the little hints and the cliffhangers, everything was perfect about them, from my point of view.I loved Ben. Ben is a man hired to protect Kate if she starts searching for the truth behind the gift that Roz gave her on the night she died. I don't think there's anything lacking about him. He's British, he's smart, he reads, he helps Kate get out of dangerous situations, he's very intuitive. Even though he lacks deep knowledge about Shakespeare, Ben manages to keep up with Kate's thinking, with their search and he even points out some things that maybe Kate missed.I also loved the fact that I didn't get to figure out who the killer is until the very end. I don't know about the others who've read the book, but I totally didn't expect the killer to be who it turned out to be. And I loved that, because I couldn't figure out the killer's motives. I mean, he had more than one chance to kill Kate, and yet he doesn't. Why? What does Kate have, that Roz didn't?Then come the details about Shakespeare's work and about the mystery surrounding the real William Shakespeare. The details are many and you can see the author did her research very well. I didn't mind them, though for someone not interested in knowing more about the Bard, they can be a little difficult to get past and a little "too much" history. They did get a bit too in depth at some time, but I believe those details helped combine the real, non-fiction mystery behind the Bard, and the mystery from the book.I loved the book the first time I read it, and I love it even more now, while I'm rereading. It doesn't feel boring or less thrilling on the second read. Even though I know the story and I know who the killer is, I still can't figure out if there was a point where I could be able to say "Here is the hint that the killer is who he is". Of course, now that I'm rereading it, I can manage paying more attention to the historical details about Shakespeare and the attempts many historians and scholars have made to uncover who the Bard really was.I was extremely happy when I heard there was a sequel and I read on Ms. Carrell's website that she plans on writing more stories about Kate and Shakespeare. I'm only hoping we'll get a new book about them sooner rather than later.