College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Liberal Arts Matters

Because Ideas Matter...

The faculty and staff of Butler University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences presents

Recommended Readings

Intelligencer The Intelligencer

by Leslie Silbert, Washington Square Press, 2005

Reviewed by Judi Morrel

If you are fond of literary mysteries that jump back and forth in time, you will enjoy Silbert's The Intelligencer which travels between Elizabethan England and modern-day New York/England. The notion of political espionage links the two time periods, hence the title, a 15th century term for a spy. In March of 1593, the popular playwright Christopher Marlowe was murdered in England, an act ruled by the coroner at the time to be in self-defense; however, given Marlowe's known association with the Queen's intelligence service, questions have remained through the ensuing years regarding the actual circumstances of his demise.  The modern-day protagonist, Kate Morgan, an intelligencer of sorts herself, works as a private investigator for a firm headed by a former CIA operative. Kate enters the story when a client of the firm stumbles upon a heretofore unknown set of encoded manuscript pages which may contain clues to the murder of Marlowe. As the client discovers to his dismay, there are present-day folk who are interested enough in this mysterious manuscript to attempt to steal it and perhaps to commit murder to keep its secrets secret.  Parallel plots and parallel characters unfold as the story unfolds and intrigue swirls. As Kate closes in on decoding the manuscript to find the truth about Marlowe's death, is she sealing her own demise as well?

- Judi Morrel is Interim Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Butler University.