Cover image for The bawdy basket
The bawdy basket
Marston, Edward.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Minotaur, [2002]

Physical Description:
262 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Westfield's Men, the Elizabethan theater troupe at the heart of Edward Marston's intricate and popular series, are enjoying good fortune in their native London. Their talented playwright is at work on his next opus, set to open in a few short weeks, and the group's trusty stage manager and reliable problem-solver Nicholas Bracewell is looking forward to a productive and calm season. Unfortunately for Nicholas, his friendship with Frank Quilter, a young actor who's just joined the troupe, is about to cause him a lot of trouble. Frank's father has been arrested and accused of a murder he didn't commit, and before anyone can figure out what to do he's convicted and hanged for his crime. Destroyed, young Frank promises to avenge his father, at the expense of the play Westfield's Men have contracted to perform. Nicholas, who's loyalty is split between the company and his newfriend, agrees to help Frank on condition that he fulfill his obligations as an actor. Enter an unlikely ally in the form of one Moll Comfrey, a comely young saleswoman with more to sell than meets the eye. She has the key to the whole mystery hidden somewhere on her person, and it's up to Nicholas to find out what she's hiding (by whatever means necessary) before the theater, not to mention Frank's life, goes dark.

Author Notes

Edward Marston is the author of eleven previous entries in the Edgar Award-nominated Nicholas Bracewell series set in the theaters of Elizabethan England, as well as the Domesday series set in medieval England. He lives in the United Kingdom.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Nicholas Bracewell, stage manager of Lord Westfield's Men, returns in another engaging Elizabethan mystery. When a young actor's father is tried, convicted, and hung for a brutal murder he claims he did not commit, his sins are unfortunately visited upon his loyal son. Nicholas agrees to investigate the matter in an effort to clear the unlucky man's name and to restore a promising young thespian to the ranks of his beloved theater company. While on the prowl for the real culprit, Nicholas must also contend with a looming financial crisis and the defection of a lovesick playwright. Displaying his trademark wit and a decided flair for detection, Nicholas once again manages to solve the crime and deliver the troupe from imminent ruin. Another suspenseful entry in a series of delightfully earthy historical whodunits. --Margaret Flanagan

Library Journal Review

Elizabethan theater stage manager Nicholas Bracewell helps a fellow actor investigate the men who bore false witness against his father, resulting in the man's public execution. Another fine addition to a fascinating historical series. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.