Review: The Bookman's Tale

Title: The Bookman's Tale: A Novel of Obsession
Author: Charlie Lovett
Publisher: Viking
Published: May 28, 2013
Hardcover, 368 pages
ISBN: 978-0-670-02647-0
Genre: Mystery
Source: Publisher

Goodreads Summary:
Hay-on-Wye, 1995. Peter Byerly isn’t sure what drew him into this particular bookshop. Nine months earlier, the death of his beloved wife, Amanda, had left him shattered. The young antiquarian bookseller relocated from North Carolina to the English countryside, hoping to rediscover the joy he once took in collecting and restoring rare books. But upon opening an eighteenth-century study of Shakespeare forgeries, Peter is shocked when a portrait of Amanda tumbles out of its pages. Of course, it isn’t really her. The watercolor is clearly Victorian. Yet the resemblance is uncanny, and Peter becomes obsessed with learning the picture’s origins.

As he follows the trail back first to the Victorian era and then to Shakespeare’s time, Peter communes with Amanda’s spirit, learns the truth about his own past, and discovers a book that might definitively prove Shakespeare was, indeed, the author of all his plays.

My thoughts:
The Bookman's Tale: A Novel of Obsession is a great read. Peter Byerly is still getting over the death of his wife. She was his world and still is. Trying to 'get on' with his life, Peter resumes one of his passions, antiquarian bookseller. He stumbles into a shop and discovers a  miniature portrait of a woman that looks identical to his wife. Only the portrait was painted a long time ago. This find puts Peter in obsession mode. He has to find out who the woman in the painting is. While he's researching he stumbles upon something even bigger. He might finally answer the question whether or not Shakespeare was a fraud. 
This novel is told mainly in three different eras. First in the 1600's. Lovett takes us back in time to explore Shakespeare's world. Next in 1980's. Lovett explores Peter and Amanda's relationship. Finally the 1990's or present day. Throughout all of these time periods we discover the mystery in this novel. I loved that Lovett uses the past and present to tie into the story line. At times it's like you're reading different stories and wondering how they could possible intersect. But they do, and it's great. 
I also love that Peter is an antique bookseller. I don't know why, but it sounds like a really cool job, and the fact that Peter loves books made me love his character more. If you're in the mood for a good mystery you should check this book out.

My rating: