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The Semper Sonnet by Seth Margolis

The Semper Sonnet - Seth J. Margolis

In this stunning thrill ride, perfect for fans of Dan Brown and Steve Berry, a long-lost manuscript, written for Elizabeth I, holds the key to unlocking the past—and to eliminating the future.


Lee Nicholson is ready to take the academic world by storm, having discovered a sonnet she believes was written by William Shakespeare. When she reads the poem on the air, the words put her life in peril and trigger a violent chase, with stakes that reach far beyond the cloistered walls of academia.


Buried in the language of the sonnet, in its allusions and wordplay, are secrets that have been hidden since Elizabethan times, secrets known only to the queen and her trusted doctor, but guessed at by men who seek the crown and others who seek the world. If the riddles are solved, it could explode what the world knows of the great Elizabeth I. And it could release a pandemic more deadly than the world has ever imagined.


Lee’s quest for the answers buried in the sonnet keeps her one step ahead of an international hunt—from the police who want her for murder, to a group of men who will stop at nothing to end her quest, to a madman who pursues the answers for destructive reasons of his own.


As this intelligent thriller moves back and forth between Tudor England and the present day, Lee begins to piece together the meaning behind Shakespeare’s words, carrying the story to its gasp-out-loud conclusion.




If there is one category of books that I really, really love is it historical mystery/thrillers when someone in the present time stumbles over a mystery, like, for instance, as in this book a sonnet written by Shakespeare. This story in this book felt refreshing with a secret that could have devastating consequences for the world.


The main character Lee Nicholson is thrown into a perilous race not just to clear her name from murder, but also save the world from a dangerous threat. Intertwined with this story is diary notes from a doctor that lived during Elizabeth I reign. And, he reveals in his notes a secret that Elizabeth I kept hidden from the world. Or rather two secrets, of which one is extremely dangerous. In the present time, there are people who will go to any length to stop anyone from learning this secret. And, Lee also discovers that there is a man out that, who ruthlessly want to find this hidden treasure.


I did enjoy reading the book, however, there were some things kept me from fully enjoying the book. As much as I enjoyed the historical mystery there were just too many things that bothered me, things that I personally had some problems with. One of the biggest problems was the book's predictability. It felt like it was following how to write a historical thriller to the letter. The main character goes from living an ordinary life to being in danger, finding a new friend, chasing clues, the whole secret society thing, and a ruthless madman. And, I can take that, it's not that bad if it's written in a way that I get caught up with the story. The Semper Sonnet is not bad, but there were some moments now and then when something happened that made me lost the rhythm. For instance, in this book, the clues was a bit too obvious now and then. Like when Lee Nicholson was visiting a man for information and the man's dogs name gave her a clue that he could be involved in the whole conspiracy. Not to mention that some people seemed to be dressed a bit too warm for the weather. Right, not at all suspicious. Then, we have the man that is after the treasure. I just didn't fully understand what he was after, it just felt like this was some kind of petty revenge. I would have liked a better and more interesting motive.


All right, now I have rambled on about things that bothered me. I also want to say that I did enjoy reading the book. I didn't have any problems with Lee Nicholson as a character. Although the revelation, in the end, could I have lived without I must admit. But, despite that did I find her quest for answers interesting. She just wanted her life back to how it was before.


For me was this a so and so book. Not perfect, but not that bad. I had some problems with the story, but I liked the main character and I enjoyed the doctor's diary noted from, very intriguing to read. Honestly, I do think when I think back to the book that the story set in the past was a bit more interesting than the one in the present time...


I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!