Book Review: The Secrets of life and death by Rebecca Alexander

untitled (3)The secrets of life and death by Rebecca Alexander


“A stunning tale of occultism and magic across the ages.

Krakow, 1585

Summoned by the King of Poland to help save his dying niece, Edward Kelley and his master, alchemist and scholar Dr John Dee, discover a dark secret at the heart of The Countess Bathory’s malady.

But perhaps the cure will prove more terrifying than the alternative…

England, 2013

Jackdaw Hammond lives in the shadows, a practitioner and purveyor of occult materials. But when she learns of a young woman found dead on a train, her body covered in arcane symbols, there’s no escaping the attention of police consultant Felix Guichard.

Together they must solve a mystery centuries in the making, or die trying…”


The secrets of life and death is a dual aspect novel blending modern day and Elizabethan London. Famous alleged sorcerer and Queen’s alchemist, John Dee, features in Elizabethan story arc, in a role of a detective. I loved the blend of the history of the real John Dee with his fantasy version and all of the historical details.

Both stories are action packed and inter-linked, making the Secrets of life and death a very engrossing novel.

Alternating chapters between the time eras, just add to the excitement as both stories build up in tandem to a climax.

I finished this book wanting more. I am eagerly awaiting news to see if this will be a series, but I do know it would make a fantastic film.


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