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Leonard Tourney Books In Order

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Publication Order of Joan & Matthew Stock Books

The Players' Boy Is Dead (1980)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Low Treason (1983)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Familiar Spirits (1984)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Bartholomew Fair Murders (1986)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Old Saxon Blood (1988)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Knaves Templar (1991)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Witness of Bones (1992)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Frobisher's Savage (1994)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Mystery of Shakespeare Books

Time's Fool (2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Conjurer's Daughter (2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Falstaff’s Murder (2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Leonard Tourney is a renowned American writer of historical mystery and thriller stories. His Joan and Matthew Stock Mystery series is widely popular. Additionally, Tourney has penned a series of novels based on Shakespeare called the Mystery of Shakespeare series. He has also contributed to an omnibus collection in 1989 in collaboration with author Caroline Llewellyn. Tourney is also a professor of English by profession and a lecturer. He has taught at several universities in his lifetime, including Tusla University, California University, and the University of Western Illinois.

In 2006, Tourney joined the Brigham Young University as an English Professor, which was his last stop in the teaching profession. Author Tourney is considered to be a specialist in creative writing and composition pedagogy. He is known to have authored some scholarly articles in the British literature of the 17th century. The other literary works of author Tourney include a critical Joseph Hall biography, a few short fiction stories, and several historical novels. Recently, Tourney tried his hand at writing William Shakespeare’s fictional memoir.

Author Tourney was born on June 10, 1942, in Long Beach, California. His father, Leonard Raymond, was a soldier, while his mother, Katherine McMillan, was a housewife. In April 1966, Tourney entered into marriage with Martha Evelyn Barnard, who remained a homemaker all her life. The couple became parents to two children, Megan and Anne. Author Tourney and Martha decided to settle down as a married couple just after Tourney earned his Master of Arts degree in 1966 from the Santa Barbara-based California University. Prior to that, he had obtained his bachelor’s degree from BYU in 1963.

Tourney also holds a Ph.D., which he obtained in 1972. In 1966, Tourney began his teaching career as an English instructor at Macomb’s Western Illinois University. After leaving this job in 1968, he joined the Tulsa University in Oklahoma in 1970 as an associate professor. Tourney continued with this job until 1985 before moving on to gain employment at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in the same year as a lecturer of creative writing program. Between 1964 and 1966, he served as a petty officer 3rd class in the Naval Reserve of the United States. He was stationed onboard the destroyer vessel USS Ernest G. Small in the Southeast Asian region.

Over the course of his literary career, Tourney joined various societies and groups, including the Spencer Society, American Modern Language Association, American Rhetoric Society, etc. In an interview given to CA, Tourney once told that he views his careers as a fiction writer and teacher as considerably compatible activities. Even though he continued doing scholarships, he found himself more attracted to writing fiction. The fiction that he referred to is the popular Constable Stock series featuring a medieval couple of detectives, Matthew and Joan Stock.

Matthew is depicted in the series as a clothier and constable hailing from a small town. This series is well known for its detailed and authentic depiction of the Elizabethan era. Tourney has typically set the series in the last several years of Elizabeth I’s reign. Various critics have praised Tourney for constructing fascinating and intricate plots in the stories and then filing with well-drawn, appropriately raw, pungent, and lively characters. The other excellences of Tourney in the mystery series include ingenious and sharp plotting.

Many literary magazines have noted that Tourney has given an excellent description of the 16th-century culture in the books that help to set the tone of the stories. Several others have commented that the joyful recreation of the life & times of the Elizabethan era, replete with sectarian and bear-baiting religious snits shows the top-calls skills of Tourney as a storyteller. Following the worldwide praise of his books, Tourney claimed that he took great pains to come up with the periodic details and was overjoyed to see that readers connected with him very well and gave an excellent response. A number of his fellow writers, reviewers, and critics gave better ratings to his work and helped them to become more successful. Today, Tourney has the urge to write many more historical mysteries but his old age and failing health do not permit him to do so. Nevertheless, he attempts to do how much he can with the intention of giving something more to his readers before he breathes his last.

The Joan & Mattew Stock novel series written by author Leonard Tourney began in 1980. This series is set in Chelmsford, England during the 17th century. Tourney has mentioned the central characters in this series Mathew Stock and his Joan Stock. Matthew is depicted as a town constable who gets involved in solving various mysteries and is assisted by Joan in the process. An exciting novel of this series is entitled ‘Low Treason’. It was released in February 1989 by the Ballantine Books publication. Initially, it is depicted that a young relative of Matthew Stock named Thomas leaves his home to go to London. He wishes to a jeweler’s shop as an apprentice. When Thomas disappears mysteriously, the jeweler, Castell, informs Matthew in panic.

Matthew knows that Thomas would not take any drastic step and decides to look into the matter. While he is out investigating the case, Thomas comes home and informs Joan that Castell wants him dead. Thomas also tells Joan that Castell is involved in the blackmail of top-ranked officials of the court of Elizabeth. Thinking that Matthew’s life might be in danger, Joan rushes to London to warn him. Later, they join hands to catch Castell and hand him over to the judiciary.

Another exciting installment of the series is known as ‘Familiar Spirits’. It was also released by Ballantine Books in May 1989. This book opens by describing that Chelmsford’s people were going mad due to witch-hunting. There were accusations on people by their neighbors and nobody knew how to find a solution to this problem. A townsman’s sudden death and alleged sightings of a spirit make matters worse in the town. Matthew Stock doesn’t believe in spirit sightings. He is a sensible man and doubts all the accusations of the people on one another. As the town continues to deal with the widespread terror, Matthew and Joan use their intelligence to put the pieces of the puzzle together and unravel deadly secrets hidden for years. In the end, they succeed in solving the mysterious case and putting an end to the strange sightings.

Leonard Tourney was born and grew up in Southern California, and has spent his professional life as a teacher of writing and literature, particularly that of William Shakespeare.

Starting in the year 1985, he has been on the faculty of the Writing Program at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Then in 2006, he came to BYU, after also teaching at places like the University of Tulsa and Western Illinois University.

Leonard’s debut novel, called “The Player’s Boy Is Dead”, was released in the year 1980. His work is from the historical mystery genre.

“The Player’s Boy Is Dead” is the first novel in the “Joan and Matthew Stock Mystery” series and was released in the year 1980. Elizabethan England. A country which is growing powerful and rich. However, underneath the surface, there are matters murderous and savage.

When a tiny players’ troupe come in to perform for a lord and his lady, none of this rag-tag group shine more than the young players’ boy, with his fine features and flaxen hair. This player boy had won the heart of a scullery maid, and it was she, at the cock’s crow, that went looking for him in the stables where he was sleeping. However when she found him dead, killed in the most gruesome of ways, the maid’s heart is broken.

County Constable Matthew Stock, just a humble clothier by trade, and Joan, his practical minded wife work to get to the bottom of this terrible crime. Between less than holy priests, adulterous wives, and a savagely enforced political hierarchy, Matthew has got his work cut out for him if he wants to get justice for the murdered child and keep his job.

“Low Treason” is the second novel in the “Joan and Matthew Stock Mystery” series and was released in the year 1983. The wealthy jeweller to the nobility plots to betraying the Spanish crown.

Thomas, Matthew’s young relation, leaves his home in order to apprentice himself to a jeweller in London named Castell. Then he vanishes. Castell writes to say that Thomas has gone to sea, however Stock decides he has to investigate; such a move is unlike this boy, for sure.

While Stock’s away, Thomas comes back and tells Matthew’s wife about how the jeweller is attempting to have him murdered. He has learned that Castell has been blackmailing some high ranking members in Elizabeth’s court. Joan has to rush to London in order to warn her husband. For Matthew doesn’t have any idea about the danger that he is in, asking the ruthless Castell about Thomas.

“Familiar Spirits” is the third novel in the “Joan and Matthew Stock Mystery” series and was released in the year 1984. Three innocents stand accused of sorcery and before long, nobody is safe.

The town of Chelmsford is going crazy with the frenzy of a witch hunt. Neighbors accuse each other without cause, hysterical because of the sudden death of a townsman and some sightings of an apparition of the dead young woman. Matthew and Joan Stock have to set things right.

While the village gets inflamed with terror, Matthew cleverly works to piece together this deceptively simple story of guilt and innocence, heaven and hell. All to reveal the long buried secrets behind the odd bewitchings.

“Time’s Fool” is the first novel in the “Mystery of Shakespeare” series and was released in the year 2004. William Shakespeare is possibly the most prolific and famous playwright of all time however for all his fame and fortune, little did he realize that the greatest drama of his whole life wouldn’t be performed on a stage.

When he gets contacted by his dark mistress and former love of his life, the playwright is excited to see her again after such a long time apart. However much to his horror, he finds that the years haven’t been kind to this woman; as she is now close to death and ridden with disease. And she is intent on blackmailing him, and threatening to expose their affair to the entire world unless he will pay for her considerable doctor bills. A fire cuts their meeting short and it takes her life.

Shakespeare, who is torn between his anger and grief, discovers that the fire wasn’t an accident at all, and that he’s being stalked by some person obsessed with bringing his life to ruin. Hope quickly comes in the form of this small boy, who is a would be actor that happened to witness the arson occur. Just as quickly as that hope first appeared, it gets snuffed out when the boy gets violently murdered. Worse still, William is the prime suspect.

He gets out on bail, and finds himself in a desperate race to reveal the truth behind this murder. With his life and own reputation on the line, he has to set his quill down and brace himself for this adventure, which is unlike any other.

“The Conjurer’s Daughter” is the second novel in the “Mystery of Shakespeare” series and was released in the year 2015. London 1599. Shakespeare has been establishing himself as the best playwright in all of London, and the construction of the Globe is the last puzzle piece. The Queen advises William to visit a conjurer named Dr. Dee to help figure out the dimensions of the Globe which will make sure it’s a success.

The Merlin like Dee shows him his Book of Enoch, supposedly sacred and powerful text written in the language of Adam. Edward Talbot, Dee’s former partner, is rumored to have passed abroad, however is back inside Dee’s house and refusing to leave without the book in hand.

Dee dies nine years later, and William is astonished to find that he has inherited the book from Dee. However when he attempts collecting the book from the chaplain, he finds the guy hanged, with marks on his neck that suggest murder. Things get more strange when Dee’s gorgeous daughter that was reported dead, appears as submissive wife to a callous gardener.

He soon falls in love with Miranda, and agrees to join Talbot’s mysterious fellowship in exchange for the Book of Enoch. The group head off for the Fellowship’s home located in the Channel Islands, however run into a violent storm and get washed up and are scattered ashore. William finds another strangled corpse of the crew and hears of a plot to kill him, he fears that he isn’t going to make it off the island alive.

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