In these wonderfully stylish and eclectic essays, Charles Nicholl pursues the fugitive traces of the past with the skill and relish that have earned him a reputation as one of the finest literary and historical detectives of our time. His subjects range from a murder-case in Renaissance Rome to the disappearance of Jim Thompson in 1960s Malaya, from the boyhood of Christopher Marlowe to the crimes of Jack the Ripper, from the remnants of a lost Shakespeare play to the last days of the poet-boxer Arthur Cravan in a Mexican fishing port. Full of insights, curiosities and unexpected discoveries, these thirty pieces written over two decades show the author of "The Lodger" and "Leonardo da Vinci" at his inquisitive best.
Charles Nicholl is a historian, biographer and travel writer. His books include The Reckoning (winner of the James Tait Black prize for biography and the Crime Writers' Association 'Gold Dagger' award for non-fiction), Somebody Else: Arthur Rimbaud in Africa (winner of the Hawthornden Prize) and the acclaimed biography, Leonardo da Vinci: The Flights of the Mind, which has been published in 17 languages. His most recent book is The Lodger: Shakespeare on Silver Street, which was nominated as 'Book of the Year' 12 times in 2007. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and has lectured in Britain, Italy and the United States.