Blood-Red Goblet by Peter Cooke
Petan Publishing, £7.99

The ancient art of glass-making and the quest to protect the monarch is the foundation for Peter Cooke’s latest historical novel.

Blood-Red Goblet is the third book in the Glassmaker series based on the intrigues of the court of Queen Elizabeth 1, giving an insight into the world of 16th century glassmaking in Venice and London.

Giacomo Bellini is the hero of the Glassmaker series. The Venetian glassmaker, known as Giam, comes to England in 1570 and, through a series of adventures, becomes embroiled in helping Sir Francis Walsingham defeat the plots that threaten the life of the Queen.

In Blood-Red Goblet, Giam takes on a new type of glassmaking, introducing Venetian Murano bead jewellery to London and Paris.

Peter, a 73-year-old retired industrial chemist and chemistry teacher from Ilkley, developed a fascination with antique glass after starting a collection.

Researching Blood-Red Goblet led to his collaboration with Derbyshire jeweller Sandy Kidd in The Boutique Jewellery Company.

Some of Sandy’s designs, including a replica of the necklace described in the book, will be on display at Peter’s book launch at St James’s Church, Baildon, from noon to 2pm today.

Retirement gave Peter the opportunity to write books. “I’ve always wanted to write since I was young, but going to university and having a career, you just don’t have time,” he says.

“When you are a senior manager, it takes over your life, but when I retired I got down to writing.”

Peter explains that in the 16th century glass was a luxury only the very rich could afford. “Most of the glass was made in Murano in Venice and had to be imported at great expense,” he says.

Peter’s knowledge comes through extensive research he has undertaken for his books. “Because I was interested in glass, I studied glass-making.

“It is amazing that glass-making today for drinking glass is made almost the same as it was being made 400 years ago.”

Peter hasn’t made glass, but says: “I had a go at blowing glass when I visited one of the glassmakers, not very successfully!”