They stopped Walsingham and Paulo, my Italian, whom they seemed resolved to rob [… and] another Englishman in his company, called Skeggs, as I remember.
On the twelfth of November 1581 Elizabeth’s Ambassador in Paris, Sir Henry Cobham, wrote to the all-powerful Secretary of State – and spymaster – Sir Francis Walsingham . It was almost in passing that the ambassador slipped in this bit of information about the misadventure of Sir Francis’s much younger cousin, nineteen-year-old Thomas, riding as a diplomatic courier between London and Paris.
Sometimes it is the small things.
Almost a throw-away, still these lines sketch a vivid vignette: young Thomas, Paulo the Italian, and the man whose name might be Skeggs, held up along the road in Picardy…
And from Sir Henry Cobham’s half afterthought (clearly he didn’t expect Mr. Secretary to be unduly upset by the news), was born The Road to Murder, the first book in the Tom Walsingham Murder Mysteries.
The series will follow Tom as he finds his way, becoming an unofficial sleuth for his great cousin, unraveling gruesome riddles in the opaque world of Elizabethan espionage.
Will Tom Walsingham’s first mission be his last…?
Nineteen-year-old Thomas Walsingham is thrilled to be working as a confidential courier, carrying messages between London and Paris for his illustrious cousin, Queen Elizabeth’s spymaster, Sir Francis Walsingham … until everything goes wrong.
Tasked with escorting an English glove-maker to the French Court, Tom is also playing messenger for the Duke of Anjou, Queen Elizabeth’s French suitor, as well as carrying confidential instructions to the English Ambassador in Paris.
When French soldiers assault his convoy en route, Tom loses a letter he had sewn into his clothes. And the next morning, the glove-maker is found stabbed to death…
Can Tom redeem himself after this disaster, uncover what he suspects is a conspiracy against the Queen, and prevent other deaths – without becoming the next in the murderers’ list?
To find out, you must follow… The Road to Murder! Preorder here.
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