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, published by Sapere Books.
The series follows Tom as he finds his way, becoming an unofficial sleuth for his great cousin, unraveling gruesome riddles in the opaque world of Elizabethan espionage.
Book 1: The Road to Murder
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! Available on Amazon.
Book Two: A Treasonous Path
When one deadly plot is foiled, another begins…
Tom Walsingham is back in London, being groomed for intelligence work by his spymaster cousin, Sir Francis.
An anonymous informer has started sending letters from the French ambassador’s residence, claiming to have bribed the man’s secretary to pass on information.
The informer has discovered messages between the French and Mary, Queen of Scots, which could harm the English Queen Elizabeth.
When someone who works for the French Ambassador is killed in suspicious circumstances, Sir Francis sends Tom to investigate the matter – and to uncover the identity of the informer.
Tom must find a way into the French Ambassador’s good graces and make friends within his retinue without giving himself away.
And as the news from Scotland grow more and more alarming, it becomes imperative that Tom unveils the identity of the secret informer and exposes the intrigues at play.
Can Tom unravel the mystery and protect the Queen? Will he unmask the killer?
Or could he find himself the target of a deadly plot…?
A Treasonous Path is available on Amazon.
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