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About Anna Castle
Anna Castle is serious about series. She writes the Francis Bacon mystery series and also the Lost Hat, Texas mystery series. She has earned a series of degrees -- BA in the Classics, MS in Computer Science, and a PhD in Linguistics -- and has had a corresponding series of careers -- waitressing, software engineering, grammar-writing, assistant professor, and archivist.
How all that adds up to writing historical fiction and madcap cozies is a mystery in itself, but somehow it revolves around her lifelong love of stories and learning. She physically resides in Austin, Texas, but mentally counts herself a queen of infinite space.
*** Visit Anna's blog and sign up for her monthly newsletter at www.annacastle.com.
*** Find Anna on Facebook at www.facebook.com/annacastle.author.
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Things take a dangerous turn when the authorities focus on two popular playmakers. One is cruelly tortured. Another is killed in dubious circumstances. Did he start a brawl that ended in tragedy? Or was he murdered by his dinner companions? The official story seems plausible, at first. But Tom doesn’t buy it. Distraught at the death of his friend, he refuses stop digging, uncovering a plot he should have left buried.
Francis Bacon and his team hazard their lives and reputations to determine the truth. Whether justice can ever be obtained is another matter.
Bacon must put down his books and investigate the murder of a fellow barrister at Gray's Inn in order to regain the queen's favor. He recruits his unwanted protégé, Thomas Clarady, to do the tiresome legwork. The son of a wealthy privateer, Tom will gladly do anything to climb the Elizabethan social ladder.
The first clues point to a Catholic conspirator, but other motives for murder quickly emerge. Rival barristers contend for the victim's legal honors and wealthy clients. Highly-placed courtiers are implicated as the investigation reaches from Whitehall to the London streets.
Bacon does the thinking; Clarady does the fencing. Everyone has something up his pinked and padded sleeve. Even Bacon is at a loss -- and in danger -- until he sees through the disguises of the season of Misrule.
One of Kirkus Reviews' Best Indie Books of 2014.
Don't dally: jump right into the first book in this award-winning mystery series!
Though seldom strong enough to leave his rooms in brother Francis’s house, Anthony’s gouty legs never hinder his agile mind. He’s built the most valuable intelligence service in Europe. Now the Bacon brothers are ready to offer it to the patron with the deepest pockets.
Before they can open the bidding, Francis finds a body lying in the weeds near Gray’s Inn. The abandoned coach beside it belongs to Anthony. The clues point to his personal secretary. Worse, the murdered man was heard spreading rumors that could destroy Anthony’s reputation -- and his market value.
Francis thinks his brother ordered the deed done. His assistant Thomas Clarady thinks the secretary did it, with or without such orders. As Tom investigates, he hears one story after another about what happened that night. Which version is the truth? The closer he gets to finding out, the more danger gathers around Anthony. Will Tom and Trumpet, his very pregnant confidante, sort through the lies before disaster strikes?
It’s 1589 and England is embroiled in a furious pamphlet war between an impudent Puritan calling himself Martin Marprelate and publishing’s brightest wits. The archbishop wants Martin to hang. The Privy Council wants the tumult to end. But nobody knows who Martin is or where he’s hiding his illegal press.
Then two writers are strangled, mistaken for Thomas Nashe, the pamphleteer who is hot on Martin’s trail. Francis Bacon is tasked with stopping the murders — and catching Martin, while he’s about it. But the more he learns, the more he fears Martin may be someone dangerously close to home.
Can Bacon and his band of intelligencers stop the strangler before another writer dies, without stepping on Martin’s possibly very important toes?
Honorable Mention for Mysteries, Library Journal’s 2017 Indie Book Awards.
Buy the fourth adventure in the award-winning Francis Bacon historical mystery series today!
Tom is recruited to spy on a group of radical Puritans at Cambridge University with Francis Bacon as his spymaster -- his tutor in tradecraft and politics. Their commission gets off to a deadly start when Tom finds his chief informant hanging from the roof beams. Now he has to catch a murderer as well as a seditioner. His first suspect is the volatile poet Christopher Marlowe, who keeps turning up in the middle of Tom’s investigations.
Dogged by unreliable assistants, chased by lusty women, and harangued daily by the exacting Bacon, Tom risks his heart and soul to stop the villains and win his reward.
First In Category for the 2015 Chaucer Awards Elizabethan/Tudor period.
Get this second exciting adventure in the Francis Bacon historical mystery series today!
... keep Francis Bacon and his team busy while trying to catch a reckless murderer.
It’s Midsummer, 1591, at Richmond Palace, and love is in the air. Gallant courtiers sport with great ladies while Tom and Trumpet bring their long-laid plans to fruition at last. Everybody’s doing it — even Francis Bacon enjoys a private liaison with the secretary to the new French ambassador. But the Queen loathes scandal and will punish anyone rash enough to get caught.
Still, it’s all in a summer day until a man is found dead in the orchard. The youth had few talents beyond a keen nose for gossip. He was doubtless murdered to protect a secret, but what sort? Romantic, or political? They carried different penalties — banishment from court or a traitor’s death. Either way, worth killing to protect.
Bacon wants nothing more than to leave things alone. He has no position and no patron; in fact, he’s being discouraged from investigating. But could he live with himself if another innocent person dies?
Get the latest episode in the continuing Francis Bacon historical mystery series!
“Characters that leap off the page.” — Karen Harper, NY Times Best-selling author.
James and Angelina Moriarty are settling into their new marriage and their fashionable new home — or trying to. But James has too little to occupy his mind and Angelina has too many secrets pressing on her heart. They fear they’ll never learn to live together. Then Sherlock Holmes comes to call with a challenging case. He suspects a prominent Harley Street specialist of committing murders for hire, sending patients home from his private hospital with deadly doses or fatal conditions. Holmes intends to investigate, but the doctor’s clientele is exclusively female. He needs Angelina’s help.
While Moriarty, Holmes, and Watson explore the alarming number of ways a doctor can murder his patients with impunity, Angelina enters into treatment with their primary suspect, posing as a nervous woman who fears her husband wants to be rid of her. Then a hasty conclusion and an ill-considered word drive James and Angelina apart, sending her deep into danger. Now they must find the courage to trust each other as they race the clock to win justice for the murdered women before they become victims themselves.
Join the Moriartys for the second adventure in the series hailed as “A must for Sherlock enthusiasts” by Midwest Book Reviews.
Jane Moone leaves her thriving practice as a cunning woman in London to return to Ayreford to care for her father Amias, who has grown quite peculiar in the years since she left home. Before she can find out what’s troubling him, her only client’s husband is murdered. The tailor is found in his workshop covered in red spots with a bottle of tonic from Moone’s apothecary near at hand. A rival cunning man accuses Amias of poisoning him and the old man is arrested.
Jane knows her father is innocent. She joins forces with a handsome barrister to study the scene. They find evidence to support Amias, but each item is altered when a blackbird sings. That bird has been following them everywhere. The barrister doesn’t notice, but Jane finds it alarming. How can a bird change the label on a bottle or alter the sketch of a footprint? Things only get more peculiar. Amias's ginger cat gives Jane wise counsel, a frog-pond fairy claims to know her long-lost mother, and a hedge witch knits hair into spell-stopping nets.
Either Jane is caught in a very strange dream or Ayreford is thickly inhabited by the Fair Folk, playing out their ancient rivalries through the unsuspecting townspeople. But Jane can’t think about that, either way. Not yet. She’ll do whatever she must, however bizarre, to save her father from hanging. And then she’ll get the truth from him -- or possibly his cat.
Professor and Mrs. Moriarty have a few weeks to kill before their theater opens. Happily, two small cases drop in their respective laps. Moriarty has what looks like a scheme to swindle Army veterans out of their discharge pay. Angelina must find a missing servant by winkling her way into a circle of officers’ wives. Neither case seems terribly challenging; just enough to provide an agreeable competition.
But as soon as they start asking questions, things take an ugly turn. Moriarty discovers an army barracks riddled with corruption. Angelina uncovers a terrible secret at the heart of the circle of officers and wives. When Sherlock Holmes returns from a mission in India, he confirms her worst fears. Then a man is murdered, and a good friend is blamed. Scotland Yard sends Holmes to catch their suspect. The Moriartys must use all their courage and ingenuity to rescue their friend, stop a series of loathsome crimes, and put a cold killer behind bars.
At the International Exhibition, an exploding steam engine kills a man. When Moriarty tries to figure out what happened, he comes up against Sherlock Holmes, sent to investigate by Moriarty’s old enemy. Holmes collects evidence that points at Moriarty, who realizes he must either solve the crime or swing it for it himself. He soon uncovers trouble among the board members of the engine company and its unscrupulous promoter. Moriarty tries to untangle those relationships, but everywhere he turns, he meets the alluring Angelina. She’s playing some game, but what’s her goal? And whose side is she on?
Between them, Holmes and Angelina push Moriarty to his limits -- and beyond. He’ll have to lose himself to save his life and win the woman he loves.
This collection of short stories ranges through time and space from the Yucatán peninsula in the early years of the Spanish conquest (The Broken Circle) to a bank office in late Victorian London with Prof. Moriarty and his wife (The Stockbroker’s Wife.) Most stories feature Francis Bacon and other characters from his milieu. You’ll read about Bacon’s first case (For Want of a Book) and Tom’s first solo investigation (In Walked a Lady.) You’ll find out how Trumpet wangled her year at Gray’s Inn (Artful Bargains) and what really happened to Captain Valentine Clarady (All Englishmen Look Alike.) Sir Walter’s Ralegh and two friends trade ghost stories on a stormy night (Dark Tales from the School of Night.) You’ll even travel through time by a most unusual method (The Sneeze.) A bonus story brings you into the present, but not quite the present you’re used to (Extinction.)
As if that weren’t enough trouble for one week, Jane hears stories about another old witch. She’s begging at kitchen doors and walking away angry as often as not. She flings curses everywhere she goes, most of them missing their mark. But some are truly dangerous.
Jane and her father, a powerful wizard, must peer into the heart of a near-fatal curse and find the wandering witch before an innocent dies.