Secret trysts, daring dalliances, and a pair of pedigreed hounds
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 keep 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. But can he live with himself if another innocent person dies?