Adored bestselling author Diana Gabaldon brings us the first book in a new trilogy featuring many of the characters from her wildly popular Outlander series.
In her New York Times bestselling Outlander novels, Diana Gabaldon introduced millions of readers to a dazzling world of history and adventure -- a world of vibrant settings and utterly unforgettable characters. Now one of these characters, Major Lord John Grey, opens the door to his own part of this world -- eighteenth-century London, a seething anthill of nobility and rabble peopled by soldiers and spies, whores and dukes. Great Britain is battling France for supremacy on three continents -- and life is good for a soldier.
The year is 1757. On a clear morning in mid-June, Lord John Grey emerges from London's Beefsteak Club, his mind in turmoil. A nobleman and a high-ranking officer in His Majesty's Army, Grey has just witnessed something shocking. But his efforts to avoid a scandal that might destroy his family are interrupted by something still more urgent: the Crown appoints him to investigate the brutal murder of a comrade in arms, who may have been a traitor.
Obliged to pursue two inquiries at once, Major Grey finds himself ensnared in a web of treachery and betrayal that touches every stratum of English society -- and threatens all he holds dear. From the bawdy houses of London's night-world to the stately drawing rooms of the nobility, and from the blood of a murdered corpse to the thundering seas ruled by the majestic fleet of the East India Company, Lord John pursues the elusive trails of a vanishing footman and a woman in green velvet, who may hold the key to everything -- or nothing.
The early days of the Seven Years War come brilliantly to life in this historical mystery by an author whose unique and compelling storytelling has engrossed millions of readers worldwide.
When First We Practice to Deceive
London, June 1757
The Society for the Appreciation of the English Beefsteak, a Gentlemen's Club
It was the sort of thing one hopes momentarily that one has not really seen--because life would be so much more convenient if one hadn't.
The thing was scarcely shocking in itself; Lord John Grey had seen worse, could see worse now, merely by stepping out of the Beefsteak into the street. The flower girl who'd sold him a bunch of violets on his way into the club had had a half-healed gash on the back of her hand, crusted and oozing. The doorman, a veteran of the Americas, had a livid tomahawk scar that ran from hairline to jaw, bisecting the socket of a blinded eye. By contrast, the sore on the Honorable Joseph Trevelyan's privy member was quite small. Almost discreet.
"Not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a door," Grey muttered to himself. "But it will suffice. Damn it."
He emerged from behind the Chinese screen,...
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