Release day!

Lessons in Keeping a Dangerous Promise is out today in ebook and paperback

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Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith like nothing better than being asked to solve mysteries, but when they get commissioned to help someone fulfil a vow he made to a late comrade in arms, matters start to cut too close to home for both of them.

Excerpt:

Jonty Stewart looked through the window of his study at St Bride’s college, transfixed by the scene playing out in the court below. Dr Panesar—polymath, pioneer aviator and who knew what else—was trying to catch a wounded pigeon, a pigeon which didn’t appear to want to be caught.

“That’s quite a kerfuffle.”

The voice sounding over his shoulder was so familiar, Jonty barely registered surprise at its owner’s arrival in his room. Anyway, he’d seen Orlando Coppersmith heading across the court and guessed he would be arriving soon.

“Another victim of Hotspur, do you think? Or Mrs Hotspur?”

“Quite likely. They’re doing a marvellous job of keeping the flying vermin under control.” Orlando patted Jonty’s shoulder while they both observed their colleague’s progress. St Bride’s took a great deal of pride in the pair of peregrine falcons which had deigned to nest on the chapel tower and which dived down on their prey at a terrifying rate.

The college took an equal pride in its pair of amateur sleuths, who’d solved mysteries and murders ancient and modern, including a commission from royalty.

“Not far to look for a culprit in the case of the plucked pigeon.” Jonty cuffed his lover’s arm. “It feels a long time since we had a proper case, though. I can’t believe the world has turned virtuous all of a sudden.”

“I will be extremely vexed if it had.” Orlando snorted. “I’m not asking for a murder—it makes me feel very guilty when I’ve been yearning for one and it subsequently lands in our laps, as it were—but a code to unravel or a crime from long ago would be most gratifying.”

Jonty had heard that refrain many a time, either here in college or by their own fireside. While Orlando always had his mathematics and the challenge of trying to get the principles of same into the noddles of his students, it didn’t provide quite the intellectual stimulus of a real-life mystery. “Well, given the way the universe seems to work—or the machinations of Mama sitting on her heavenly cloud forcing the angels to organise a case for you or else she’ll report them for having grubby halos—no doubt some perplexing mystery will soon fall into our laps. A nice, tricky one, with no corpses or other distressing quantities. 

 

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