A stunning debut novel of intrigue, conspiracy and murder, set in London and Italy in 1805.
The first in a rich and atmospheric new historical crime series, full of action, vivid characters and conspiracy.
Napoleon and his armies are at the gate of the ancient walled city of Lucca, Italy. In one last desperate attempt to preserve their proud heritage, the Lucchese Council despatch a secret message to their compatriots in England. Unknown to them, ruthless conspirators have got there first. But neither they nor the Council know quite what they are looking for, and the one man who could have told them has just entered a church near the prosperous Italian silk community on the London borders, and slit his own throat.
Witness to this gruesome death is Mabel Flinchurst. When her good friend, a vagrant boy called Toby, is kidnapped, she is caught up in a conspiracy beyond her understanding. She has no idea that the fate of a small Italian city lies in her hands, and that she, and now anyone connected to her, is in mortal danger...
Just as bloody as the DA VINCI CODE... however, much better written - SCOTSMAN
Gray has an exceptional eye for detail, and her characterisation is superb - HISTORICAL NOVELS REVIEW
Clio Gray was born in Yorkshire, brought up in Devon and now lives in Scotland where she works in her local library, as she has done for many years. She has won prizes for many of her short stories, including the prestigious 2006 Scotsman & Orange Short Story Award for 'I Should Have Listened Harder', which can be downloaded from the Scotsman website. Her first novel, GUARDIANS OF THE KEY, was the winning recipient of the Harry Bowling Prize. More information about Clio can be found on her website www.cliogray.com.