Can’t-Wait Wednesday: The Royal Secret by Andrew Taylor

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released.

I love Andrew Taylor’s James Marwood and Cat Lovett series, historical fiction set during the reign of Charles II. So I was delighted when I was invited to read the latest instalment, The Royal Secret, due to be published on 29 April.

Description

From the No.1 bestselling author of The Last Protector and The Ashes of London comes the next book in the phenomenally successful series following James Marwood and Cat Lovett during the time of King Charles II.

Two young girls plot a murder by witchcraft. Soon afterwards a government clerk dies painfully in mysterious circumstances. His colleague James Marwood is asked to investigate – but the task brings unexpected dangers.
 
Meanwhile, architect Cat Hakesby is working for a merchant who lives on Slaughter Street, where the air smells of blood and a captive Barbary lion prowls the stables. Then a prestigious new commission arrives. Cat must design a Poultry House for the woman that the King loves most in all the world.
 
Unbeknownst to all, at the heart of this lies a royal secret so explosive that it could not only rip apart England but change the entire face of Europe…

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The earlier books are – The Ashes of London (set in 1666, six years after Charles II was reinstated as King) and The Fire Court (set in 1667, eight months after the Great Fire of London), The King’s Evil (set seven months later), and The Last Protector (set in 1668 as the exiled Richard Cromwell, son of Oliver, heavily in debt, has returned in disguise to England.)

It is not necessary to read the earlier books as I think they all work well as standalones, but I think it really helps if you do.