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It’s Giveaway time! Get a free bonus entry into our monthly raffle and check out Fortune and Fate: The Complete Justice Belstrang Mysteries by John Pilkington

Fortune and Fate: The Complete Justice Belstrang Mysteries (The Tudor Mysteries Book 3)

by John Pilkington
4.5 stars – 193 reviews
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Here’s the set-up:

‘A spellbinding journey through the stinking slums and glittering palaces of Jacobean England.’ Steven Veerapen, author of The Queen’s Gold


England, 1616.

Robert Belstrang, ex-magistrate bored with country life, comes to London to investigate the strange disappearance of Thomas Jessop, son of a poor Catholic neighbour. He locates the youth in Bedlam asylum, silent and starving himself.

When he tries to free Jessop, he is warned off the case by a politic lawyer. Soon after, Belstrang finds himself drugged, robbed and falsely imprisoned.

Once released Belstrang persists in his investigation, but he is thwarted at every turn: unseen forces are at work who seemingly want Thomas Jessop to die.

The trail grows murkier by the hour, drawing Belstrang into the fear-ridden Catholic underworld – until he uncovers a plan with its roots in the Gunpowder Plot of more than a decade ago.

The Witching Pool

England, 1617.

Susanna Cobbett, teenage daughter of a powerful Worcester landowner, is found dead in a gloomy woodland pond which has an evil reputation as the Witching Pool.

The girl is said to have drowned herself, driven to madness by a local widow named Agnes Mason, who is arrested on a charge of witchcraft. If found guilty, she will hang at the next Assizes.

But Justice Belstrang, shrewd ex-magistrate and sceptic, does not believe a word of it. And when Agnes’s family beg him to help, he finds himself caught up in an ever-darkening mystery.

The mystery grows murkier, however, as Belstrang is pitted against his old rival Justice Standish.

But Belstrang’s stubbornness and passion for justice drives him on. With the help of his friend and fellow-sceptic Doctor Boyd, he unravels the terrible crimes that have lain hidden behind the doors of the great manor of Ebbfield.


England, 1618.

At his manor of Thirldon, ex-Justice Belstrang – still at loggerheads with his old rival Justice Standish – receives devastating news: King James intends to purchase the estate for his favourite, the Marquis of Buckingham – and Belstrang must comply.

In the ensuing turmoil, while his son-in-law George petitions the King on his behalf, Belstrang receives a plea from a dying friend, Sir Richard Mountford, to visit him at Foxhill Manor. To take his mind off his troubles Belstrang goes – and discovers things are not so simple.

Sir Richard is not dying, but desperate. His brother John has been killed in an explosion at the family’s iron foundry, down in the remote Forest of Dean. But Sir Richard does not believe John’s death was an accident.

Meanwhile, Mountford’s cold-hearted son Francis treats him as an invalid. He fears things are being kept from him – and implores Belstrang to investigate.

The mystery deepens when a forester who was seen talking to Belstrang is murdered.

Only after a violent confrontation on the bleak salt-marshes does the truth begin to unfold – and its implications reach far beyond England’s shores.

John Pilkington was born in Preston, into one of the oldest Lancashire families. He writes historical fiction as well as drama which has been adapted for radio, theatre and tv. He is the author of the Thomas the Falconer Mystery series.

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