It promises to be the find of the century: documents by famed diarist Samuel Pepys rumored to be in the U.S. — which is where publisher Alex Plumtree and his fiancée, Sarah, are headed for his college reunion.
Then bizarre things start happening … a Royal accident imperils the succession and fiery violence rocks London, mimicking Pepys’s chronicles of seventeenth-century England.
Things get even more curious when the archivist who stumbled on the uncatalogued papers vanishes. Then a centuries-old scandal surfaces that could bring down the modern monarchy.
Soon Alex begins to suspect that the diaries may not have been penned by Pepys after all — but by someone whose shocking actions may have altered the course of history….
It was billed as the biggest literary event of the season. McKinley Montague, the handsome, enigmatic author of sensational serial-killer novels, was to make a rare book-signing appearance at the grand opening of London’s newest superbookstore.
But the author never arrives — and word quickly spreads that Montague is dead, the victim of a mysterious boating accident.
Publisher Alex Plumtree is shocked by McKinley’s sudden passing. Yet even more disturbing is the encounter Alex has in a local coffee shop with a reporter that very night. First the scribe reveals he received a tip that McKinley’s own publishers had him murdered to boost his sales. Seconds later, a bullet shatters the cafe’s window, missing the pair by inches.
The shooting is only the first of many bizarre incidents, unexplained deaths, and troubling phone calls. And with his own life hanging in the balance, Alex wonders if McKinley’s demise was just the opening chapter in London’s deadliest literary season ever….
Publisher Alex Plumtree is in for the most astounding week of his life. First he comes into possession of a rare, centuries-old book, rumored destroyed on orders of King Edward IV. Then he receives an undreamed-of honor: an invitation to join a select society of book collectors…who are also some of the most powerful men and women in England.
But Alex’s triumph quickly turns sour. The book vanishes from Alex’s office. His initiation weekend with the Dibdin Club is rife with bizarre behavior, appalling accidents–and a death that sends Alex reeling. He quickly begins to suspect that his valuable find is even more than it seemed on first glance. For hidden in its pages is a shocking secret that could change the history of books forever…as well as the face of the modern world. And there are people–and foreign powers–who would do anything to keep this secret from coming to light.
All Alex has to do is figure out what that secret is. If he can stay alive long enough.
It is possibly the most repugnant piece of fiction in all of England. So why is Plumtree Press, one of the country’s most respectable publishing houses, about to add the hotly controversial new novel to its list? Publisher Alex Plumtree isn’t talking. Hardly anyone knows he has taken on the project as a favor to the Prime Minister.
Forget the bad press and hateful reviews. Alex swiftly finds himself on the wrong side of a lawsuit, bugged, betrayed, roughed up, and implicated in murder. Suddenly Alex doesn’t know who to trust. For someone is clearly determined to stop the presses at any cost. The only thing Alex does know for certain is that going to press with this book may cost him more than just his reputation…it may cost him his life.
Plumtree Press is about to launch a bombshell of a book—a fact-based novel about one of Britain’s most revered authors, Marcus Stonecypher, a member of Virginia Woolf’s Bloomsbury Group. Angela Mayfield’s shocking book reveals a series of explosive secret messages in Stonecypher’s own novels published at the turn of the century, messages that implicate him in secrets of publishers past and a treacherous plot to topple the monarchy. It soon becomes clear to publisher Alex Plumtree that someone will go to any length to keep Angela’s revelations from seeing print—but why, decades after the fact, should anyone care?
First come anonymous warnings, then, on the eve of publication, Alex’s library of precious first editions is vandalized. When deadly warnings and industrial sabotage imperil the book’s publication, Alex realizes he and his author have made some very powerful enemies. And then the titles of Stonecypher’s books become actual events and Alex finds himself threatened with censorship of the most permanent kind.
From bestseller to death-dealer London’s Plumtree Press has a world-class bestseller of a novel. And the sequel is earmarked to get this old family firm out of the red. But its anonymous author, known to Plumtree only as "Arthur," has apparently vanished, leaving the crucial last five chapters undelivered. Alex already knows they reveal the identity of the characters who smuggled British children to America during World War II. But, of course, this is fiction. So when a lead critic previews the book as a nonfiction exposé, Alex is shocked. Even more so when the critic is murdered…and Alex finds himself the target of a ruthless hunt for the manuscript and bizarre attempts on his life. Ducking newshounds, government officials, and the sniping of jealous publishers, Alex knows only one thing: If he can’t find Arthur and untangle the truth, his next season’s list may be a posthumous one.