Elizabeth Redfern works literary alchemy in a novel that
seamlessly incorporates the best of historical fiction,
romance, and intrigue.
Elizabeth Redfern's storytelling powers have also been
compared to le Carré and Dickens, Thomas Harris and Iain
Pears. Now she presents her new novel, set in 1609 London
and centering on the furious quest to turn lead into gold.
Since the night that young Ned Warriner set upon the guards
escorting a Catholic prisoner to the Tower of London,
allowing the accused spy to escape a brutal death, he has
been in self-imposed exile, supporting himself as a
mercenary soldier in the bloody battles between the Dutch
and the Spanish. Now, in spite of the danger, he has
returned to his native land, where the woman he left
behind, his beloved Kate Revill, has married a Catholic-
hunter. It is not a happy marriage, and Kate, like Ned,
still yearns for the passion they once shared. But
discovery would risk both their lives.
Disreputable in appearance, and still wanted for his crime,
Warriner makes his way about the city by penning poems or
cheating cheaters in late-night pub games. But to win his
freedom and safety for good, he must respond to an earl's
blackmail and kill a member of the King's court. One thing,
though, could change his dire circumstances: the letter he
possesses, ad-dressed to "Auriel," stuffed in the pages of
a leatherbound book, won with dice and nearly forgotten. It
may contain what many in London are buzzing about: the
secret of the Philosopher's Stone, the method for making
gold. Even if it is a hoax, it may change his destiny as
well, for those who know its whereabouts would gladly kill
Journeying to a fascinating era in history and painting an
atmosphere rich in detail, Elizabeth Redfern brings us a
masterful work of period suspense.