The Last Queen of England (Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery)
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While on a visit to London, American genealogist Jefferson Tayte’s old friend and colleague dies in his arms. Before long, Tayte and a truth-seeking historian, Professor Jean Summer, find themselves following a corpse-ridden trail that takes them to the Royal Society of London, circa 1708.
What to make of the story of five men of science, colleagues of Isaac Newton and Christopher Wren, who were mysteriously hanged for high treason?
As they edge closer to the truth, Tayte and the professor find that death is once again in season. A new killer, bent on restoring what he sees as the true, royal bloodline, is on the loose...as is a Machiavellian heir-hunter who senses that the latest round of murder, kidnapping, and scandal represents an unmissable business opportunity.
The Last Queen of England is a racing thriller with a heart-stopping conclusion. It follows on from In the Blood and To the Grave but can be enjoyed as a stand-alone novel.
Revised edition: Previously published as part of the Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery series, this edition of The Last Queen of England includes editorial revisions.
hotel entrance from a bench in the park for the last hour, having chosen his location carefully so as to avoid being picked up by any of the street surveillance cameras in the area. He was watching intently through a pair of antique, mother-of-pearl opera glasses, which he now slipped into the pocket of his coat. He got up to follow Tayte, but he was pressed into his seat again by a firm hand, the arrival of which was accompanied by a dense plume of cigarette smoke. ‘Inspector Fable,’ Levant
felt light-headed to the point of being giddy, and it wasn’t because of the champagne cocktail. Even my palms are clammy. ‘What is it?’ Jean asked through her smile. Tayte sat on his hands and cleared his throat. He was going to do this. He had to. ‘I was just wondering,’ he said. He was blushing. He could feel the heat in his cheeks. ‘When will I see you again?’ He rushed the words out and immediately thought that he’d had all his life to think of a good line for when it really
was mournfully aware that unless help arrived soon, his friend was not going to make it. Jean was there, too, no more than a blur in his periphery. Marcus had only just introduced them. Two hours ago they were sitting in a restaurant enjoying a very British Sunday lunch, chatting and laughing over roast rib of beef and fine wine as Tayte got to know Jean and he and Marcus continued to play catch-up on all the years that had passed since they last saw each other. All Tayte could think about now
who William Fable was any more. He thought his parents would have liked that other guy better, but it was too late for that now. Fable was fifty-six years old, had passed up early retirement a year ago, and would do so again if he made it to sixty. He figured either the job or the cigarettes would eventually kill him, but he’d be damned if he was going to depart this world through the slow decay of boredom. He’d been a DI for as long as he could remember. Maybe twenty years—he wasn’t
duty it was to take it, to ensure the digits were passed on. You never leave Quo Veritas.’ ‘So the society was run less out of loyalty to a cause than out of fear of death?’ ‘It was merely a safeguard. Loyalty was enough most of the time—until his generation.’ Cornell pointed at the bloodied figure in the corner of the room. ‘Twenty years ago, when the time came to act, every inner member was tested, and all but one was found wanting.’ ‘Your father?’ Tayte said. Cornell nodded.