Anniversary? What anniversary?

Castelreagh McCartney First: Happy Birthday for 18 June to Sir Paul McCartney – a 73rd anniversary to savour.

Also born on June 18 (173 years earlier in 1769) was Viscount Castlereagh. He was British Foreign Secretary in 1815 and instrumental in what happened to Napoleon after his surrender to the British on July 15 1815.

Second: in A Set of Lies Bernard Lacey is in Paris finalising the arrangements for his plan and Ennor Jolliffe is on the Isle of Wight (under the protection of Lady Frances Frensham) in the final preparations before playing the part of his life.

Meanwhile: just south of Brussels, Napoleon Bonaparte prepared to fight the battle he was very confident of winning…..



St Helena

JamestownAt the end of May in the year 1881 Sir Augustus Lacey and his future wife’s father are on their way back from The Cape to England when their ship spends three days anchored off Jamestown, on the island of St Helena in the South Atlantic.

Sir Augustus knows nothing of his family’s connections with the island.

He does not know that his grand-father (Sir Bernard Lacey) visited the island several times between late 1815 and the Spring of 1821 as the charade was maintained.

He does not know that the uncle he does not know exists (William Lacey) had spent three years on the island in 1844. William was a geologist and his letters back to his family on the Isle of Wight were bound in leather by Claude and kept in the library of The Lodge. No one looked at them until they were discovered in June 2014 by Professor Carl Witherby and Skye Lacey (a distant cousin of Augustus’s) as they searched for clues they did not know exist to solve the mystery of A Set of Lies.

A Set of Lies

Front Book coverA SET OF LIES now exists.

It is sixteen years since Colin and I were waiting to be served in a restaurant in Plymouth talking about the map and the portrait of Napoleon on the wall by our table.

In that time we have moved house five times and I have written and published five other books but ‘The Napoleon Book’ has always been there, in the background, on at least five different computers gradually coming to life .

This was the book I have always wanted to write…. historical mystery, a detective story with political implications…

The lives of many of the characters contain much that is true history – the American wars of Independence, the Australian mineral rush, the South African wars, many different European wars, two hundred years of English social and political history – and I have had great fun researching the details.

But it also contains much that may not have happened but should have done…

I just cannot believe that the British Secret Services of 1815 would have let an asset as important as Napoleon Bonaparte slip through their fingers… not at a time when enemies other than the French were circling and revolution was fomenting in the towns and cities of Britain.

I just hope there really was a man like Sir Bernard Lacey who could see this and whose actions changed the course not only of the 19th Century but also of the 2015 general election!