The Lambda Literary Award–winning historical mystery series featuring the real-life British painter continues with three prequels set in Europe between the wars.
In this second trilogy that predates the first in Janice Law’s award-winning Francis Bacon series, the Edgar Award–nominated author once again delightfully reimagines the famous and flamboyant Irish-born British painter as an “artist-sleuth . . . unflappable and acidly witty” as he courts danger, solves murders, and navigates international intrigue (Booklist).
Nights in Berlin: In this first prequel, set in 1927, sixteen-year-old Francis is sent by his father to live with his uncle in Berlin as punishment for his flirtations with boys at school. But when Francis arrives, he finds Uncle Lastings welcoming countless men into his hotel room—some for pleasure, others to be recruited for the fight against Bolshevism. When the Nazis send Lastings fleeing for his life, Francis is left alone, penniless, and hunted, with only his keen sense of hedonism to distract him from a city that gets more menacing every night.
Afternoons in Paris: Escaping Germany, young Francis finds refuge—and inspiration—in the cafés of Paris. But his peaceful life as a budding artist is short-lived when he hears gunshots and sees a Russian émigré cut down by an assassin. To escape murderous Russians, Francis must flee to the countryside and eventually lays low with an avant-garde theater company. When Uncle Lastings appears in Paris up to his old tricks, Francis will find himself once again pulled into a deadly game of international espionage.
Mornings in London: The final volume in Law’s prequel trilogy comes full circle, with Francis returning to England. As much as Francis loves the nightclubs and back alleys of swinging Soho, he’s put aside his distaste for the pastoral life to rescue his favorite cousin, Poppy, a spirited young debutante who’s fallen for one Freddie Bosworth, an accused blackmailer with a love for Mussolini and more than one dark secret. When the cousins find Freddie on the manor grounds with his throat slit, Francis has another murder to solve.