Fires of London

The Francis Bacon Mysteries

Book 1
Open Road Media
3
Free sample

A killer takes refuge in the blacked-out streets of wartime London, upending the world of one of Britain’s greatest painters in this chilling and captivating reimagining of the life of Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon walks the streets of World War II London, employed as a warden for the ARP to keep watch for activities that might tip off the Axis powers. Before the war, Bacon had travelled to Berlin and Paris picking up snatches of culture from a succession of middle-aged men charmed by his young face. Known for his flamboyant personal life and expensive taste, Bacon has returned home to live with his former nanny—who’s also his biggest collector—in a cramped bohemian apartment. But one night, death intrudes on his after-hours paradise. When a young man is found dead in the park, his head smashed in, Bacon and the rest of London’s demimonde realize that they have much more to fear than the faraway scream of war.
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About the author

Janice Law (b. 1941) is an acclaimed author of mystery fiction. The Watergate scandal inspired her to write her first novel, The Big Payoff, which introduced Anna Peters, a street-smart young woman who blackmails her boss, a corrupt oil executive. The novel was a success, winning an Edgar nomination, and Law went on to write eight more in the series, including Death Under Par and Cross-Check. Law has written historical mysteries, standalone suspense, and, most recently, the Francis Bacon Mysteries, which include The Prisoner of the Riviera, winner of the 2013 Lambda Literary Gay Mystery Award. She lives and writes in Connecticut. 
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3.0
3 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Sep 4, 2012
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Pages
188
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ISBN
9781453251508
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Amateur Sleuth
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Historical
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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During the glory days of the Roaring Twenties, budding artist Francis Bacon heads to Paris to paint, love, and spy.

Francis Bacon was having a ball in Berlin—until his uncle Lastings disappeared, leaving Francis alone, broke, and wanted by the German police as well as the burgeoning Nazi party for a political murder he didn’t commit. Luckily, for a young painter still learning his craft, there’s no better place to find refuge than the cafés of Paris. In the City of Lights, Francis can perfect his French, complete his education, and—if he’s lucky—escape with his life.
 
Strolling along the boulevard one lovely evening, he hears gunshots and sees a Russian émigré cut down by an assassin. Francis dashes into the night and flees to the countryside, but it’s too late—the brilliant young painter is in trouble again. And when Uncle Lastings reappears, Francis will find himself back in the thick of a deadly game of international espionage.
 
Inspired by the decadent youth of real-life legendary painter Francis Bacon, Afternoons in Paris is the latest installment in one of the most unique espionage series to come along in years. Featuring escapades in Berlin, Paris, and London, this trilogy is steeped in the shadowy atmosphere of John Horne Burns’s bestselling The Gallery, one of the first novels to showcase unflinching depictions of gay life during wartime.

Afternoons in Paris is the 5th book in the Francis Bacon Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
Artist Francis Bacon gets tangled up in murder while visiting the English countryside in the final mystery of this Lambda Award–winning series.

Francis Bacon awakes in a four-poster bed with a punishing hangover and a naked footman beside him. The setting and company mean he’s in the country, and that spells disaster for an up-and-coming artist whose natural habitat is the nightclubs and back alleys of swinging Soho. But he’s put aside his distaste for the pastoral life for the sake of his favorite cousin, Poppy, a spirited young debutante who’s committed the biggest blunder a deb can make: She’s fallen in love with Freddie Bosworth—and must be rescued at all costs.

Bosworth is a cad, an accused blackmailer with a love for Mussolini and dark secrets too terrible to tell. Fortunately, Poppy comes to her senses, breaking the engagement, and Francis thinks their troubles are over. But when the cousins take a walk through the manor grounds the next day, they find a handsome young man in a pin-striped suit lying dead in the grass. Freddie’s throat has been cut, and Francis’s life is on the line.

Along his globetrotting adventures—which have taken him everywhere from Tangier to Berlin—Francis has been mixed up with spies, killers, and the misfits of the cities’ underworlds. Now Janice Law, the Edgar Award–nominated author of Afternoons in Paris, continues to imagine the early years of the fascinating Irish-born painter, a notorious bon vivant, in the thrilling last installment of her popular mystery series.

Mornings in London is the 6th book in the Francis Bacon Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
Sixty years after Dorothy L. Sayers began her unfinished Lord Peter Wimsey novel, Thrones Dominations, Booker Prize finalist Jill Paton Walsh took on the challenge of completing the manuscript---with extraordinary success. "The transition is seamless," said the San Francisco Chronicle; "you cannot tell where Sayers leaves off and Walsh begins."

"Will Paton Walsh do it again?" wondered Ruth Rendell in London's Sunday Times. "We must hope so."

Jill Paton Walsh fulfills those hopes in A Presumption of Death. Although Sayers never began another Wimsey novel, she did leave clues. Drawing on "The Wimsey Papers," in which Sayers showed various members of the family coping with wartime conditions, Walsh has devised an irresistible story set in 1940, at the start of the Blitz in London.

Lord Peter is abroad on secret business for the Foreign Office, while Harriet Vane, now Lady Peter Wimsey, has taken their children to safety in the country. But war has followed them there---glamorous RAF pilots and even more glamorous land-girls scandalize the villagers, and the blackout makes the nighttime lanes as sinister as the back alleys of London. Daily life reminds them of the war so constantly that, when the village's first air-raid practice ends with a real body on the ground, it's almost a shock to hear the doctor declare that it was not enemy action, but plain, old-fashioned murder. Or was it?

At the request of the overstretched local police, Harriet reluctantly agrees to investigate. The mystery that unfolds is every bit as literate, ingenious, and compelling as the best of original Lord Peter Wimsey novels.

In the latest mystery in the New York Times bestselling series, Maisie Dobbs must unravel a case of wartime love and death—an investigation that leads her to a long-hidden affair between a young cartographer and a mysterious nurse.

August 1914. Michael Clifton is mapping the land he has just purchased in California's beautiful Santa Ynez Valley, certain that oil lies beneath its surface. But as the young cartographer prepares to return home to Boston, war is declared in Europe. Michael—the youngest son of an expatriate Englishman—puts duty first and sails for his father's native country to serve in the British army. Three years later, he is listed among those missing in action.

April 1932. London psychologist and investigator Maisie Dobbs is retained by Michael's parents, who have recently learned that their son's remains have been unearthed in France. They want Maisie to find the unnamed nurse whose love letters were among Michael's belongings—a quest that takes Maisie back to her own bittersweet wartime love. Her inquiries, and the stunning discovery that Michael Clifton was murdered in his trench, unleash a web of intrigue and violence that threatens to engulf the soldier's family and even Maisie herself. Over the course of her investigation, Maisie must cope with the approaching loss of her mentor, Maurice Blanche, and her growing awareness that she is once again falling in love.

Following the critically acclaimed bestseller Among the Mad, The Mapping of Love and Death delivers the most gripping and satisfying chapter yet in the life of Maisie Dobbs.

The first three brilliantly realized novels in the Lambda Literary Award–winning historical mystery series featuring the real-life British painter.
 
Spanning London during the Blitz to the postwar French Riviera to Tangier in the 1950s, these three mysteries in Janice Law’s award-winning Francis Bacon series richly reimagine the life of 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).
 
Fires of London: Francis Bacon patrols the streets of wartime London during the Blitz as an air raid warden, keeping watch for activities that might tip off the Axis powers. One night while making his rounds, the painter discovers an acquaintance from the gay bars murdered in Hyde Park. But he is only the first victim. Under cover of the blackout, someone is killing young gay men. When Bacon himself is suspected, he’s driven to find a killer on the ground, even as the Luftwaffe continues to rain death from the sky. Fires of London was a 2012 Lambda Literary Award Finalist for Best Gay Mystery.
 
“Law does a bangup job of recreating London during the Blitz, and portraying real-life artist Francis Bacon as an unlikely sleuth.” —Publishers Weekly
 
The Prisoner of the Riviera: World War II may be over, but the painter’s troubles are just beginning. After Bacon and his lover try to save a Frenchman gunned down outside a London gambling club, the casino owner approaches him with a proposition: He will forgive Bacon’s considerable debts if he delivers a package to the dead man’s widow on the French Riviera. What gambler could resist a trip to Monte Carlo? But against a bright backdrop of sun-drenched beaches, Bacon is soon drawn into dark intrigue and forced to gamble with his life. The Prisoner of the Riviera won the 2013 Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Mystery.
 
“Law is close to perfect in presenting the timeless charms of the Riviera, and she’s just as satisfying in shaping Bacon as a reluctant but brave and somewhat lucky sleuth.” —Toronto Star
 
Moon Over Tangier: Following his unstable lover, David, from London to colonial Morocco, Bacon falls in with a thriving community of expats in Tangier who guzzle champagne while revolutionaries gather in the desert. But when the painter identifies a friend’s Picasso as a fake, he soon finds himself entangled in the police investigation surrounding the forger’s demise. Between the bustle of postwar Tangier and the emptiness of the desert, Bacon finds that in Morocco’s international zone, even the fakes can be worth killing for.
 
“The pacing is good, the bad guys—and gals—are bad, and the integration of art and painting provides a solid framework on which to hang the story.” —Historical Novel Society
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