Today, I’m sharing an extract with you all from ‘The Lost Diary of Samuel Pepys’ by Jack Jewers. My thanks to Funmi Lijadu at Midas PR for the digital copy I took the following extract from. First though, let’s have a look at the bookish information.
Author : Jack Jewers
Title : The Lost Diary of Samuel Pepys
Pages : 360
Publisher : Moonflower Publishing
Publication date : August 4, 2022
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
It is the summer of 1669 and England is in dire straits.
The treasury’s coffers are bare and tensions with the powerful Dutch Republic are boiling over. And now, an investigator sent by the King to look into corruption at the Royal Navy has been brutally murdered. Loathe to leave the pleasures of London, Samuel Pepys is sent dragging his feet to Portsmouth to find the truth about what happened.
Aided by his faithful assistant, Will Hewer, he soon exposes the killer. But has he got the right person? The truth may be much more sinister. And if the mystery isn’t solved in time, then England could be thrown into a war that would have devastating consequences .
The diaries of Samuel Pepys have enthralled readers for centuries with their audacious wit, gripping detail, and racy assignations. Pepys stopped writing at the age of 36. Or did he? This action-packed historical thriller, described as “Bridgerton meets Sherlock” imagines what might have happened next.
| EXTRACT |
Will and I had barely stepped out onto the landing stage when a guardsman came forward to question us, but luckily the fellow recognised me and waved us straight through.
We hurried into the palace grounds. It was already hot, despite the early hour, the sun blazing in a cloudless sky. Sweat stung my eyes and I tried in vain to loosen the ill-fitting collar that cut into my neck.
I cursed myself once again. Today was set to be the grandest Water Triumph since the time of the old king. Representatives of all the foreign courts were to process down the river from White Hall Palace, to be met by His Majesty at Greenwich, where a new ambassador was to be admitted into court.
My job was to greet the ambassadors at their arrival and see them safely to their barges. But to have been bestowed with such a task, and not only to be late, by Christ, but to have forgotten until I saw those ships at Rotherhithe dock …
How in God’s name could I have been so stupid?
We passed under a wide stone arch and immediately turned down a curved passage lined with neat, timber-framed apartments. At the end of this lay the covered space of the Stone Gallery. All we had to do was cross this and we’d be in the Privy Garden. The designated meeting point was just beyond.
It was then that I heard the roar. Two or three hundred people, or so it sounded, cheering and applauding.
‘Oh Lord, Sam, are they already here?’
I listened intently. ‘I think not. That sounded like something else.
We may yet make it.’
Entering the Privy Garden, we ran as fast as we could up the sloped ground. I barely noticed its neat box flower beds, bright with blooms, though the scent was heady in the warm air. As we passed the old sundial, I saw that the time was nearing half past seven. God be praised, they were running late.
A voice bellowed at us from up ahead. ‘Pepys. Damn and bugger you.’
I turned to Will in despair. ‘Oh, Christ. We are done.’
The Duke of Albemarle stepped out from under a stone arch at the top end of the garden. An expensive black wig hung down to the shoulders of his richly tailored coat of scarlet brocade. The old man’s bulky frame was raised even higher by a pair of fashionable tall-heeled boots.
‘Where in Christ’s name have you been?’ he rasped in that rough officer’s voice of his.
‘I am most deeply sorry, my Lord. In truth, we were caught in a most dreadful fire this last night, and only just escaped with our lives.’
‘We?’ He jabbed a finger at Will. ‘Who’s this?’ Will bowed deeply. ‘William Hewer, Your Grace.’
The duke continued without acknowledgement. ‘Fire? What fire?
I hesitated. ‘Southwark, my lord.’
He leaned forward and lowered his voice to a menacing purr. ‘Do you mean to tell me that you were late for the ambassadors’ triumph because you spent the night at some Southwark stew?’
I searched for the words but none came. My growing status, my reputation at court – all was now in jeopardy.
I felt like a fool.
The duke rose back to his full height. ‘No time now. You will get out there and you will do your job, Mr Pepys, and by God’s balls you will do it well. There is to be no mishap. None. Do I make myself clear?’
‘Yes, my Lord,’ I replied, trying hard not to stammer. ‘Then go.’
I started to move, but he grabbed my arm to stop me. His fingers dug deep into my flesh. To my surprise, his tone softened, as if he were worried about something.
‘Pepys, I must see you about another matter. Be at my office, tomorrow morning, at eight.’ He fixed me with piercing look. ‘Do not be late.’
I don’t know about you but I’m already intrigued and I’m hoping to get around to reading this one soon. If the extract has piqued your interest, and I don’t see why it wouldn’t have, ‘The Lost Diary of Samuel Pepys’ is out in all formats on August 4th!
| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |
Jack Jewers is a filmmaker and writer, passionate about history. His career has been spent telling stories in all media, and his body of work includes film, TV, and digital media. His films have been shown at dozens of international film festivals, including Cannes, New York, Marseille, Dublin, and London’s FrightFest, garnering multiple accolades, including an award from the Royal Television Society and a nomination for Best Short Film by BAFTA Wales. The Lost Diary of Samuel Pepys is his first novel.