State of Treason

by Paul Walker (Author)

William Constable Spy Thriller series - Book 1

Book Description:​

London 1578 – a cauldron of conspiracy, intrigue and torture.

The might of Spain and the growing influence of the Catholic League in France all threaten the stability of Queen Elizabeth and her state.

William Constable, a physician and astrologer, is summoned to the presence of the Queen’s spymaster, Sir Francis Walsingham. He is charged to assist a renowned Puritan, John Foxe, in uncovering the secrets of a mysterious cabinet containing an astrological chart and coded message. Together, these claim Elizabeth has a hidden, illegitimate child (an “unknowing maid”) who will be declared to the masses and serve as the focus for an invasion.

Constable must uncover the identity of the plotters, unaware that he is also under suspicion.

A connection to his estranged mentor, Doctor Dee, comes under scrutiny.

Pressured into taking up a position as a court physician, Constable becomes a reluctant spy.

Do the stars and cipher speak true, or is there some other malign intent in the complex web of scheming?

Constable becomes an unwitting pawn, in a complex game of thrones and power.

State of Treason is the first in a series of Elizabethan thrillers featuring William Constable.

Recommended for fans of CJ Sansom, S J Parris and Rory Clements.

Paul Walker is the author of the William Constable series of Elizabethan spy thrillers. He lives in London.

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This is an enjoyable piece of Elizabethan espionage, hunting down traitors in or near the court of Gloriana. The Queen seems to be the unseen hearer of every conversation, the inspiration for loyalty and an object of hatred in a desperate mixture of religion, politics and ambition. It is quite densely written in the present historic which will remind readers of the writings of Hilary Mantel and for my money a better novel than any of hers. I look forward to more from a writer whose research and skill with dialogue and plotting has been put to good use.

Paul Walker (Author)

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Paul is married and lives in a village 30 miles north of London. Having worked in universities and run his own business, he is now a full-time writer of fiction and part-time director of an education trust. His writing in a garden shed is regularly disrupted by children and a growing number of grandchildren and dogs. Paul writes historical fiction. He inherited his love of British history and historical fiction from his mother, who was an avid member of Richard III Society. The William Constable series of historical thrillers is based around real characters and events in the late sixteenth century. The first two books in the series – “State of Treason” and “A Necessary Killing” – were published in 2019. The third book, titled, “The Queen’s Devil”, was published in the summer of 2020. He took a diversion to the early 20th century and wrote a thriller based at the peace conference in Paris at the end of the First World War. “A Turbulent Peace” was published in 2022. Now, it’s back to the sixteenth century and more Elizabethan intrigue for William Constable and his confederates.

State of Treason

This is an enjoyable piece of Elizabethan espionage, hunting down traitors in or near the court of Gloriana. The Queen seems to be the unseen hearer of every conversation, the inspiration for loyalty and an object of hatred in a desperate mixture of religion, politics and ambition. It is quite densely written in the present historic which will remind readers of the writings of Hilary Mantel and for my money a better novel than any of hers. I look forward to more from a writer whose research and skill with dialogue and plotting has been put to good use.

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