Death of a Cuckold Knight Jake Reynolds Book 2 by B.R. Stateham Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
It is 1915 and World War One is raging across Europe. A continent-wide killing field consumes the flower of manhood for most of the nations fighting in the trenches. Or in the air. Or on the high seas. In this quagmire of death, one would think the act of murder would be the last horror anyone would consider. Or committing the act of stealing an incredibly rare, and priceless, painting. But for Royal Flying Corps Captain Jake Reynolds, the act of thievery is a given. Jake Reynolds is an art thief. A very talented art thief. He steals rare paintings, replacing them with forgeries so exact no one can tell the difference. But he is also unlucky. Unlucky in that, occasionally, he stumbles into a homicide case he had no intention of getting involved in. Like the one which involves him now. He finds the owner of the unknown Rembrandt cruelly murdered in his own mansion. The rich man's house staff have been cruelly dispatched as well. For Jake, when it comes to murder, he cannot let it go. Some weird quirk of his personality refuses to allow anyone to get away with such a heinous crime. But the problem for him is this; how can he find the vicious killers and bring them to justice without revealing his own felonious act?Jake will find a way.
Meet Captain Jake Reynolds – pilot, adventurer, art thief, spy.
In the opening weeks of World War One, and as a member of the newly formed British Royal Flying Corps, Captain Jake Reynolds is shipped off to Belgium.
Roped in by his squadron commander to prove the innocence of a young lieutenant accused of murder, Jake also wants to steal a 14th Century Jan van Eck painting.
The problem is both the evidence and the painting are behind enemy lines.
How do you prove a man's innocence and steal a masterpiece while an entire German army is breathing down your neck?
Praise for Death of a Young Lieutenant
“Once in a while you come across a novel that is different and unique. A novel that just doesn’t quite fit into the same square and round peg holes, doesn’t follow the formulas that the big guys set out for everybody and is so well done structurally you need to take pause and enjoy it for the gem it is.”
Praise for BR Stateham
“Stateham's fiction is solid, realistic and totally without pretention or author's ego. He pays attention to detail at all times without making the book hard going. A thoroughly enjoyable read that left me hungry for more.”
B.R. Stateham is a fourteen-year-old boy trapped in a seventy-one-year-old body. But his enthusiasm and boyish delight in anything mysterious and/or unknown continue.
Writing novels, especially detectives, is just the avenue of escape which keeps the author’s mind sharp and inquisitive. He’s published a ton of short stories in online magazines like Crooked, Darkest Before the Dawn, Abandoned Towers, Pulp Metal Magazine, Suspense Magazine, Spinetingler Magazine, Near to The Knuckle, A Twist of Noir, Angie’s Diary, Power Burn Flash, and Eastern Standard Crime. He writes both detective/mysteries, as well as science-fiction and fantasy.
In writing a historical-detective novel, it seems to me it is important to anchor the tale of derring-do onto a rock of something actual historical in fact. With the third Jake Reynolds novel, featuring art-forger and reluctant detective Jake Reynolds, this is exactly what I propose doing. The book is tentatively entitled, A Killer in Uniform. But the title may change as we approach its conclusion. But the historical fact the novel's secondary story revolves around is not in doubt. The kernel of historical truth is this; In 1911 an unemployed artist down on his luck but currently working as a janitor in the famous French museum, the Louvre, and three other associates of his, on a quiet Sunday morning hid themselves in one of the many rooms of the giant building until the crowds and most of the staff departed for the day. When they did, they quietly left their hiding places, found Leonardo di Vinci's internationally known masterpiece, The Mona Lisa, and stole it. They lifted the heavy-framed Renaissance masterpiece off the wall in one of the exhibition halls, cut the painting out of its frame, and departed sight unseen and unreported. As might be expected, the international uproar generated by this daring theft was loud and demanding. Interestingly, the thieves tried to sell the canvas to anyone who would accept their demands. None were foolish enough to do so since no one in their right minds would touch such a hot piece of stolen art. But . . . what if? What if someone actually did accept the real masterpiece? But if they did, how did they hide it from the rest of the world? And who accepted such an incredibly find? Ah! The plot thickens, as they say.
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