Cover & title reveal: The Monk's Secret

I’m so thrilled to share my new cover and the title of the first Loup de Foix Mystery with you:

The Monk’s Secret




Historical background:

Loup de Foix was the illegitimate son of Raymond-Roger, count of Foix. The town of Foix lies in the south-west of France, and the counts held some sway, politically. Raymond-Roger in particular was known to be a flamboyant character, with an outrageous dress sense (for his time) and a glib tongue. He was a great orator, and his speeches are well-recorded.

Raymond-Roger (’Roger’ in the novel, to avoid confusion with other Raymonds – a popular name at the time!) had at least four children: Roger-Bernard (’Bernard’ in the novel, for obvious reasons) and Cécile were legitimate. Amongst his illegitimate children were Loup and Esclarmonde (named after her famous aunt). 

The count’s sister, Esclarmonde de Foix, was a well known Perfect in the Bon Chrétien religious movement, now known as the Cathars. And his wife, Philippa, ran a house for girls and women, seeing to their education, also linked to the Cathars. And whilst not a Cathar himself, the count was therefore positively inclined towards the ’heretics’ as Pope Innocent III saw them. A dangerous situation to find yourself in!

The counts of Foix and Toulouse of that time were close, although Raymond de Saint Gilles, count of Toulouse, held more power. Deprived of his lands and excommunicated several times by the Pope, Raymond (’Ramon’ in the novel, his Occitan name) was joined by Raymond-Roger on his journey to Rome to attend the Lateran Council of 1215. In fact, they were joined by their sons and a large entourage. The speech of the count of Foix at the council was very impressive, but you’ll have to read the first book in the series to find out what happened...

As for Loup, we don’t know his exact age, but we have knowledge of several charters he signed in his lifetime, and we know he married Honora de Beaumont, and through that marriage he became Lord of Saverdun, his lands situated between Foix and Toulouse. He appears to have been widely respected, though not much is known about him in relation to his father’s and brother’s activities. So I made him join them, the most likely scenario...


The Monk’s Secret

The first in the Loup de Foix Mystery series. 


Death strikes without warning. 

November 1215.

The count of Toulouse attends the Fourth Lateran Council, the most important religious council in centuries, to clear his name and regain his lands. Count Roger of Foix travels with him, together with his sons Bernard and Loup. 

When fifteen-year-old Loup witnesses the murder of a monk, his curiosity leads him to follow the trail of a tall man in a black cloak who had spoken to the monk mere moments earlier.

Loup discovers a link that leads directly to Guy de Montfort, brother of Simon de Montfort who is in charge of flushing out the Bons Chrétiens from their strongholds in Loup’s native Languedoc. 

As their hearing with Pope Innocent approaches, Loup grows more and more concerned about his father’s safety, and that of Toulouse. During a night of drinking, Loup falls into a trap and barely escapes with his life, but the stranger now knows where to find him. 

When Loup learns of the monk’s secret, he knows that all their lives are in danger.

Can Loup identify the killer and link him to Montfort? Or will justice wither in the Holy See?

And will they leave Rome alive?


The Monk’s Secret will soon be available to pre-order at Amazon!




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