See the changes on the right of the page? Yes, the second book about James Burke is out!
That sort of crept up on me. It was something off in the distant future and suddenly it's out. I'm up to my ears writing the next one and I've let this go without ceremony or fanfare. Whoops!
Now that the second book is published, Accent have taken the chance to relaunch the first. I really like what they've done with the new covers. This is clearly a series about BURKE and the sepia images more closely represent his undercover work than the original picture of a soldier, however accurate his uniform. The title of the first one has been changed too. I liked His Majesty's Confidential Agent but even I found it a mouthful and I wrote it. Burke in the Land of Silver is simple and clear and puts the centre of the book unambiguously in Argentina.
Burke and the Bedouin is pretty straightforward too. There's even a convenient map on the cover to remind us that we are in Egypt. It's 1798 and Napoleon is invading the Middle East. It's another part of our history that we are forgetting about. The Battle of the Pyramids and the Battle of the Nile were the sort of thing that every school child was supposed to have studied once, but no more. It's not the end of education as we know it (though it did leave me in Acre, on the coast of Israel, wondering how Napoleon had ever got there), but it has deprived us of some good stories.
Burke and the Bedouin is an old-fashioned adventure yarn. There is an evil villain, a beautiful damsel in distress, midnight rides across the desert, and desperate fights with kidnappers and assorted evil-doers. And while Burke is doing all this, there's the little matter of trying to stop Napoleon from leading an army across the desert to India. It's yet another of those amazing military adventures you've probably never heard of.
I'll be writing more about it next week, but feel free to buy a copy right away!