The Duke and the Imposter written and self-published by Michael Stolle is available NOW in ebook and paperback format. The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.
To buy link: https://amzn.to/2Y26BfH
It’s a beautiful day in the seventeenth century. Pierre, Marquis de Beauvoir, Duke of Hertford and his small family arrive for a picnic on the banks of the River Loire in the grounds of his castle of Montrésor. It is a garden Eden – beautiful and peaceful. But fate strikes and, taken by surprise, the lunch party is ambushed.
Pierre is found later by his faithful valet, barely clinging to life, but his wife and only son have vanished without a trace. Beyond consolation, Pierre is convinced that his family has been annihilated. Luckily his friends François and Armand rush to the castle from Paris to his aid – and to investigate.
The quest leads to the coast of France and then on to the shores of England, a country torn apart by old loyalties to the Stuart king and the rise of the new Puritan gentry.
As the friends come closer and closer to the viper’s nest they must find out the truth, and track down the mastermind behind the ambush, who is prepared to stop at nothing until he has taken Pierre’s place and styled himself the next Duke of Hertford. A man not known to take prisoners. Soon Pierre and his friends are not only fighting against an enemy who’s ruthless and vile, they’re racing against time, the biggest enemy of all.
I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Michael Stolle’s latest novel: The Duke and the Imposter. The Duke and the Imposter is book five in The French Orphan series.
I’d like to welcome the author, Michael Stolle, to my blog and I have a few questions regarding his work I’d like to share:
1. What intrigues you about writing fiction set in the 17th century?
I wish I could give an elaborate and concise explanation. In fact I devoured hundreds of history books – fiction and non-fiction – but varying from the Assyrian empire to the recent European history. I had no true preference.
I always loved the 17th century, the progress of science and philosophy freed people from old patterns, the Vatican lost its iron grip on politics and people’s minds in many countries, creating new political powers and alliances. Every author loves a dose of suspense and chaos
One day, I was frustrated as I was reading a historical novel – and all appeared fake and wrong to me. The leading character didn’t fit – the plot was supposed to be playing in medieval times – but nothing matched, it was a piece of cheap romance just written hastily for effect.
I thought, I can do this better – and suddenly the characters of Pierre and Armand materialized and as the Cardinal Richelieu had always fascinated me, I chose his period. It was as if these characters had always been there, just waiting for me to start writing. Weird…
2. The Duke and the Imposter is book five in The French Orphan series; as a new reader coming into the series at this point can you give a brief summary of the story to far?
That question is a challenge as a lot happened…
The leading character Pierre de Beauvoir is an orphan, raised in a French monastery school. Here he discovers with the help of his friend Armand that in fact he’s the heir to two big fortunes: his father was a French Marquis, his mother inherited the title of the Duchy of Hertford. But the Prime Minister of France (the infamous Cardinal Richelieu) and his French cousin Henri try to get hold of him as they want the fortune that comes with both titles. Pierre’s life is constantly in danger and this hunt goes on for almost two years and spans from France to England and culminates in Venice where the final encounter with his foe Henri takes place. As the boy becomes a young adult Pierre falls in love and marries – whilst his friend Armand is constantly falling in love, he just can’t help it.
In the end it’s friendship that prevails and will save Pierre.
I’ve been criticized because the story has a happy ending, but that’s what I wanted it to be. There’s enough heart-wrenching drama in the bookstores, no need for me to add another one.
I totally agree with you about happy endings and we need more of these 🙂
3. Are there any other historical eras that intrigue you?
I’m reading the series Vespasian from Robert Fabbri at the moment and the Imperial Rome is a truly fascinating era. But I wouldn’t dare start writing a novel at this stage as the required level of detail of Roman daily life would be quite a challenge.
I also like Georgette Heyer’s Regency novels, I think she’s been underrated as an author, I adore her dry sense of humour. The Grand Sophy is my favourite. I love the depiction of Regency life, I guess many Jane Austen fans will agree.
4. I am fascinated how fiction can bring history to life. Do you undertake lots of research prior to starting a book?
I have the advantage that I have read lots of books and that I travelled extensively, so I could describe most locations as I had seen and visited them. But I drilled down and checked historical facts, visited museums and studied old maps to be as accurate as possible. The Metropolitan Museum in New York is a treasure, I learnt a lot there. Wikipedia is a blessing as well, it saves hours and days of browsing archives. I had to learn that men wore breeches and not pants. Many authors walk into the trap and mention windows in coaches but those have been invented later, in the 17th century they only had blinds. Being precise on these kinds of details is important for me.
5. What’s next, do you have a work in progress?
I may write a story focusing on Pierre’s best friend Armand, but I haven’t made up my mind yet.
Thanks for the opportunity of being part of your blog tour!
Thank you Michael Stolle for the insightful answers and for joining me on the tour.
About the Author
Born and educated in Europe, Michael has always been intrigued by the historical setting and the fact that what makes us human was as true in the 17th century as it is now.
He has been reading and writing about history for longer than he cares to recall…