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(A book in the Justice Belstrang Mystery series)
A novel by

'John Pilkington’s dazzling Jacobean mystery is gripping from intriguing beginning to enthralling climax. Brilliantly drawn characters jostle in the streets of 17th century London - in the still toxic aftermath of the Gunpowder Plot. Every detail from the language to the action rings true and Justice Belstrang, the hero of the tale, is a vividly drawn and fascinating companion.' Peter Tonkin, author of A Verse To Murder



Robert Belstrang, ex-magistrate bored with country life, comes to London to investigate the strange disappearance of Thomas Jessop, son of a poor Catholic neighbour. He locates the youth in Bedlam asylum, silent and starving himself. When he tries to free Jessop, he is warned off the case by a politic lawyer, Anstis. Soon after, Belstrang finds himself drugged, robbed and falsely imprisoned.

Once released Belstrang persists in his investigation, but he is thwarted at every turn: unseen forces are at work who seemingly want Thomas Jessop to die. When Belstrang confronts Anstis, even he turns up dead.

The trail grows murkier by the hour, drawing Belstrang into the fear-ridden Catholic underworld - until he uncovers a plan with its roots in the Gunpowder Plot of more than a decade ago. Young Thomas, an embittered papist, was being used in a desperate scheme to mark the anniversary of the Plot. The scheme failed – and now the conspirators seem eager to cover up the whole business.

But Belstrang’s a stubborn man. With the help of ex-soldier Daniel Oldrigg, he sticks doggedly to his purpose - and stumbles on the real causes of the Anniversary Plot, which stem from the very heart of a corrupt government.

Belstrang must uncover the truth, or die trying.

‘A page-turning crime novel from a master of the genre and period.’ Richard Foreman

‘A spellbinding journey through the stinking slums and glittering palaces of Jacobean England.’ Steven Veerapen

John Pilkington was born in Preston, into one of the oldest Lancashire families. He writes historical fiction as well as drama which has been adapted for radio, theatre and tv. He is the author of the Thomas the Falconer Mystery series.

Praise for John Pilkington:

‘A sturdy and entertaining historical for fans of Elizabethan mysteries.’ Library Journal

‘Pilkington’s third Thomas the Falconer historical offers a real treat… This tale gives an authentic sense of Elizabethan life’s visceral side with all its lawlessness and brutality, including a climactic battle.’ Publishers Weekly

'The story moves at a great pace… it made a welcome change to discover Elizabethan England through the eyes of a lesser mortal.' The Historical Novels Review

Genre: Historical

Praise for this book

"A spellbinding journey through the stinking slums and glittering palaces of Jacobean England." - Steven Veerapen

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Used availability for John Pilkington's Legacy

Paperback Editions

June 2020 : Paperback

Title: Legacy: A Justice Belstrang Mystery
Author(s): John Pilkington
Publisher: Independently Published
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   

Kindle Editions

June 2020 : USA, Australia, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: Legacy: A Justice Belstrang Mystery
Author(s): John Pilkington
Publisher: Sharpe Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU