(304 pages, September, 2000)
The little girl who disappears at the end of The Ruby in the Smoke turns up again, and in the unlikeliest setting I could think of. Actually, it was the most enjoyable of all the books to write. The city where much of the story is set doesn’t really exist, but it’s a lot like Prague; I went there to wander about and get an idea what it might look like. And managing Adelaide’s gradual education in statecraft and diplomacy was great fun. I can see more stories about her and Jim, and the other characters – especially Sally – and I’ll get around to them as soon as I can.