Get an exclusive free story about Carey when he was a boy. Click here!Exclusive free story about Robert Carey, aged eight

"I love P F Chisholm's mysteries! A Clash of Spheres has it all: heart-thumping suspense, wry humor, political intrigue, a king in peril. Robert Carey is irresistible, a swashbuckling courtier... impulsive, courageous, too clever by half, in love with an unhappily married woman..."

Sharon Kay Penman

Sir Robert Carey has new problems. One of the most important is that his dour, lethal henchman, Henry Dodd, Land-Sergeant of Gilsland, has fallen out with him. Dodd can’t forgive Carey for not massacring his blood-enemies, the Elliots.

Also there is something ugly brewing in Scotland. Carey finds himself riding to Edinburgh with Dodd and a mysterious tooth-drawer who carries a letter from Sir Robert Cecil himself, Mr Simon Anricks by name.

Events come to a head at King James’s court, where a great Disputation will take place on New Year’s Eve, along with an attempt on the King’s life.

A Clash of Spheres
Amazon.co.uk Poisoned Pen Press Kobo

At last the dashing courtier, Sir Robert Carey, has his precious warrant as Deputy Warden. However, his lethal henchman, Sergeant Dodd, is enraged with him for not massacring Dodd’s blood-enemies, the Elliots, at the incident at Dick of Dryhope’s tower.

And there is some kind of plot maturing in Scotland, something threatening the King of Scotland’s life. Carey rides to Edinburgh with Dodd and along with him, a mysterious tooth-drawer and philosopher, Simon Anricks. Mr Anricks has been invited to court by King James who is eager to hear him speak at a grand Disputation between the Ptolemaic and Copernican systems for the arrangement of the Sun and planets. Anricks plans to use mathematics in his speech.

At the dissolute and violent Scottish court, Carey has to keep an eye on Dodd, who may have taken money to kill him, help Anricks write his speech and work out how the King is supposed to die. Can he stop the assassination of the King?

A Clash of Spheres
Amazon.co.uk Poisoned Pen Press Kobo