Troubador A Set of Lies

Released: 28/06/2015

ISBN: 9781784622763

eISBN: 9781784629236

Format: Paperback/eBook

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A Set of Lies


A Set of Lies is a gripping historical novel and complex page-turner, taking the fate of one of Europe’s greatest historical figures, Napoleon Bonaparte, and changing everything we thought we knew about him... 15 July 1815. Napoleon Bonaparte, a celebrated but controversial figure, and one of the greatest wartime commanders, reluctantly surrenders to the British. From here, as generations of history students know, he is exiled to St Helena and lives out his life as a captive. However, what if Bonaparte was too valuable an asset for the English to exile to a remote colony? What if, instead, an audacious plan was enacted, with approval from the highest level of Government – substituting Napoleon for a double and thereby changing the course of history? And what if the agent behind the daring plan felt compelled to leave his own record of events in a secret diary? One that could only be discovered if the three clues contained within his notebook, letter and locket could be found and deciphered? And what would happen if this secret was discovered by chance, over 200 years later...? Napoleon is quoted as saying, ‘‘History is a set of lies agreed upon’ – and as the novel progresses, the set of the lies starts to unravel...

Carolyn enjoys writing - sticking with it through the hard times because she has stories to tell.
Hostage to Fortune is Carolyn's eighth title and the fourth in a series of 'history mysteries' where modern day mysteries (murder, abduction, fraud) are solved through an understanding of families' histories. Investigation into a missing keeper of a safe house leads Skye and Fergal (our historical consultants) to preventing a psychopathic killer adding to his tally.
A Second Strand, her seventh title is Carolyn's second murder mystery (though all other books involve some degree of mystery of one sort or another).
The main suspect disappears two days after he discovers his dying neighbour and before DNA tests indicate the victim was his father.
Is he guilty? If so why? If not who is? And what, if any, are the links to a previous murder, perpetrated in the same small town (Yarmouth, Isle of Wight) two years earlier.

Her Parents' Daughter A woman is arrested, gun in hand, standing over a murder victim. Was she as guilty as she appeared to be or had she been set up? And if set up, why and by whom?

A Set of Lies was published to mark the Napoleonic bi-centenary in 2015 is an alternate historical mystery covering two hundred years of a family's history. It introduces Skye and Fergal who feature in her new soon-to-be-published A Second Strand

The Iniquities Trilogy; The Last Dance, Walking Alone and Runaways
Each book stands alone but as a trilogy the reader learns more about the extended Donaldson family than they ever knew themselves. This is now being reworked as one book to be available in the Spring of 2018. (Well... musicians re-record their earlier works...)

Highly Unsuitable Girl In which a northern girl, who moves south, finally understands who she is and what she wants from life, eventually growing up (at the age of forty something).

Historical Novel Society

Isle of Wight County Press

The Bookseller

Isle of Wight County Press

An historical novel with a modern twist that reflects current political disquiet in our country today. There are flavours of spy networks and scheming by politicians, together with a family's struggle through time to know a secret. *****

by Baddy Purt

Guys and Dolls out there you simply have to read this book. Another slant on 'history' that will intrigue you and bet you can't guess the plot until the very end. Enjoy - I certainly did!

by 'Duck'

A very clever and well constructed historical novel. I couldn't put it down". A MUST READ". It would make a great film.

by Barry Lloyd

What an excellent book. I didn't want to put it down. Brilliantly written and well researched.

by RH Cobb

Five Stars
A fantastic page turner that kept me rapt until the last page

by Darren Mann

I've just finished reading 'A Set of Lies' (I don't get much time for reading these days, I'm afraid) and I loved it!!
The whole story has such plausibility.
Sales should go well!

by Dianne Thompson

A Set of Lies is an alternate historical novel based on an idea that Napoleon Bonaparte did not die in exile on the island of St. Helena.

The Duke of Wellington, together with other parliamentary conspirators, had him spirited away from Elba to the Isle of Wight, while a substitute was placed on the south Atlantic island until his death six years later.

Comfortably ensconced in a country home with a new wife and a daughter called Josephine, Napoleon, alias Claude Olivierre from Jersey, lived out the rest of his life in relative obscurity under the watchful eye of spymaster Sir Bernard Lacey, who had engineered the ruse.

The contemporary story tells of Skye, the illegitimate daughter of corrupt government minister Sir Arthur Lacey. After her aunt’s death, she is told by her father she has to leave his country home The Lodge, where she had always lived.
Before being evicted she befriends a young man Fergal, who arrives to take an inventory of the household contents on behalf of her father. Delving into the past they discover hidden diaries and a family bible and gather details of an important historical cover up dating back two-hundred years.
With the help of a historian Carl, they plough through ancient books and papers looking for clues. This eventually leads them to a coded message buried in a crypt in the grounds. In the attic Skye finds a portrait of an ancestor wearing a locket which had later belonged to her late aunt; an important key in proving Napoleon’s connection with the Lacey family.

The back story digs deep into the lives and loves of a string of ancestors, good and bad and reveals Skye and co-incidentally Fergal as direct descendant of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Once armed with proof that the General had indeed died on the Isle of Wight, Skye, Fergal and Carl take their story to a popular Sunday TV show. With all the facts revealed, exposes Skye’s father as a consummate liar and his connection to the ministers’ expenses scandal leads to his ultimate downfall.

The story has a different take on the aftermath of the Battle of Waterloo and will be a fascinating read for anyone interested in family lineages and the happenings of around the Napoleonic wars. To find out why the conspiracy was undertaken, you’ll have to read the book!

An enjoyable novel with a convincing plot to commemorate the bi-centenary of the Battle of Waterloo.

by Sue

HISTORY IS A SET OF LIES AGREED UPON. The title is a quote from Napoleon Bonaparte… not a man respected for his honesty, yet this statement is pregnant with truth. Exactly how much of the history we accept unquestioningly is fact and how much is fiction. What part of reality is hidden by myth?
On Sunday, 15 July 1815 the French fought the British under Wellington and, against all odds the battered Prussian army arrived on the field of Waterloo just in time to turn the tide of battle against Napoleon Bonaparte, who reluctantly surrenders to the British. The question now is , “Was he really stripped of every vestige of power, and exiled to the stifling, windswept island of St. Helena to fight the endless boredom awaiting him there or was that the fate of an unknown and here-to-for unnamed double? Was Napoleon, in fact, given a new identity and under the guidance of a British agent named Bernard Lacey, hidden in plain sight on the Isle of Wight in order to assist the English in establishing and maintaining peace by putting an end to the perpetual threat of war with France (the two countries had been at war almost continuously from 1066 to 1815).
Author Carolyn McCrae has offered a fresh perspective on this oft-told story by imagining for us an alternate version of the life of Napoleon in her gripping historical novel that portrays him not as a prisoner but as a family man, friend and neighbor as she takes the fate of this well known historical figure and modifies everything we thought we knew about him.
Moving smoothly between the 1800’s and the present day and utilizing themes of family secrets, dangerous deceptions, conflicting loyalties as well as spotlighting the duplicitous political double talk and paranoia that has survived throughout the centuries we are transported back and forth in time as modern day historians attempt to unravel the secret chronicles compiled by Bernard Lacey and discovered quite by chance some 200 years later.

Entering into this narrative and enjoying it does not depend on having an interest in Napoleon nor an in depth knowledge of history . This book should appeal to a plethora of readers since it is a richly imagined novel of ”what ifs” that reads like part biography, part family saga, part mystery and part modern romance. What more could you ask for?

by Red Rock Bookworm

4 out of 5 stars

I've always been fascinated by Napoleon Bonaparte, as well as his wife Josephine, so this book caught my attention right away. Just recently I began reading a couple of historical novels that were "alternate" histories, and while it is a little difficult for me to suspend my disbelief, once I get into it, I really like the idea of "what if" such and such had happened? How might history have been different? This offers an alternate history of Napoleon's life, had he not been exiled. It was definitely an interesting view on how things might have turned out, and I enjoyed reading the author's view on what Napoleon's future might have been like.

by Kimberly Maloney

Carolyn McCrae

Carolyn McCrae is a northerner, born on the Wirral (Cheshire) in 1950.

After 35 years of moving around Kent, Berkshire, Cornwall, Worcestershire, Shropshire, the Isle of Wight and Devon she has now returned to Kent where she intends to settle. So much moving around has made it difficult to become a 'local author' anywhere but Kent has found its way into most of her books.

After teaching for 5 years and a further five in various office jobs in London in 1983 she set up her own marketing database management company. Now all but retired, she is developing her new career as an author.

Follow her on Twitter @Carolyn_McCrae She does not 'do' Facebook.

For more information check out her website:

She closely follows the fortunes of Liverpool Football Club and the England (& Wales) cricket team - even attending the odd match.

Carolyn McCrae

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