The Widows Guild

Book 3: Francis Bacon Mysteries

About the Book

Longlisted for the 2017 Historical Novel Society Awards.

“Strongly Recommended.”
– Editor’s Choice Review, Historical Novel Society.

In the summer of 1588, Europe waits with bated breath for King Philip of Spain to launch his mighty armada against England. Everyone except Lady Alice Trumpington, whose father wants her wed to the highest bidder. She doesn’t want to be a wife, she wants to be widow; a rich one, and the sooner, the better. So she marries an elderly viscount, gives him a sleeping draught, and spends her wedding night with Thomas Clarady, her best friend and Francis Bacon’s assistant. The next morning, they find the viscount murdered in his bed and they’re both locked into the Tower.

Lady Alice appeals to the Andromache Society, the widows’ guild led by Francis Bacon’s formidable aunt, Lady Russell. They charge Bacon with getting the new widow out of prison and identifying the real murderer. He soon learns the viscount wasn’t an isolated case. Someone is murdering Catholics in London and taking advantage of armada fever to mask the crimes. The killer seems to have privy information — from someone close to the Privy Council?

The investigation takes Francis from the mansions along the Strand to the rack room under the Tower. Pulled and pecked by a coven of demanding widows, Francis struggles to maintain his reason and his courage to see through the fog of war and catch the killer.

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The Widow's Guild audiobook by Anna Castle


London, 1588: Someone is turning Catholics into widows, taking advantage of armada fever to mask the crimes. Francis Bacon is charged with identifying the murderer by the Andromache Society, a widows’ guild led by his formidable aunt. He must free his friends from the Tower, track an exotic poison, and untangle multiple crimes to determine if the motive is patriotism, greed, lunacy — or all three.

Narrator: Joel Froomkin
Format: Unabridged
Runtime: 9 hours, 42 minutes


“As in Castle’s earlier book, Murder by Misrule, she brings the Elizabethan world wonderfully to life, and if Francis Bacon himself seems a bit overshadowed at times in this novel, it’s because the great, fun creation of the Widow’s Guild itself easily steals the spotlight. Strongly Recommended.”

– Editor’s Choice, Historical Novel Society

“Fans of historical mysteries will find this book just as captivating and well-done as the rest in a highly recommended read brimming with action and captivating scenarios.”

– D. Donovan, eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

More Reviews

Awards & Honors

The Widows Guild earned an Editors’ Choice review from the Historical Novel Society. “Strongly recommended.”

The Widows Guild earned the coveted Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion!


The Details

Published: October 10, 2015
Publisher: Anna Castle
Formats: EbookPaperbackAudiobook
ISBN-10: 0991602587 ISBN-13: 978-0991602582 ASIN: B0165YN9PW
Genres & Tropes
Historical Mystery, Elizabethan Mystery

Cover design by Jennifer Quinlan of Historical Editorial [website]
Editing by Jennifer Quinlan of Historical Editorial [website]