If someone would ask me, I'd always answer this is - in my opinion - the best book I've written yet.
I developed the plot to this novel in a period of time when I found myself unemployed. That was way back in the 1980s. To spent my time I wrote for hours at an end. In those days I began with two plots: one for what is now the Diamond story and the other for The Gold Crucifix.
I must admit I was inspired by Alexandre Dumas for my story about the infamous diamonds. It is a novel full of high adventure, swash-buckling swordplay, romance and betrayal, even murder.
The key thread is the string of diamonds known as The Medici Diamonds. Apparently they belonged to Eleanor of Acquitaine, then changed hands as a randsom for Richard The Lionheart, got into the possession of the Medici family and ended up as a wedding gift to one of Henry the Fourth's mistresses.
The ownership of these diamonds is a dangerous one, for it is said the owner will face bad luck throughout his or her life.
This is certainly the case for Marguerite. This young woman ran off to Paris, to escape marriage to a much older man. Without money, she is forced to live on the streets of Paris. There she meet Dominique, a young pickpocket. Dominique - whose streetname is Cartouche - gives her a diamond necklace for her seventeenth birthday...
From then on, her life changes drastically. On the party given for her birthday, a man known as The Chevalier notices her wearing the necklace, and decides on her faith. She is to help him find the murdered of his late wife - with or without her conscent. What he doesn't count in is the fact he falls in love with the impetuous girl.
But things are about to take another change when Marguerite's brother happens to find out where she lives now and wants to take her back home....
Ten years later, Marguerite is married to her older husband. She is happy enough, only she doesn't have any recollection of the past. And then strange things begin to happen.
You can buy this story from the publisher, Rogue Phoenix Press, and of course also from online book sellers. There is a paperback version and an e-book version.
When I find the time (and the inspiration) I intend to write at least one sequel to this novel, and perhaps two.