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The King's Puzzle video trailer

May 26, 2023

Following my first mystery novel entitled The Secret of the Old Swing Bridge (published December 2010), I began a follow-up story called The King's Puzzle. This again featured a fictitious mystery based upon a real historical Canadian train event (President Roosevelt's secret August 1943 fishing trip to Northern Ontario for the first title, and the 1939 Royal Tour for the second).

The same characters (Angus Wolfe and Amanda Webb) returned for the second mystery novel. They were now 16 years of age, whereas in the first volume they were 12 and 13 years of age.

As an aside here, I will note that from publishing Steam to the Niagara Frontier in autumn 2004 to Steam Scenes of Stratford in May 2016, I spent a dozen years working primary on seven titles (a mix of nonfiction and fiction) which were largely tied to the CNR's Northern Ontario District junction at Washago. This timespan covered the period of my sons' boyhood years, with Washago being our favourite destination on afternoons when Dad had finished writing for the day.

The two years from autumn 2004 to autumn 2006 produced Steam in Northern Ontario, followed by a Steam at Allandale reprint and Steam Scenes of Allandale (both in 2007). I diverted to Southern Ontario District territory with Steam Echoes of Hamilton (2008) and Steam Memories of Lindsay (2010), only to return with the Washago-based mystery novel The Secret of the Old Swing Bridge in December 2010. For the next four years, I was absorbed in what became six serial novels comprising The King's Puzzle (with our two characters and many people in their circle based in or near Washago). My return to illustrated railway narratives came with Steam at Washago (as an ebook in 2014 and a print version in 2015). Then Angus and Amanda and their Washago gang returned in King's Highways and Steam Trains vol. 1 in 2016 (with the two characters now in their early twenties).

The King's Puzzle expanded and expanded over the course of four years until its 350,000-word narrative began approaching that of The Lord of the Rings (and the character chart was almost as complex). I broke the story into six full-length novels, to be published as a serial. The first four volumes were published as ebooks in 2015. By that stage, I yearned to return to narrative nonfiction railway topics, so I put the drafts of the last two installments on ice.

Will The King's Puzzle ever be published in its entirety? I won't say no. But there are no plans to return to the story at the moment.

Anyhow, I think you will enjoy some of the historical railway aspects of The King's Puzzle, the 1939 Royal Train in general, and the process behind the creation of the front cover image with a Disney artist.

I invite you to watch this short video trailer, which provides an overview for this incomplete six-part serial entitle The King's Puzzle:

Introducing The King's Puzzle

Our video trailer (above) offers a teaser on the scope of The King's Puzzle.

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