Thomas the Falconer books in order, by John Pilkington

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Immerse yourself in the fascinating world of Thomas Finbow, a skillful falconer serving for a wealthy Berkshire knight, in the acclaimed historical mystery series penned by famous British novelist John Pilkington.

In this gripping series, which takes place in the latter years of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, we follow Thomas as he uses his sharp eyes, logical thinking, and steadfast commitment to justice and aiding the downtrodden to solve challenging riddles.

How to read the Thomas the Falconer books in order?

The lives of the several characters in the Thomas the Falconer book series change throughout the novels, even though each one may be read on its own.

  1. The Ruffler’s Child (2002) – Thomas Finbow is more than just an ordinary falconer when working for Sir Robert Vicary and Lady Margaret. He is a committed hunter, a talented former soldier, and a dad who has lost a child. Thomas resides in the picturesque Berkshire Downs, away from London’s legal system and corruption. Everything is right up to the murder of Lady Margaret’s vile brother. To distract Lady Margaret from her sorrow, Thomas travels with her while she looks for gyrfalcons in London. Things start to get dismal as they get to the city. As more information is revealed, it becomes clear that the murder of Lady Margaret’s brother is only a minor part of the whole narrative.
  2. A Ruinous Wind (2003) – Sir Robert Vicary of Petbury, a valiant knight from Berkshire, hires Thomas Finbow, a father who is widowed, to be his falconer. The opulent and pompous Earl of Reigate’s estate is the site of the Barrowhill Pleasures, which Sir Robert asks Thomas to attend with him. Nobody, however, was ready for the Earl to murder three of his guests or for him to cover up their killings right away. In order to lift the mood of his visitors, the Earl planned to organize a dramatic Spanish Armada reenactment with the assurance that Queen Elizabeth would be there. But everything starts to fall apart when the Earl is the murderer’s next target.
  3. The Ramage Hawk (2004) – On the remote Salisbury Plain, the peasants are working to bring in the crop but are unaware that a killer has entered their midst. Thomas Finbow, the falconer of Sir Robert Vicary, is sent to the Plain to assist the destitute Sir Giles Buckeridge, who suffers from poverty and the inability to provide dowries for his three lively daughters. Thomas is in the region to train a juvenile, partially wild bird called a ramage hawk and to teach the falconry craft to Gervase, Sir Giles’s young ward. However, Jane, Sir Giles’ oldest daughter, vanishes as soon as he arrives. Did she just leave after being coerced into a marriage with wealthy older man Stephen Ridley?
  1. The Mapmaker’s Daughter (2004) – After a devastating fire breaks out at one of his master’s tenant farms, Thomas Finbow has a challenging path ahead of him. It quickly becomes clear that Simon Haylock is already dead when his body is dragged from the flaming barn. The Berkshire Downs quickly becomes terrorized by a terrible spate of seemingly unrelated killings, confusing the police. Foreigners living in London are ostracized during the plague, including the flashy traveling showman Paulo Schweiz and the melancholy mapmaker Christopher Mead, both of whom Thomas saves from the stocks. Thomas must outwit a cunning and elusive adversary.
  2. The Maiden Bell (2005) – When a family of itinerant bellfounders arrives in the isolated town of Lambourn to create a new church bell, there is a lot of enthusiasm. The peace of a summer night is disrupted when churchwarden Will Stubbs, a pious old man without enemies, is found dead in the woods. His master assigns Thomas the job of doing research.
  3. The Jingler’s Luck (2006) – In the depths of winter, the hideously dismembered body of a young woman was found by the Thames. Thomas, meantime, sets off for London with the delicate task of persuading Sir Robert to give up his silly fascination with a well-known prostitute. Thomas is unaware of the gravity of Lady Imogen’s plans until he becomes caught up in a strange series of incidents that include the theft of a corpse and even his own incarceration. After a run of mishaps, Thomas is rescued by Ben Mallam, a cunning horse trader, and an old friend. Together, they place the biggest wager of Thomas’s life in order to foil a horrific conspiracy that puts the throne’s succession in jeopardy.
  4. The Muscovy Chain (2007) – The far-off Muscovy ambassador, Grigori Stanic, is to be received in Russia by Sir Robert, Thomas’s master, per a directive from the Queen Elizabeth’s Council. Because His Excellency is a brilliant salesperson, in addition to amusing Stanic’s party, Thomas will also give the most significant person at the Tsar’s Court, Boris Godunov, a fantastic gift: a stunning gold necklace with a jeweled pendant. However, as soon as it reaches Petbury, it is taken, possibly leading to a disastrous diplomatic issue. When a mystery figure is seen on the Downs, fear spreads across the neighborhood and the desperate search for the Muscovy Chain begins. Is he the thief, or much worse, is he responsible for a murder where the victim suffered terrible treatment?

What should you read if you like the Thomas the Falconer novels?

The Matthew Shardlake, John Shakespeare, and Medieval West Country Mysteries series are also worth checking out if you enjoy John Pilkington’s Thomas the Falconer tales.

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