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By the author of the John Shakespeare series.
What is the Tom Wilde series about?
Coming from a former British national newspaper journalist, Rory Clements (author of the John Shakespeare series), the John Shakespeare thrillers are historical spy novels.
The series is set in the years leading up to and during World War II, and follows the adventures of a Cambridge professor and secret agent for the British government named Tom Wilde who must navigate the treacherous waters of wartime espionage and intrigue.
Besides being an expert in Elizabethan history, Wilde is a confident and resourceful man who is not afraid to take risks.
How to read the Tom Wilde Books in Order?
Every book in the Tom Wilde series works as a standalone story, but the lives of the different characters evolve from one novel to the other.
- Corpus (2016) – 1936. In Berlin, a young Englishwoman evades the Gestapo to deliver vital papers to a Jewish scientist. Within weeks, she is found dead in her Cambridge bedroom, a silver syringe clutched in her fingers. When a renowned member of the county set and his wife are found horribly murdered, a maverick history professor finds himself dragged into a world of espionage which, until now, he has only read about in books. But the deeper Tom Wilde delves, the more he wonders whether the murders are linked to the death of the girl with the silver syringe – and, just as worryingly, to the scandal surrounding King Edward VIII and his mistress Wallis Simpson. Professor Wilde’s specialist subject is the Elizabethan secret service. As the scope of the conspiracy is revealed, he must use all the skills he has learned to save the woman he loves and prevent a massacre.
- Nucleus (2018) – 1939. In a summer of crisis and fear, England is partying like there is no tomorrow. Meanwhile, the Nazis have invaded Czechoslovakia, Jewish persecution intensifies in Germany and, closer to home, the IRA has embarked on a major bombing campaign in mainland Britain. But perhaps the most far-reaching event goes largely unreported: in Germany Otto Hahn has produced fission, which means an atomic bomb is now possible. German High Command has set up its so-called Uranverein, a team of scientists dedicated to producing a nuclear device. But they are concerned that Cambridge’s Cavendish laboratory might also be getting close – and so they must discover its secrets before it is safe to wage war. When one of the Cavendish’s finest brains is murdered, Professor Tom Wilde discovers that the fate of the world depends on the recovery of a kidnapped child.
- Nemesis (2019) – 1939 (August). As war looms, Cambridge professor Tom Wilde is enjoying a last holiday in France before the conflagration. But when a stranger informs him that a former student named Marcus Marfield is incarcerated in a French internment camp Wilde feels compelled to secure his release and return to England. Marfield, a brilliant chorister and history undergraduate had gone off to join the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War and was feared dead. But not everyone welcomes him home. As an international intrigue unwinds, the destiny of Europe and the world lies in the blood-stained hands of ruthless plotters. Only Wilde can destroy the conspiracy – but he finds himself in grave personal danger.
- Hitler’s Secret (2020) – 1941. The war is going badly for Britain and its allies. If Hitler is to be stopped, a new weapon is badly needed. In Cambridge, Professor Tom Wilde is approached by an American intelligence officer who claims to know of such a weapon – one so secret even Hitler isn’t aware of its existence. If Wilde can smuggle the package out of Germany, the Third Reich will surely fall. But it is only when he is deep behind enemy lines that Wilde discovers why the Nazis are so desperate to prevent the ‘package’ from falling into Allied hands. And as ruthless killers hunt him through Europe, a treacherous question mark hangs over the mission: if Hitler’s secret will win the war for the Allies, why is Wilde convinced it must remain hidden?
- A Prince and a Spy (2021) – 1942: The King’s brother, Prince George, Duke of Kent, is killed in a mysterious plane crash in the far north of Scotland. The official story is that it was an accident caused by pilot error, but not everyone is convinced. Cambridge spy Tom Wilde is sent north to investigate. What he discovers will have grave consequences for the entire world.
- The Man in the Bunker (2022) – 1945: A few days before the end of the war in Europe it is reported that Adolf Hitler and his bride Eva Braun have committed suicide in the Berlin bunker. But no body is ever found and many people – including Soviet leader Stalin – believe the Führer is alive and hiding out, probably protected by diehard Nazis. Cambridge professor Tom Wilde, working as an agent for Allied intelligence, is sent into the ruins of Germany to interrogate those who knew Hitler best. Following a trail of blood and deceit, he realizes that there are fanatics who will murder and murder again to prevent him from discovering the truth.
- The English Fuhrer (2023) – In the autumn of 1945, a Japanese submarine surfaces off the coast of England, unloads a lethal cargo, then blows itself to pieces. Former spy Professor Tom Wilde is enjoying the new peace back in Cambridge – until a call from MI5 boss Lord Templeman brings him out of retirement. A nearby village has been locked down by the military, as its residents are afflicted by a deadly illness. No one is allowed in or out. There are suggestions the Nazi machine is still operational, with links to Unit 731, a notorious Japanese biological warfare research laboratory. But how could they possibly be plotting on British soil – and why? Meanwhile, Wilde’s name is discovered on a Gestapo hit list. As the death toll rises, an unthinkable question emerges: could an Englishman be behind the plot?
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