THE LOOKING GLASS SPY
The year is 1684. As another smallpox epidemic ravages Europe, construction on Louis XIV’s hall of mirrors continues apace. But when the king’s master glaziers are murdered by Venetian assassins, and a top-secret cipher key is stolen, Louis must coax his most cunning spy out of retirement. For this, he sends Valère, a young musketeer in the King’s Guard, to fetch the old man and bring him to Versailles. But all is not as it seems. In a shocking twist, the first of many in this fast-paced tale of deception and betrayal, Valère discovers that the old man is actually his father—the legendary d’Artagnan—a man whom he never knew and had long presumed dead.
When they reach the palace, Louis explains that a smallpox outbreak in Burgundy has left Valère’s mother unable to pay the taxes owed on her estate. If, however, d'Artagnan agrees to accompany Valère to the Republic of Venice and help him recover the stolen cipher key, Louis will forgive the debt, thereby saving Valère’s mother from destitution.
And so, Valère and d’Artagnan—bound by blood, though strangers to one another—embark on a perilous journey over the Alps. In the city of Venice, they join forces with the brilliant and fearless Oriana, a former Dalmatian slave who now works for the French ambassador. Together, the three agents must outwit a corrupt doge and his network of spies, men who will stop at nothing to safeguard their republic's monopoly on its most valuable export—the largest and most perfectly reflective mirrors the world has ever known.