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From Fitzroy's Private Diary (Extract 17)

Killing leaves its mark on a man. To kill another is not a natural instinct. Passions can run high and one man may hurt another but setting out to take a life is no easy task. In the Great War we saw many men, on both sides, though in fear of death themselves, refuse to shoot straight at the other side. They fired above the trenches, intent on missing their targets.

So began a new initiative. The soldiers, via propaganda, were encouraged to think of the enemy not as men, but as ‘others.’ Others, who would invade their country, defile their women, kill their children, and in general behave in every way that a decent Englishman would find abhorrent. The aim was to utterly dehumanise the enemy, to the extent that a man did could not, would not, object to killing them. War is a dirty business.

Spies, however, are far more likely to have to kill face to face, even hand to hand. I don’t like it and anyone who does bothers me immensely. There have been a few like that in service to the Crown, but for my part I have always tried to keep them on a tight leash. I believe there are occasions when killing is the neatest solution - in terms of preventing a far greater loss of human life. When it needs to be done it should be done so professionally and with as little fallout or mess as possible.

There are also times when an individual has gone so awry from being a decent human being that only the grace of God can save them and so we expedite their return to him.

Caroline Dunford
From Fitzroy's Private Diary (Extract 16)

Teaching women to drive is not a task many gentlemen care to undertake. I have done so twice in my life and, in each case, it was my duty to the crown that compelled me do so. When Euphemia and I began to work together properly, it was shortly before the Great War and cars were far from being what they are today. As I have found myself far too frequently being shot at or having knives or other incapacitating weaponry lobbed my way, it seemed reasonable to train her as a backup driver.

At first, I thought that she was merely heavy-footed. A trait that could eventually be corrected, but as we shot forward yet again in too low a gear, listening to my poor motor grinding itself to death, she assured me ‘She had no fear of speed and if she wasn’t going fast enough I was to tell her.’ As I had just inadvertently swallowed several small flying insects, it took me a few moments to choke out the word ‘Stop!’ Apparently, the speed she attained was no match for the sensation of unbridled velocity she had enjoyed while riding in the country as a child. I tried to explain how different speeds were experienced, and how the motion of horseflesh beneath one is a headier experience than sitting in what is effectively an armchair on wheels. I had little effect.

Then there was her habit of leaning back when using the brake, which put her body into the oddest contortions. Again, there transpired to be a reason, an illogical Euphemia-type one, but a reason. She had always pulled back on the reins while riding and assumed a similar position while driving the car.

It took some time to turn her into a competent driver. I do not think she ever understood how much patience I extended to her. I had recently dragged her into the intelligence service business and so cut her far more laxity than I would otherwise have extended.

Teaching Hope was an entirely different matter. First of all, she required an explanation of how the basic mechanics of the car worked (her mother was quite happy to accept that the car worked by inscrutable means - possibly even magic - I never enquired too closely.) Hope told me she was very happy to hire a mechanic when required, but in case of the car breaking down when she was alone, or in danger, or simply in a hurry, she thought it best to understand the basics.

She listened closely as I explained, sketching out a few things on my notepad, then asked me to accompany her to her vehicle, a present from her indulgent Uncle, and opening the bonnet proceeded to repeat back to me what she had learnt. She got the majority of it right. I was pleased, and for the first time, begun to imagine that teaching her to drive might not be the same nightmare as teaching her mother had been.

I had stepped in to help her when Euphemia had offered to come up to town to do the lessons herself. Besides my being the better driver, I pointed out that Bertram still did not know she drove, and it was unfair to place the burden of that secret on Hope. It was the only appeal I could think of that stood any chance of getting my way. Euphemia still drives with gusto and great daring. I can only think the gods of motoring watch over her - and anyone else who happens to be on the road at the same time.

At first, Hope was an absolute dream to teach. She did exactly what I told her and did it perfectly. The challenge came when I ceased instructing. She obeyed me, as she has always done, without the intervention of thought, so when left to fend for herself at the wheel, it was very nearly the end of us. As I hadn’t told her to slow down, she took a bend in the road far too fast and only my reaching across to pull the brake prevented complete disaster. I recall being quite angry at the time. We had almost gone through the side of a small bridge and into a river some ten feet below. In hindsight we would probably have survived, but it would have not been without indignity and injury.

As I am never angry with Hope, her eyes filled with tears and I immediately regretted my words. When I discovered how literally she was following my instructions, and not thinking for herself, I got her to pull over to the side of the road and explained why, for example, it was imperative to slow one’s speed before a curve in the road. She listened intently, asked one or two very sensible questions, and then asked if she might try driving a little way again.

Of course, she did it perfectly. Hope has always been happy to not only take instruction from me, but to believe I am always right. Time in her company can be quite blissful. It is a stark contrast to her mother, who would challenge me on the spelling of my own name if I had put her in a temper.

Hope is now a few years older than Euphemia was when I met her and while she is the very image of her mother, their temperaments could not be more different. I always felt a duty to keep Euphemia safe, for which she mocked me. While Euphemia no longer needs my protection, my responsibility has shifted to protecting her daughter. We must all do our bit in this war, and I feel it is better Hope does so under my watchful eye. I am afraid I still think of her as that adorable, but vulnerable, eight-year-old child.

Caroline Dunford
From Fitzroy's Private Diary (Extract 15)

Hope has asked me to marry her. She is currently eight years old and at that stage where she is envious of the intense relationship between her parents, but is far from understanding the bond of marriage and all it entails.

I declined as gracefully as I could.

We were on one of our long walks on her father’s estate. Of late, Bertram has been plagued with bad headaches, and as he had opened his very best brandy for me the previous night, I thought I would attempt to introduce the child to the concept of silence, and of being stealthy, rather than running around the house like a small and energetic elephant. She derailed my plans almost as soon as we had begun by demanding to know what elephants looked like, where they lived and what they ate. It was only about half-way through our time together, which by now had turned into a lecture on exotic animals, that she began to talk about love.

She loves me about as much as she loves the stuffed toy bear I bought her, and which her mother mischievously encouraged her to call Fitz, or worse still, Fitzy (she has no knowledge of my cover name as both her parents refer to me as Eric under their roof and she merely calls me Godfather). Euphemia was almost crying with laughter yesterday afternoon when Hope attempted to feed Fitzy a cream bun as he was off his food. Needless to say, by the end of the escapade, both the child and the bear had to be taken away by nanny to get washed. Euphemia really is the most indulgent parent!

But I digress. After I declined her proposal, Hope asked me if I loved her, to which I replied, quite sincerely, that I do, but in quite a different way to how her Daddy loves her Mummy. I said I loved her in a way akin to how her own father loved her and as I was unlikely to ever have children of my own…

I got no further. Why would Godfather never have children? Why was Godfather not married? She went on and on in this manner for an embarrassingly long time - or so it seemed. I felt most uncomfortable, but I had only myself to blame. I have always encouraged Hope to ask me whatever she wants. I felt that one of the supports I could offer her, as her Godfather, was the ability to ask me questions she might find difficult to ask her parents. I also felt it was a good way to gain her trust and affection - it has certainly worked well in my professional life with my adult assets. Oh, but what a fool I was!

I explained that my work kept me very busy and I had always felt it would be unfair of me to have a family when I was so preoccupied. Whereupon she opened her eyes very wide and, to my horror, I saw them fill with tears. ‘But who loves you Godfather?’ she asked.

At this point I was almost reduced to the ‘harrumphing’ noises old men in the clubs make when asked about the politics of the day.

Eventually we concluded I was held in the highest affection by the members of her family and, therefore, reasonably happy. She gave me a hug to be sure. She is quite the dearest little thing, but goodness, she has the interrogation skills of the Spanish Inquisition. I managed to sidestep any probing questions concerning if I had ever been in love like Mummy and Daddy by diverting her attention to particular fine tree to climb. She proceeded to do so and give me a heart palpitations by falling out several times.

That evening, when she came down to the dining room to say good night, I had to endure a hug from a rather damp and smelly stuffed bear as she told me ‘Fitzy loved me too’. Euphemia hid her face behind a quivering napkin and Bertram literally barked with laughter.

I sometimes feel being her godfather is the hardest mission I have ever entered upon, and as Hope likes to remind me, I am her Godfather for ever and ever.

God help me.

Caroline Dunford
From Fitzroy's Private Diary (Extract 14)

Torture can be necessary. When the lives of many depend on the knowledge of a hostile few, it can be a vital weapon. That said, I dislike it intensely.

Having been subjected to physical torture myself, I know how ineffective it is on a trained agent. It ends in one of three ways. Either the agent dies under torture, they offer up a lie, or they tell the truth. Most of our agents will die rather than reveal information, unless the torturer is exceptionally skilled. Under physical torture I believe everybody breaks at some point, but breaking and revealing information are not the same thing. Personally, I am wary of believing anything said under physical torture. You can inflict so much pain that your subject will say anything to make it stop.

This is, of course, leaving aside the total inhumanity of torturing another person. It changes those who inflict it, those who watch it and those who order it - and all for the worse.

I prefer a different tack. Generally, I will put all those from whom I seek information in the same room. I will allow them to discuss their situation. I will ensure they are given basic food and basic care. Then I and another agent will enter. I will explain what I need to know. No one will speak - if they do, I don’t trust a word of it. I will then apologise for my tactics, but say I need the information now. After this I will escort one or two of the more popular among the group out of the room at gunpoint.

After I have left the room the remaining captives will hear gunshots, equal to the number of people I have taken. When I return, I will only assure them it was quick as I am not a monster. I will then repeat my request for information. Of course, in playing out this scenario, it is imperative not to remove any of the captives who actually have the information we need.

Usually after the first shooting or shootings, someone will crack.

In case it isn’t clear, the torture of which I speak is psychological, not physical. The people removed from the room are merely taken to another room. The shots fired are aimed at no-one and harm no-one. There is no place in the British way of things to summarily murder agents or civilians. I do not deny we have the death penalty, but execution comes at the end of a fair trial and not at an inquisitor’s whim.

Caroline Dunford
From Fitzroy's Private Diary (Extract 13)

Hope asked me today if I ever made mistakes. What should I tell her?

The truth is, I make them all the time. Barely a day goes by when I don’t think I could have handled something differently. When I was first in the service, that mattered less, as I could generally fight my way out of events. Later, when Euphemia started joining me fairly frequently, that became less of an option. I had taught her to fight. It would have been quite remiss of me to take her on any mission without her having a decent ability to protect herself. I taught her my full arsenal of dirty tricks, bearing in mind she would likely be up against a bigger and stronger opponent. Although, I have to say, on the few occasions we were both forced to fight our foes, the shock and surprise of enemy agents, on discovering my beautiful companion was a no-holes barred fighter, was extremely amusing. So much so that once I got an unnecessary black eye as I was somewhat distracted laughing. Most unprofessional.

But, in general, I hate to see women fight. If a woman is fighting alongside me, I always feel I haven’t done my job properly. Euphemia would laugh at that and Hope would be most indignant, but it’s the way I feel, and I can’t help that.

Perhaps that is another mistake of mine. In this war, women are proving they are the equal, and even the better, of men. I’ve always held that to be true, but at the same time I’ve always felt duty bound to protect the women in my circle.

As I grow older, and have my temper under better control, I hope I make less mistakes. I can always appear calm - or nearly always, at least - I suspect only Euphemia, and possibly my mother, knew how much I struggle with my inner demons. The foolishness of mankind in general fuels my ire to greater heights every day. The way certain ‘gentlemen’ behave makes me want to line them all up and punch them in the face. But I don’t. I can think of only one time when I let my temper get the better of me. Euphemia pulled me off the man, but his head was already a bloody mess from my fists. He died in hospital. My only regret is that Euphemia witnessed it, but then he was attempting to assault her in the vilest of ways.

I think I shall tell Hope that we all make mistakes, but that at my current rank, making mistakes has dire consequences and I must now apply a caution to my actions that I have learned the hard way, through making mistakes in the past. I shall tell her that in her work the making of mistakes is a necessary and unavoidable part of learning. Though I will also say this is no excuse for slack work (I know she never does less than her best, but I am aware that my favouritism towards her, much as I try to hide it, is becoming a matter of some talk within the department. I should ensure that her and I are overheard and that I sound quite stern.)

Caroline Dunford
From Fitzroy's Private Diary (Extract 12)

I have been shot on three occasions. In one instance, I deliberately took a bullet for someone else and I did not expect to survive. On another, I had little choice but to run across a line of fire, a worse fate awaited me if I tarried and finally, I have been shot due to my own miscalculation. In the latter case, I did manage to present a sufficiently small target when I realised what was about to occur, so that the damage was minimal.

My advice to my trainees is simple: don’t get shot. However, if it is going to happen, there are a few measures you can take to minimise the damage.

Firstly, if you are idiotic enough to let someone get close enough to put a gun to your head, to your back or to your chest, you react immediately. You don’t wait to see when and how they will shoot you. You never, and I repeat never, get down on your knees in the execution position. If you do you are dead. Close to, if your hands are free, you swat the gun away, followed by an appropriate manoeuvre. Even if you end up in a tussle for the gun, it is better than being on your knees. If there are other assailants, you obviously position the body of your attacker between you and them. Be aware this is not enough to save you from all bullets, but at the very least, most enemies will hesitate before shooting their colleague. This again gives you further time to asses the situation and respond.

Never be afraid of a man with a gun. The only part you have to fear is the part that the bullet exits. You always have the chance of rushing at a man and dropping to catch him at his knees and bring him down. This is not, even for an amateur, a first reaction, as it is obviously not without significant risk.

The point is that in the majority of situations where you face a gunman in close quarters, it is necessary to react rather than submit. In our profession submission always accelerates our own morality.

If you are turning to get a gun away from your back, you turn in the way that pushes the gun furtherest away from you - i.e. if the shooter is right handed then you turn to the right, so the barrel is angled past you. Above all, reacting is the last thing a gunman expects you to do when he has you cornered.

Always run from a shotgun. Every pace between yourself and it heightens your chance of survival. If you must flee when a gun is aimed at you, present the smallest target possible.

Someone once asked me if being shot hurt. I stood heavily on his foot and asked if that hurt. A little unkind perhaps, as generally when one is first shot one feels nothing, it is only later the pain kicks in. Also, contrary to popular belief, being shot does not make you fall over. Make the best use of the initial lack of pain and the ability to still move and you will increase your chances of surviving.

 Once you have experienced being shot, it depends entirely on your personality how you react to a gun being drawn on you again. My reaction is typically to swear loudly and attempt to take down my assailant, empowered by my distaste of people who have shot at me in the past (successfully or not). In other words, drawing a gun on me only raises my ire - something for my enemies to consider. I am, in general, of such a choleric personality that even while enraged I have trained myself to think logically.

Caroline Dunford
From Fitzroy's Private Diary (Extract 11)

Working with a partner undercover has enormous advantages. The ability to be in two places at once being the best of them. However, there are singular limitations if you are working together, but your covers are not together. I remember one extremely boring event in which both Euphemia and I were present at a country house gathering. The issue was we arrived as people who did not know each other. The gathering was an illegal auction and we had both had to stump up some excellent false credentials. As we were supposed enemies in the bidding war, we could hardly have cosy chats in front of the other attendees.

Having studied the location, we had pre-arranged a first meeting spot, but reality is seldom ever so kind as to allow plans to go unhindered. Fortunately, over time, we had built up a system of signals by which to covertly communicate with one another.

The roots of it came from when Euphemia was first studying codes and cyphers, at which she is competent, but not outstanding. At one point she was delighted to come across a covert flirtation system once present in Canada and America. ‘Even if people do spot us signalling,’ she said, ‘they will merely think we are flirting.’ ‘Your husband would be so happy to learn of that,’ I replied, but she merely shrugged. ‘What he doesn’t know…’  She was especially delighted by a system that involved how a man handled his hat. Whether he held it in front of him, behind, by the band or by the crown, where he placed it beside him, and all that. I pointed out that in England, the moment one enters a property, a butler, maid or footman whisks away one’s hat and gloves.

‘Anyway,’ I said, ‘And what, precisely, would you respond with? Gestures with a fan, something that no modern woman keeps about her person?’

‘Drat,’ said Euphemia. ‘But you get the idea, Eric. One could use natural gestures that draw no suspicious attention, but to one’s fellow operative mean a great deal.’

I admit, I disliked that she had voiced this idea before I had, but I do my best to be fair. ‘It’s an interesting idea,’ I admitted. ‘You know the basic military ones, don’t you?’

She nodded. ‘But you mean something more expansive than that. I suggest you start by drawing up a list that we might employ in the field, like ‘leave as soon as possible’, ‘suspect is behind you’, ‘meet at our arranged place’.

‘Or,’ added Euphemia, ‘don’t eat the soup. It’s poisoned.’

‘I doubt you will be able to be that specific. There are only so many normal gestures we can appropriate or such purposes. I shall make a list of those. Then we can match them up as we see best.

I stared sternly at her. ‘And don’t call me Eric when we’re working.’

As untameable as ever, her only answer was to giggle. As she rarely giggles - it would be quite unbearable if one were partnered with a female who giggled a great deal - I let it pass. She had, I recall, been most dispirited of late, as Bertram had experienced another of his turns. I must say that for an invalid, Bertram has a great strength, and propensity for surviving his turns, that is quite remarkable. Another fellow would have turned up his toes long ago.

So, anyway, we created a code between us that proved most useful. Although Euphemia insisted what we include a sign to warn of poison. I railed against this, but later had to eat my words. Her signalling that my drink or steak had been poisoned saved my life on two occasions at least.

Having a creatively minded partner can be tiresome. I find the more creative a person is, the harder it is to tie them down to logical solutions. But Euphemia’s creativity and intuition has always been a boon to our working life. In our personal dealings, which became all the more frequent after I became Hope’s Godfather, they have always been an unmitigated nightmare. She is forever thrusting me onto the back foot.

Caroline Dunford
From Fitzroy's Private diary (Extract 10)

More than once I’ve been asked if I ever met Mata Hari. I did, but it wasn’t at all as some of my more liberal minded colleagues imagined.

I was in Paris not long before the Great War. As you can imagine, there was a pressing need for intelligence, but this had to be obtained amidst the growing hostilities in the area. I have loved Paris. This time my whole attention was on doing my job and getting out of the city as soon as I could. I went alone, by choice, and I don’t believe I ever told Alice about this particular mission.

I had a better idea than most as to what was coming with this war - although I could not have imagined the atrocities both sides were to inflict on their soldiers in what became a war of attrition. I only knew we were in for a bad time - and I didn’t want Euphemia, or any woman, if I could help it, anywhere near the battle lines. I’d seen war before. No matter how brave or how prepared you may think you are, no man who has ever experienced fighting in a war would willingly inflict that suffering on any other, least of all a woman.

British Intelligence had a passing interest in Mata Hari. Personally, I thought we were at too late a stage for her to be of any use to us. She was ageing by then. Still most attractive and exotic, if her photographs were anything to go by, but rumour had it she no longer exuded the magic that older men once described. The idea she could get military information out of senior military men, or German Princes, I thought overblown.

However, I did not expect what I saw when I finally met her. I use the term loosely; we were never introduced. Rather, I attended a party where I knew she would be, so I could satisfy myself that I was correct in my assumption that there was no point in approaching her.

I do remember, not a silence in the conversation, but a quietening, and the heads of many gentlemen turning towards the door as she made her entrance. She paused in the doorway with her long cigarette holder held so that it was just touching her painted lips. She wore her infamous jewelled brassiere, her strange little bejewelled hair net over long jet-black hair and a cascade of material that covered her modesty but exposed her abdomen in a manner that stopped just short of being lewd. A ripple crossed the room as many of the watching gentleman adjusted their gait.

I confess, it is rare for me not to be drawn to an attractive woman - a failing of mine, but I offer as penance that physical attraction alone has never been enough for me for form a relationship.

However, that is not to the point. What is, is that I felt instinctively repelled by this woman.

I never spoke to her, but as she brushed past my shoulder, she gave me a small, pouting smile. I barely noticed it. I know all about acting a part. Instead I looked into her eyes and I saw a depth of coldness within those lovely orbs that sent shivers down my spine. Despite the seductive attire, I saw a woman, broken and lost, completely undone by life and in the most desperate need of love, or failing that, distraction - any distraction.

I knew in that moment she was the worst choice for a spy. Life had stripped her of all convictions, of all loyalty, of everything. I left the party early, despite strong enticements to stay. I could not bear to be around her.

It was only later I learned of the death of her two young children, the disastrous marriages and the affairs she had embarked upon to save herself, but she had failed. By the time I met her, Mata Hari’s soul was long gone.

Caroline Dunford
From Fitzroy's Private Diary (Extract 9)

Some thoughts on eliciting Intelligence by means of seduction.

 Obviously, one of the best ways to learn is to listen. Both ladies and gentlemen love talking about themselves. However, left to their own devices, the majority of people talk absolute drivel. Unfortunately, it is necessary to allow them to waffle at first, to show willing. To deepen the conversation, one offers something intriguing about one’s self. Preferably a little-known fact that you believe will interest your listener. It is better for the fact to be true - but again, obviously, not damaging. Going undercover, one is often given a detailed character, but I suggest you integrate certain truths. I have often gained the sympathy of women by telling them of my mother’s early death and my subsequent incarceration at boarding school by my distant father. It is far from being an unusual fact, but suggesting a vulnerability, especially to matrons of young children, I inch further towards a supposed friendship, or more.

With men, where one is electing information or respect, one might allude to some business dealing that failed; allowing them to feel the superior man. With weak men, one merely mentions something casually heroic, a shooting score, catching a runaway horse or some such rot. Then one becomes something of a hero and confidante.

Generally trying to get closer to women, who in turn are close to their husbands (how else might they know their secrets?) the marriage bond is a trial. However, familiarity does indeed breed contempt. Remembering to pass the sugar before it is asked for, or asking them to perform after dinner, no matter how it hurts one’s musical sensibilities, endears one. Praise should generally be given rarely. For some women, being distant and enigmatic is more alluring. To a certain extent, one must play it by ear.

Courtesy, watchfulness, attentiveness, a smattering of praise and eventually the offering of confidences are the general basis for seduction. How exactly they are applied depends on the subject. Learning as much as you can about the target, discreetly (I must stress this) before entering the field gives a great advantage.

After a liaison, I always remain a gentleman. I never speak of the relationship, except to pass on the intelligence to the relevant people. Instead I adopt an aloof, but slightly sad demeanour towards the lady, as if I would continue the relationship if I could. Needless to say, one must be careful not to engage the lady’s affection too deeply. Personally, I choose, if I need to spend a night with the target, to ensure it is only the once and that she is fully prepped and ready to tell me what I need. Afterwards, if absolutely required, one can say something about ‘being honoured, but realising one must not intrude upon her life’. The lady is then at liberty to regard one as a cad or a gentleman, once overcome by passion who is now aiming to do the right thing. I prefer the latter option, especially as it may engender some extra guilt on the lady’s part, and she will more likely refrain from mentioning it to anybody.

The consummated liaison is the last resort. It is often surprising what simple attention and a few endearments can achieve. The major benefit of not bedding the woman is that one can part as star-crossed lovers. An ending at which I feel I excel.

Two final notes. If you find the target repugnant and attempting to imagine she is someone else does not light your ardour, tell your superiors. It is accepted within the service that feigning affection is not always possible for an individual and can cause some severe physical limitation upon the agent.

My final note is that if you were seeking advice for what to do after the bedroom door closes, I suggest you either speak to your family doctor or engage professional help. While personally a master, this is one skill I do not teach.

Caroline Dunford
From Fitzroy's Private Diary (Extract 8)

I do miss being able to shoot well. I have trained myself to shoot with my left hand now and I am competent. But before my torture, I was an excellent marksman. I took part in the Olympic dueling event in 1908, where contestants wearing goggles and thick coveralls fire wax bullets at each other. I could have come first, but the attention upon myself would have been too great, so I had to content myself with second place.

There is something fundamentally pleasing to me to be able to use a gun, a sword, a cane, or any other simple self-defence instrument with efficiency. It is not the maiming or killing the interests me, it is the art, the ability as a tool wielding creature to maximise one’s potency with a swiftness and simplicity of action.

The whole grappling with another or using a cord to eliminate an adversary’s ability to breathe have never held any attraction for me. There are assassins, and I am thinking of one in particular, who revel in the close encounter, the sweat of it, the guttural noises, the vanishing of life from the eyes of the victim and the sheer adrenalin rush of extinguishing another life.

I find that repulsive. In my time I have trained others in the art of killing, but under my tutorage students learn that accelerating the mortality of another should be a last resort, unless one is in fear of one’s own life. Murder, for it is always murder in my opinion, brings with it a slew of difficulties. Not least is removing either the body or the evidence - preferably both. A more professional solution is often to discredit an opponent, so that others will take appropriate action to remove the person of difficulty from the scene. I do not mean one must inspire others to killing, permanent incarceration is often sufficient, or such shame that the targeted enemy will retire from doing whatever it is you no longer wish them to do. Though, often in such cases, the target may not have the moral fortitude to deal with the unjust accusations and will remove themselves from the material plane. In such cases, I stress to my trainees that this is the choice of the enemy they have allowed to live, and that the target has refused their generous offer is not their fault.

I have had occasion to execute more than one man. I have never done so in anger, but in knowledge that necessity demands it. Euphemia has been a witness on more than one occasion. Her reaction on these occasions is what first convinced me that she was suited to our trade. She neither gloried in my triumph, nor did she abhor it. She acknowledged that in each case the execution was necessary. In doing so, she undid her father’s lifetime of work to bring her into his church - thou shalt not kill, and all that. She had become free to look at life through the eyes of necessity, and able to weigh the good of all over the good of one. She had become morally flexible according to our craft’s rules. This was a delight to me, but no doubt her father spun in his grave, poor man.

I cannot convey enough how it annoys me that no matter what I choose to disclose to these pages, Euphemia invariably becomes a part of it. It is difficult to fashion one’s life as a loner, when another person so frequently intrudes upon it. But I am as much to blame.

Caroline Dunford
From Fitzroy's Private Diary (Extract 7)

So, it has happened again. Euphemia has written up one of our missions. As I was more than aware of her doing it, having tried to talk her out of it on numerous occasions, she condescended to let me read it saying, ‘You don’t sound too bad in this one. At one point, I even say nice things about you.’

I could taste the bile in my mouth. ‘I have a reputation to maintain,’ I said coldly. She smiled and handed me the copy. Copy, I say, because I knew full well, she would never entrust me with the only version. It is, after all, getting a little cold at night now.

I read it twice before giving her my opinion. I caught her sitting alone in the library at White Orchards. Closing and locking the doors behind me, putting the key in my pocket and patting it to ensure it was safe, we would have an uninterrupted conversation and I would triumph.

Young Hope may have seen me play at being a bear, but she has never seen me angry. I didn’t want to scare her. Though, that said, when I gave Hope my fiercest bear growl - I think she was around three or four at the time - she promptly slapped me in the face and pulled my moustache. Euphemia laughed so hard I feared she might turn blue.

I hadn’t even opened my mouth before aforementioned lady had put a glass of my favourite malt in my hand. She was ready for me. The wretch. This wasn’t going to be easy. In my calmest voice I said, ‘It is a most interesting tale.’

‘Thank you,’ interrupted my supposed friend and ally. ‘I thought you might enjoy it.’

‘I didn’t say that,’ I responded quickly, but she cut me off again. ‘You will agree that this time others come off far worse than you. In fact, I think it is a most favourable portrayal of you.’

I don’t lie to Euphemia. I may not tell her everything, but she is the only person I never lie to. ‘Yes, I would accept that point, but…’

‘If anything, I think I, myself, come across as decidedly soppy.’

I shook my head. She was trying to distract me. ‘You know that it simply untrue. You may not write about your courage in overcoming extraordinary situations, but no right-minded person reading this, or knowing you, would ever think that.’

‘It’s sweet of you to say that.’

‘You bloody well call me sweet in this as well,’ I raised the copy in my right hand and shook it like a fearsome prosecutor. Euphemia, as ever, was unimpressed by my histrionics. Replying practically, ‘Do sit down Fitzroy. You’ll only spill your whisky.’

She had a point, so I sat. ‘If you read the story properly you would have seen I only called you sweet to Bertram to reassure him. Things were looking rather odd between us - I mean you and I.’

I heard myself grumbling and saying, ‘He’s always been a good sport. Decent chap.’

Euphemia smiled at me as if I was a good child that has just correctly recited its lesson.

‘But, overall, I come across as almost -,’ I swallowed bile once more. I really should look into getting some stomach powders. ‘- as almost…’ I stopped, unable to say the word.

‘As what?’

I mumbled something under my breath. I couldn’t bear to give he word air.

‘As what Fitzroy?’ She used the same tone as she does with Hope when the child comes home with her stockings torn to shreds and refuses to explain why, or when all the biscuits cook left on the windowsill to cool have somehow vanished.

‘Oh, damn it, Euphemia. You almost make me sound NICE!’ I shouted the last word.

She stood up and came over to me. I drew back slightly, unsure of what she might do. She did have a glass in her hand. But she stooped suddenly and gave me a brief kiss on the forehead. ‘But you are, dear man, at least to me.’

Before I could collect my wits, she had left the room. The minx had had another set of keys cut for the library! Yet again I had lost an argument with Euphemia. But then, Alice has a distinct advantage over anyone else who might be foolish enough to awaken my ire. She knows I could never harm a hair on her head.

 I swallowed the rest of my whisky and stomped out to find Bertram. The least I would content myself with tonight was giving him a damn good thrashing - at chess.

Caroline Dunford

My career in the service began with naïveté and death. The naïveté was my own. Fortunately, the death was not. Perhaps it would have been better if it had.

One day, I will share that story with someone, but I have never yet met anyone to whom I could tell the whole truth - regardless of whether or not they signed the Official Secrets Act. Of course, when this all happened, it didn’t even exist. Word of a gentleman and all that. The idea that a woman could ever enter the service would have been despatched with scorn. However, the idea that a woman might be a rebel was quite different.

When I emerged from school, no one quite knew what to do with me. My father certainly didn’t want me at home. My brothers and sisters were all set on breeding with their spouses. In fact, before I even reached the age of fifteen, I believe I was an uncle. Cecilia, or Catherine, or maybe Helen? I never could keep all my sibling’s offspring in mind. After all, the youngest of them was a decade ahead of me. None of them wanted a young man of unknown capability under their roof. They sent me to Oxford. I can’t say I worked for my place, but I have an unusual facility with language. I see it as patterns and codes, both of which I am especially good, if I say so myself, at solving.

So, there I was at Oxford, studying - or meant to be. I despised the attempt to learn about cultures without visiting them, and the linguistic studies didn’t even make me break a sweat. Suffice it to say I was not popular with my fellow students. Although the daughter of one my professors had a fondness for me and …. Better to be discreet.

By the time the Long Vac had come around, I had planned an expedition worthy of a first-rate explorer. My father did not lack for money, so I felt confident that he would gladly shell out for me to go on my travels. If once there, dangers prevented my return, I did not think he would mind particularly or perhaps even notice.

However, my plans were thwarted when I received a copperplate invitation to visit an old acquaintance of my fathers at this club. By this time, I had everything in readiness and was due to be away within forty-eight hours. I often wonder what kind of life I might have had if I had ignored that summons.

I met with – let’s call him Mr Minister – and he bought me an excellent brandy. I sat back in the wing backed leather chair in the cosy brown and red room and sipped my libation, never dreaming that my world was about to be turned upside down.

‘Your father has been in touch,’ said Minister. ‘He appears to feel you are drifting a bit.’

‘I am afraid I do not follow, sir,’ I said.

‘He makes you a discretionary allowance, does he not?’

I nodded, feeling embarrassed.

‘And you are aware that on your twenty-first birthday next year you will inherit the proceeds of your mother’s dowry?’

I expect at this point I gaped like a fish. I had always assumed my father had married my mother for her money. She was certainly beautiful, but half his age and he already had numerous offspring.

‘She insisted it was invested for you. I believe it is now a tidy sum. The family solicitor will be in contact with you, doubtless on your birthday. But it is too vulgar to speak of money, suffice it to say, you will be a man of means, able to live your life more or less as you wish.’ He paused and lowered his chin to give a stare I could only assume he meant to be meaningful. Back then, I was as about as respectful to the average older authoritarian as I am now.

‘I presume you are trying to impress upon me that I will no longer be dependant on the allowance my father gives me?’

He gave a grumbling, phlegmy cough. ‘One side effect, I suppose. No, what I meant was that you are free to make something of your life in a way others are not.’

‘In what way?’

‘Good heavens, man! By serving King and Country of course.’

In those days it was really as simply as that to get recruited into the service. The fact I didn’t need money, and therefore to be paid, along with coming from the right stables, and not being so inbred I couldn’t count my own toes, wrapped it all up in a bow for them. Whether or not I had aptitude for the profession was neither here nor there. I would learn or I would die. As a younger, and unwanted son, dying would do my father the ultimate favour of some aged gentleman discreetly coming up to him at his club and letting him know I had done ‘rather well’, dying for King and Country. My father, in all likelihood, should this have occurred, would have been the most pleased with me that he had ever been. I was rich, well-bred and dispensable – the perfect fit for a junior spy in those days. So, instead of my long imagined and wanted trip, I was sent off to a discreet house in the country where I learnt the rudiments of self defence and brushed up on my sword play and shooting. At the latter I was something of genius. When they started trying to teach me codes, I ended up showing them how to improve theirs.

Imperceptibly, I moved from dispensable to mildly useful. At this point my training diverted firmly into observation and information extraction by subtler means.  

I remember telling my instructor I didn’t care who asked me, but I wasn’t turning into some ‘damn gigolo’. I always remember his reply. ‘I don’t know, old chap. If I had the choice between threatening a man and ultimately taking his life, or bedding his wife, to learn his secrets during pillow talk, I know which I’d chose.’

He was correct, of course. I have come to know that in so many ways the company of women is more pleasant than that of my own sex. Intelligent women, who are overlooked by both their husbands and society, make the most enchanting of companions.

But, back to my first assignment.  I was sent off to observe what was feared to be machinations of the Black Hand. Being rather green and caught up in emotional tides that run high during a revolution, I rather fell in love with someone, but it was not to be. Many people died.

Upon surviving, which was, I admit only to these pages, more by chance than skill, I realised three things. Firstly, that despite the ending of my first mission, I loved this work. Secondly, that being a spy needs to preclude close associations for the safety of others. Thirdly, I needed to devote myself to spycraft training if I intended to survive my next encounter.

I walked out of Oxford University with barely a backward glance. My family assumed, en masse, that access to my mother’s money had turned me into a wastrel and I began my new life. Naturally a loner and an observer, I felt I had found my calling. When my father cast me off, it only increased my general happiness in life as all my familial obligations dissolved overnight.

Caroline Dunford

A most disturbing day.  Walking down Bond Street, minding my own business. Not on duty, for once, out and about on my own personal time, I was assaulted by a high pitched, well bred voice. Her vowels were sharply enunciated, like shards of glass in my back, calling ‘Mr Fitzroy. I say, Mr Fitzroy.’ I kept walking, racking my brains to recognise the voice. It definitely sounded older than any of my paramours, past or present. My instinct was to get off the street and identify the speaker from a nearby vantage point that also offered me the opportunity of retaliation if necessary. I wouldn’t strike a woman, but it’s not unknown for assassins to work in pairs. Besides, one can always restrain a female assassin without hurting her. I’ve done it before.

Only, the bloody woman repeated her call, even louder. If I didn’t shush her, the whole damn city would be looking out for Mr Fitzroy. I turned on the balls of my feet, ready to duck if a missile should come my way, only to see Euphemia’s mother, the former Mrs Martins, also known to the brave as Philomena, parting the crowds with some frenzied umbrella waving, making her way toward me along the crowded pavement. I hurried to meet her, doubtless saving at least one gentleman the loss of an eye. ‘My dear lady,’ I said, ‘are you in some kind of trouble?’

She gave me a thin sort of smile and shook her head. ‘I thought it was you. You have a distinctive back and a peculiar gait.’

I accepted this description with the contempt it deserved, raising my chin slightly higher and saying, ‘How can I be of assistance?’

Whereupon the wretched woman linked her arm through mine and demanded to be taken to tea! ‘I am not as conversant with the metropolis as I was in my youth. So very much has changed, but I am certain a gentleman such as yourself knows where to find a decent cup. I am meeting the Bishop at Claridge’s at 3 o’clock.’

‘I would be happy to escort you there,’ I said, lying through my teeth.

‘Oh no,’ she replied, ‘It is an hour and half away. I wish to see a little more of London.’

‘You could hire a guide, madam,’ I said, in my coldest voice. She didn’t even flinch. Under any other circumstances I might admire her sangfroid, but I was trying very hard to have one pleasant afternoon to myself without having to deal with anyone.

‘You have such a sense of humour,’ she said. ‘How is Euphemia? You seem to see her more often than I. And, of course, dear Bertram, her husband.’

I’ve never been one to pursue a lost cause, so before she could communicate anything else to any more passers-by, I set off at a quick pace to a nearby tea-shop that offered a degree of privacy. I felt her quiver slightly on my arm and I glanced askance to see if the pace I set was distressing to her fragility. Damn woman was laughing at me! She’s suppressed it, but she knew exactly how I felt.

My family have the decency to either be dead or keep their distance. Euphemia’s family, conversely, seem to feel they have some kind of ownership over me. Her younger brother, Joe, greets me like a long-lost uncle whenever I see him and has, on more than one occasion, managed to leave me lighter of shillings - buying him sweets seems to be the only way to be rid of him. But being accosted by her mother in public is beyond the pail.

Once in the teashop, having ordered, I reminded her tersely that my work requires I keep a low profile, as she well knows. ‘I wanted to know if you answered to Fitzroy in public,’ she said. Only the arrival of our order stops my outburst of rage. ‘I have heard you have quite another name.’

‘Milton,’ I said. ‘It’s another of my pseudonyms. You will understand, in my line of business, I have several. You may also understand why I do not appreciate having my aliases bawled after me along a busy London Street.’

She raised an eyebrow at my rudeness. ‘You were not forced to respond,’ she countered.

‘It seemed, madam, that if I did not, you would continue to call after me until your voice reached the level of a town cryer. Indeed, when I turned and acknowledged you, you were close to such a volume. I cannot believe your Bishop would approve of you shouting like a hoyden in the street of our revered Capital. Not the done thing, I’m sure you’ll agree.’

‘Perhaps you would have preferred that I called you by your actual name,’ said the dreadful woman, and then named it.

I confess, I faltered. I may even have paled. ‘No-one has called me by that name in a very long time,’ I said. ‘And for the last person who did,’ I paused dramatically, ‘let me simply say it did not go well for them.’

‘Does Euphemia know?’

‘She does not.’

‘And you want to keep it that way? Why?’

‘I have my reasons,’ I said. At this point I was wondering how close Euphemia felt to her mother, and whether she would miss her dreadfully. The thought of what would have to be done with Joe stopped me. If he went to live with Euphemia, he would remark on my continued presence in her life and that would cause complications. Not to mention relieving me of yet more of my coin. I reigned in my desire to poison her tea.

‘Don’t look so aghast. I believe we can come to a certain agreement.’

‘Indeed,’ I said, grinding my teeth. ‘What would an Earl’s daughter want from me?’

‘My son, Joseph, could do with some guidance from a man younger and more worldly than my dear Bishop. For whatever reason, my son has taken to you.’

‘This is ridiculous,’ I snapped. ‘I know nothing of children.’

‘I am thinking more of when he becomes a young man. I had him late in life, and the Bishop is older than me. I fear there may be no guiding presence for him when he needs it the most.’

‘You have brothers,’ I said.


‘Then their sons, Joseph’s cousins.’

She shook her head. ‘And not dear Bertram, before you suggest him. We both know the chances of him surviving to middle age are slim. Since you have interested yourself in my family, I wish to charge you to watch over them.’

‘You know what I am, and you ask this of me?’

‘I cannot think of a better person to look out for someone than a spy - perhaps a master spy.’

‘Flattery will not aid you, madam.’

‘Yes, but neither have you poisoned my tea…yet. I did consider that a risk. It depended on whether or not you were actually fond of my daughter…’

‘Enough,’ I said curtly. ‘I will watch over your children, from afar, when you are gone.’

‘I think from when Joe turns eighteen would be most amenable. Perhaps a word to your old college too?’

‘My word would not help. I dropped out of Oxford,’ I said.

‘You underestimate your reach, but this is my price for keeping your secret,’ and then she said my full name again.

‘Will you stop that,’ I said. ‘Yes. Yes. I’ll do as you ask.’

‘Your word?’

‘As a spy or as a gentleman?’

She gave me another thin smile, ‘Oh, as a spy. I don’t believe the other is any longer within your capabilities.’

Bloody woman! I felt like tipping the table over her.

Oh Alice, if only you knew the things I do for you.

Caroline Dunford

Dear God, I hope she has the sense not to tell her mother. She fell out of the bloody tree four times. How was I to know she wouldn’t take after Euphemia, who could climb a tree like a bear in pursuit of honey? But then Euphemia has always been impulsive, passionate, driven and one to act. Her daughter is quieter, more thoughtful and, it appears, more hesitant when it comes to grabbing branches. I caught her every time. She laughed. I didn’t have to encourage her to try again. I’m beginning to suspect I may have already taught her a measure of my own stubbornness.

But then, without that stubborn streak, I would never have been able to control her mother. Hope is very different. She is the image of her mother, but whereas Euphemia projects her beauty without thought, Hope hides hers. She retreats in a roomful of people. When her parents hold one of their infamous parties, at which I always feel obliged to appear, Hope will escape to the library or, if Bertram has remembered to lock it, she will find a space in the room to observe, but not be observed. Euphemia despairs that she allows her child to mix with so many brilliant minds yet Hope chooses to obscure herself.

Euphemia may regret her decision to let me train Hope, but there’s no undoing the skills I’ve already taught her. I fear her parents, who revel in their arguments, miss Hope’s quiet wit and sensitivity. I know her better in some ways, and I appreciate her thoughtfulness. Her parents see a shy child. I see a reserved young woman who has a core of steel. Hope can be whatever she wants. I will always support her, and I will suggest as soon as she is old enough, she removes herself from the turbulent and restrictive life of White Orchards. Once an adult, free of parental supervision, she will flourish. She has spent a life caught between her parents, their arguments and the secrets they have had to keep from one another. Freed from this environment she will become a formidable woman.

I fear Euphemia will never forgive me. Her relationship with Hope has never been what she wanted. Bertram indulged Hope and her love of books. Sitting on his knee knee while he read to her has been a highlight of her childhood. Her long walks with me and the various games we have played have, I believe, have been another of her joys. She has never understood that all this time I have been teaching her the art of spycraft. I am her confidante and her playmate, and I would have no reservation in killing anyone who contemplated harming a hair on her head.

But it has been left to Euphemia to be the disciplinarian. I sweep in and out of the household. Bertram is frequently too ill to move from his seat in the library, or even his bed. Euphemia is left to raise and school Hope. She is the one who scolds, who hands out punishments, and who challenges Hope. She is a fair and clever mother doing her very best, but Hope is a child. She loves Bertram and I and she is quick to shower us both with hugs and affection. Not so her mother. Euphemia has become her adversary and Hope is as stubborn as a pig, or a Fitzroy. I hope, as she grows to adulthood, she will come to understand her how very much her mother loves her and how she would give her life for her daughter. In some ways you might argue she has.

 As always, when it comes to Euphemia’s troubles, I fear the root cause is myself.

 My poor Alice.

Caroline Dunford

Euphemia and I have been talking. After trying to persuade her, yet again, to give up rewriting her notebooks, and failing, she raised the question of Hope. My God-daughter is tiny.

I remember when Euphemia passed her to me at her christening, my first thought, somewhat unworthy, was that she weighed less than a box of ammo. I looked down and she gurgled. Her eyes opened wide – they are the very image of her mother’s – and she smiled up at me. I confess I felt something strange in my chest, in the place where other men have their hearts. I must have smiled, as Bertram leaned over to me and whispered, ‘It’s only wind.’ When I passed her back to the vicar, she urinated all over him. At that moment I knew I was in over my head. I had already begun to love her as the daughter I would never have.

We have enemies Euphemia and I. Bertram was never in as deep as Euphemia. If he knew half the things his wife and I had done for King and Country, the heart attack that Euphemia fears would long ago have set him free of this mortal coil.

All of us have no wish to see Hope follow her mother into the service. Why should she? But Euphemia fears, despite the quiet, hidden, life we constructed for her family, one day someone will link Hope to her, or me. Therefore, she has asked me to train my own goddaughter.

I do not want to drag this innocent down into my world, but I see her point. We argued back and forth for a while. At first all we could agree on was that Bertram should never be told. In the end I acquiesced to train her solely in observation and evasion with an understanding that should she ever feel in danger, she would come to either her mother or I. It is the best I am prepared to offer. I want Hope to have a happy life, and a normal one. I don’t want her to enter our world of shadows, where Euphemia and I must spend our lives forever looking over our shoulders.

Euphemia has also talked about coming back to full duty when Hope is older. I have agreed in principle, but I have no intention of putting Euphemia back into the field while Hope is still a child. I know what it is like to lose a mother when you are young. Hope is different to me in that she has a father who adores her, but it would still cut a scar through her life that would never heal. I will not allow it to happen to her.

I will use Euphemia’s knowledge. I may even take her with me on occasion. But until Hope is grown, I will never allow Euphemia to put herself in danger. I fear she will hate me for this, but if she does, I must bear it. I am immovable on this.

Caroline Dunford

Thunderingly idiotic, compassionless, gibbon farts. The Treaty of Versailles is one of the most punitive pieces of diplomatic vindictiveness I have ever had the displeasure to see. I mentioned my reservations to those above me and it earned me nothing but rebuke. One colleague went as far as to suggest I might be unpatriotic. I believe they managed to get his jaw back in place at the hospital, but he will be on a liquid diet only for the foreseeable future. After that there was no more comments. My misgivings were but a whistle in the wind. (I was going to write something else there, but I have to respect that others might read my musings one day – in particular I’m thinking of Hope. She admires me. Mainly because she doesn’t know me that well. (I hope she never does)).

I came back from Germany yesterday. The people are starving in the streets. Children wearing rags, little more than skeletons. Women, no more than twenty, aged and wrinkled like crones. Girls offering their bodies on the streets for bread - literally bread - for their family. I’m no fan of the Kaiser. I could write a long, diatribe (even without the cuss words) on the way he treated his people. My thoughts on his generals are as pithy. But this bloody treaty calls for recompense for the war. Nothing will bring back the dead, but the vengeance of the allies is verging on evil. We have demanded so much, these people cannot even feed themselves. Everything must go to the allies. Everything.

I am an Englishman through to my backbone, but I do not blame the widows of fallen German soldiers for the actions of the Kaiser. I do not blame the orphan children scrambling in the dust, or worse, for the loss of my my comrades during the Great War.

In human terms, we all lost. I lost two of my brothers - something I have yet to tell Euphemia. Do I want to see German civilians punished for their demise? Of course not. Admittedly, I wasn’t that close to my older brothers, so maybe I am further down the line than the grieving fathers who helped craft this treaty. I can stand further back and see the inhumanity of what we have done.

But it goes beyond that. The Allies wanted to break Germany, and they have. Revenge and spite have ruled the day and Germany and its people lie beneath our boots. They are brought to dust. They suffer as much as the allies could ever have wished. But ask yourself, what does this vicious revenge beget?

It begets hatred. The war may be over, but that hatred of the allies will lie in their hearts for this generation and generations to come. I do not blame them. I would feel the same.

What does it matter - ask the braying gibbons sitting in pews in their cathedral of self-congratulation?

When you break a man, when he reaches the bottom - and I know this better than most - there are only two options: to die or to rise.

If one day Germany should rise again - well, I fear this will not have been the war to end all wars. Worse yet, it will have been our inability to be merciful in victory that may well set the world alight once more.

Caroline Dunford
From Fitzroy’s Private Diary (EXTRACT 1)

Damn it all, Euphemia has only gone and dug out another of her notebooks. What part of secret agent doesn’t she understand? When I challenge her, she mutters about someday Hope needing to read it, and the British people deserving to know what we do in their name. Which, of course, sets me off shouting about why the British people can’t know what we do for the Crown and the preservation of the State. This gives her the opportunity to remind me that I promised never to swear at her. (I always swear when I’m shouting. It’s a great stress reliever, and far more comfortable than punching walls – or people for that matter. Not that I would ever hit a woman.)

She plays me like a bloody piano, damn her. That’s what comes of working too closely with people – they grow to understand you. I’m not comfortable with that. I prefer to be an enigma, or at the very least, greatly misunderstood.

Anyway, she’s off writing up her notes somewhere. I dare say I will come off in a terrible light. I often do. When I ask her about it, she says she is only writing up what she remembers, and has she hurt my vanity? A less vain person than I you could not hope to meet.

Apparently, this one is her recollections of how she came to join the service. I could weep.

I’ve never been able to stop Euphemia from doing what she wants. This despite her still being technically under my command. Ha! Might as well try to command the Earth to stop spinning. I don’t want Hope to read it. Dear God, I hope Bertram never finds it.

I need a whisky. My head is beating like a drum. Maybe it’s not too late to find something to distract her. There must be a mission somewhere that needs our urgent attention. I’ll make the damn thing up if I must…

Caroline Dunford

Recently, Accent Press asked to me to write a blog post as their author of the week. I used that opportunity to give readers an insight into writing about the home front during the world wars, my new upcoming series in 2020 and how certain characters tend to elbow their way into lead roles.


Caroline Dunford

Anyone looking to review my (writing under the pseudonym of Jay Mason) new YA/Crossover, and earn my lifelong goodwill, it is now up on NetGalley here. If you're not a member of NetGalley, contact me and I can forward your name to the publisher who will send you a review copy.

Caroline Dunford