Vital Secrets Secondary Title

In 701 B.C. the Assyrian empire was in its ascendancy. It had already vanquished the kingdom of Israel to the north including the capital at Samaria. It then prepared an assault on Judah and its capital at Jerusalem.

But in one of those significant events that changes the course of world history, Assyria was repelled. Jerusalem was saved until 586 B.C. when the Babylonians sacked the city, forcing its leadership class into exile.

Henry Aubin, in a major feat of scholarship, determines that Jerusalem was aided by a Kushite army from Africa which had marched northeast from the Nile valley. While the Bible attributes the Assyrian retreat to an angel and secular commentators cite pestilence, Aubin, in a meticulously documented work, demonstrates that an alliance with the African nation of Kush bolstered Jerusalem’s defences.

Kush, also known as Nubia, was located in what is now southern Egypt and northern Sudan. A monarchy that existed for more than 1000 years, from 900 B.C. to A.D. 350, Kushites held sway over Egypt from 712 B.C. to about 660 B.C. Of Egypt’s 31 dynasties, this, the 25th Dynasty, is the only one that all scholars agree, was black.

The commander of the Kushite expeditionary force was Taharqa (or as the Bible calls him Tirhakah). This Kushite prince, who had his own interests in halting Assyrian expansion, likely caught the aggressors by surprise as they prepared their siege of Jerusalem.

Aubin offers a thrilling military history and a stirring political analysis of the ancient world. He also sees the event as influential over the centuries.

The Kushite rescue of the Hebrew kingdom of Judah enabled the fragile, war-ravaged state to endure, to nurse itself back to economic and demographic health, and allowed the Hebrew religion, Yahwism, to evolve within the next several centuries into Judaism. Thus emerged the monotheistic trunk supporting Christianity and Islam.

Vital Secrets
Simon & Schuster Can/US 2011

Vital Secrets

A Marc Edwards Mystery

“Puts entertaining round flesh on history’s bones.”
Joan Barfoot

The adventures of dashing British army officer Marc Edwards were hailed in his first two outings. “This witty combination of mystery and history is enormous fun,” wrote Isabel Huggan. “A most satisfying mystery,” wrote Maureen Jennings.

In Vital Secrets, Marc, posted at Fort York in Toronto in 1837, is chafing under his usual duties with his regiment. The arrival of a touring theatrical company in the British colony promises light diversion. But events turn nasty when his friend Rick Hilliard falls for a young actress and is accused of murdering his rival for her affections by stabbing him with his sabre.

Marc’s investigation reveals that the victim was selling smuggled American rifles to local rebels agitating for the expulsion of British rulers. Was it a political murder or a crime of passion?

Marc’s involvement with the theater troupe yields an astounding revelation about the secret of his own identity.

This series vividly portrays life in British North America under the reign of Queen Victoria, when Americans were eyeing Canada for annexation, and the Canadians were agitating for autonomy from both Britain and the United States. Fans of Patrick O’Brian and Bernard Cornwell will embrace Marc Edwards as a hero and as a man torn between his loyalty to the Crown and his growing sympathy for the democratic reform movement.

Don Gutteridge, an acclaimed poet and novelist, has drafted 12 novels in this landmark series!