LORD JOHN AND THE PRIVATE MATTER is the first (accidental) novel in the Lord John Grey series, and the book responsible for there being a series about Lord John in the first place. Which is to say, I wrote this book under the delusion that it was a short story (well, hey, people have different standards). It begins when Lord John sees something shocking in his London club—and it takes a lot to shock Lord John, given his own background and experiences. He’s a younger son of a noble family, a career soldier, an honorable and intelligent man—and a homosexual, in a time when being homosexual was a capital offense. If his private life is ever discovered, everything he cares about will be destroyed, and very likely, so will he. Consequently, his investigations into the shocking occurrence at the Society for the Appreciation of the English Beefsteak, and the subsequent murder of a woman in a green velvet dress are hedged with personal danger and constant risk—a risk he’ll take for the sake of his loyalties to family and regiment.