Pliny the Elder, born in 23 AD, was a Roman author, naturalist, navy commander, and army commander of the first century AD who authored the first encyclopedia ever written about the natural world. It is now available in the Loeb Classical Library in English in ten volumes and covers everything from a mathematical and meteorological survey of the universe as known to the Romans of that time period to a geography and ethnography of the world familiar to the empire to the anthropology of man to zoology and botany to plant products used in medicines which was later to appeal to people in the Middle Ages who used it as an authoritative work, to minerals, fine arts, and gemstones. The work was still being referred to centuries later by the English poet John Milton who wanted to describe the plants in Eden, and he lived in the seventeenth century. New works like Pliny’s were not to be attempted again until at least the eighteenth century or even the nineteenth. A later author equates the Natural History encyclopedia with the Roman Empire the way the Encyclopedia Britannica became associated with the British Empire.
The great encyclopedia writer of ancient Rome, Pliny the Elder, appears as a major character in the upcoming historical thriller Vesuvius Plot soon to be published by Cheops Books LLC. The pursuit of encyclopedia writing and general knowledge about the flora and fauna of Germany where he served as procurator, or governor, got him in trouble with the Germanic tribes.

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The fifth chapter of Captive at the Berghof: Part 1 has been posted on the website in the German-language serialization section. We are serializing the novel chapter by chapter as it is translated. When we get to the last chapter, we will publish a special German edition of part 1 on amazon.com and amazon.de. It will be the first thriller that Cheops Books LLC has ever translated into a foreign language.
We thought it was appropriate. After all the Edward Ware Thrillers at War series of historical thrillers concerns itself mostly with World War 1 and World War 2 and with the British and Americans fighting the Germans first under the Kaiser and then under Hitler. It is a particularly “German” topic about the “German question”. Also the author, Linda Cargill, worked for a German publisher, Cora Verlag, for years turning out thrillers. So it seemed like the novel to pick.
Hitler has found out about Colonel Sir Edward Ware’s secret undercover activities for Winston Churchill, and he’s playing hardball. He kidnaps Thomasina, Edward’s daughter, and won’t give the child back unless Edward and his wife, Dora, hand over the key to world domination – the Lawrence maps. They’d better do something fast before Thomasina truly becomes Hitler’s daughter.
In the future Cheops Books LLC plans to translate the Cherusci Plot into German also. That historical thriller about the Roman era takes place in 9 AD when the Cherusci tribe massacred Caesar Augustus’s best three legions and stopped the progress of the Roman Empire at the Rhine River. They could not progress towards the Elbe River and what is now Hamburg. It is a topic of strong German interest that changed the course of Western Civilization for the past two thousand years.

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Colonel Sir Edward Ware has hidden the Lawrence maps, key to world domination, just about everywhere in the world —- except a petrified log. He has hidden the maps in the Rosetta Stone in the British Museum. He has hidden it in his tent in the Syrian Desert during the Great War and the Arab Revolt when he was fighting under Lawrence of Arabia to free the Arabs from the Ottoman Turks. Dora, his fiance and then his wife, hid the maps in her bedroom closet at her house in Pittsburgh also during the Arab Revolt. Later Edward and Dora hid them under the floorboards at Ware Hall, Edward’s estate in the south of England. Numerous times Edward was forced to hide the maps up his uniform sleeve. He had a special compartment sewed in his clothes to house them while spying on Hitler for Winston Churchill.
But while fleeing spies who have been trailing him since New York, while heading down the Lincoln Highway to meet Churchill’s agent to hand over the maps, his back is up against the wall literally. This time it is a petrified wall made of petrified rock. He veers off course before he gets to Yellowstone and heads south all the way to the desert to hide. Where shall he hide the maps?
The Painted Desert spread out before him, an infinite badlands, punctuated by petrified logs. It is tempting to pick one of them for the maps. The maps would be almost impossible to find. No one would have a clue in such a vast wasteland which petrified log to explore. But he had better not lose the key to where he hid them or he might never find them again himself.

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In Map Plot, soon to be published by Cheops Books LLC, the hero of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series, Lieutenant Sir Edward Ware, must undertake a spy mission to Venice for Winston Churchill. In the early 1920s Adolf Hitler is coming to power in the new National Socialist Workers Party. His financial backer is trading magnate Herr von Wessel. Edward must find a trail of letters between the two at Herr von Wessel’s palazzo in Venice. When he gets the goods he has to escape fast, but in his day and age one hundred years ago there is nothing faster than the Orient Express that slowly wends its way from Venice to Paris. The time it takes allows ample space for intrigue. Herr von Wessel and his new wife, Helga, go after Edward on the train. The big confrontation occurs in the dining car. And he still had to take a ferry to Britain and then another train to London to reach Churchill! But if Edward had the advantages of the modern Eurostar Train that goes from Brussels to London practically at the speed of an airplane, Edward could have gotten there in a flash and no one would have been the wiser.

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Dora Benley is the only daughter of Robber Baron Winthrop Benley, a Pittsburgh industrialist of the early twentieth century. A way to understand her influence and wealth is that she was as wealthy at that time period as President Donald Trump is right now. Her wealth is important to the plot of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series. When her husband, Colonel Sir Edward Ware, must suddenly dash abroad or rent a cottage or sail across the North Atlantic Dora’s vast wealth is always there to assist him. At one point the Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin and the Chancellor of Germany, Adolf Hitler, ask her to hostess the new German Ambassador Ribbentropp and his entourage at her estate, Ware Hall, in the south of England. Only she can do this because she can afford the 20,000 pound bill for the lavish evening. Only she has a house big enough to sleep the entire delegation. It has often been said that money and politics are in bed together. Here in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series the marriage of Dora and Edward Ware is a perfect illustration of that truism.

High society girl with umbrella

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Winston Churchill was appointed Lord of the Admiralty during the Great War or the First World War in Britain. He was in charge of sending the rescue ships that never arrived on May 7, 1915 when a German torpedo sank the Lusitania off the coast of Ireland. It was the most spectacular defeat that the statesman ever experienced in decades of public service. It could have sank his career permanently. People would never have heard of the Winston Churchill who pulled Britain through World War 2, fighting Hitler all the way.
So when Churchill met Lawrence of Arabia, who was one of his most devoted followers, he heard about the map plot and how the German Kaiser was trying to get hold of the key to world domination. He immediately saw that the Germans who had almost torpedoed his politiical career along with the famous ocean liner should never get their dirty hands on these maps. Even after the Great War he fought alongside Colonel Sir Edward War, the hero of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series, and T. E. Lawrence, or Lawrence of Arabia, to keep them forever out of the hands of the rising star of the National Socialist Workers Party —- Adolf Hitler. He directed a team of secret agents loyal only to him and not to the Baldwin government or to the government of Neville Chamberlain. He conducted his own brand of very nasty foreign policy between the wars until in 1940 he himself finally became the most famous Prime Minister of the twentieth century.
Churchill certainly earned his hallowed place in the Character Directory of Cheops Books LLC.

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Will Cheops Books LLC visit Tallinn, Estonia on the Baltic Sea Coast? Tallinn is not only the capital of Estonia but the cultural hub of the country. Certainly there is a lot to see from the Old Town with real cobblestones to a defensive tower to a Gothic town hall from the Middle Ages. St. Nicholas’s Church is from the 13th century. And all is right on the very northern sea.
If you are cruising that way this summer all the way to Tallinn, Estonia ad perhaps beyond to St. Petersburg, Russia itself, be sure to stop in. Will you see someone from Cheops Books, LLC? Wait and see . . .
Where will Cheops Books LLC find itself this coming summer? The contest to second guess the small press opened on February 1 and will run until May 1 when the winner will be announced. You could be the lucky guesser to find yourself with a $25.00 gift certificate for amazon.com. On your summer travels you could use it to stock up on beach reading on Kindle. So please write in using the CONTACT form at http://www.edwardwarethrillers.org.

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The hero of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series, Edward Ware, meets T.E. Lawrence, the Oxfordian and assistant to Leonard Woolley, at the excavation at Carchemish in Turkey during the summer of 1914. Even then Lawrence is busy at work drawing military maps for the government of Great Britain. The Kaiser is sending spies into the camp at Carchemish to steal the maps.
From that point on Edward and Lawrence are a pair. It is the chief relationship of the series that dictates the plot. Edward devotes his life to defending the maps though it costs him personal tragedy and hardship for decades. He puts the welfare of Great Britain first.
Edward serves as adjutant to T. E. Lawrence during the Great War during the Arab Revolt. He is present at most of Lawrence of Arabia’s famous victories including the final one at Damascus that causes the Ottomans to surrender and seek peace at the end of the Great War.
After the Paris Peace Conference in which T. E. Lawrence plays a role, Edward goes to Cairo to help Churchill and T. E. Lawrence divide up the Middle East. From there on Edward and Churchill devote themselves to finding a proper hiding place for the maps.
The Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series would not be the same without T. E. Lawrence, or Lawrence of Arabia.

T.E. Lawrence

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Edward’s parents, Sir Adolphus Ware and Annabelle Ware, run a British automobile company, Adolphus Motors, from his estate in the south of England, Ware Hall. Edward’s father is so successful that he is knighted and made a sir, a title which Edward can inherit. His hobby is archaeology. He helps to fund an expedition in Carchemish in Turkey in 1913-1914 under the supervision of archaeologist Leonard Woolley. He meets T. E. Lawrence, who has begun a project of drawing military maps as the Great War begins. The little camp in the desert is attacked by German spies sent by the Kaiser. T. E. Lawrence, Leonard Woolley, Sir Adolphus Ware, and Edward must flee back to England. Thus begins the battle of the Lawrence maps, which the Germans will ultimately consider the key to world domination.

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Mr. Winthrop Benley, father of Dora Benley, heroine of Edward Ware Thrillers at War, makes his name in the industrial Pittsburgh of the early twentieth century. He is President of Benley Tire and Rubber, later to become Benley Tire and Auto after he takes over his son-in-law’s inherited company, Adolphus Motors. As a first generation German American, he is very conservative. He becomes the chief financier of the America First Movement between the wars. He believes America should mind its own business and not get involved in Europe’s messed up affairs. This notion is totally at odds with his daughter’s marriage to Colonel Sir Edward Ware and his son-in-law’s allegiance to Winston Churchill.
Mr. Winthrop Benley and his wife, Etta May Benley, Dora’s mother, maintain three estates —- one in King of Prussia outside Philadelphia called Maymont, one on Coronado Island in San Diego Harbor, and his home base in the South Hills of Pittsburgh in a subdivision called Oakhurst. Each house has its place in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series. The home base in Pittsburgh is featured in book one, Key to Lawrence Special Edition. The San Diego house is central to the alternative history thriller, Dark Horse, about the Republican Convention in Philadelphia in 1940. And Maymont makes its appearance in various novels starting with Key to Lawrence Special Edition.
The novel would be a much less interesting place without Etta May Benley and Winthrop Benley.

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