Dark Matter: The Private Life of Sir Isaac Newton
By Philip Kerr
I swore not to tell this story while Newton was still alive.
1696, young Christopher Ellis is sent to the Tower of London, but not as a prisoner. Though Ellis is notoriously hotheaded and was caught fighting an illegal duel, he arrives at the Tower as assistant to the renowned scientist Sir Isaac Newton. Newton is Warden of the Royal Mint, which resides within the Tower walls, and he has accepted an appointment from the King of England and Parliament to investigate and prosecute counterfeiters whose false coins threaten to bring down the shaky, war-weakened economy. Ellis may lack Newton’s scholarly mind, but he is quick with a pistol and proves himself to be an invaluable sidekick and devoted apprentice to Newton as they zealously pursue these criminals. While Newton and Ellis investigate a counterfeiting ring, they come upon a mysterious coded message on the body of a man killed in the Lion Tower, as well as alchemical symbols that indicate this was more than just a random murder.