Killing Beauties

By Pete Langman

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Three 17th Century female spies work secretly to restore Charles II to the throne.

Publication date: January 2020
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About the book

Killing Beauties is a tale of espionage, treason, and plot set in 1650s England. In it, three women spies, or she-intelligencers, as they were known, attempt to infiltrate the parliamentarian secret service in order to help restore Charles Stuart to the throne.

Killing Beauties is inspired by the true-life stories of Susan Hyde and Diana Jennings, both active female spies: the former acting as postmistress for royalist secret society the Sealed Knot; the latter an altogether more shady character. They travel to London to carry out the mission given them by Susan's brother, Sir Edward Hyde, one which will test their friendship and their reputations as both ladies and subjects.

In this audio extract, Diana and her escort, Captain Duggan, stay at the estate of the late Sir Robert Filmer, a royalist sympathiser. Only his youngest son, Samuel, is at home, and Diana, as is her wont, asks for rather more than he wishes to give:

Some things other people have said about my writing:

‘Langman is a fine writer. Dark yet witty, both light and profound. I found myself frequently both amused and disturbed. It’s a rare gift.’ Anthony McGowan, author

‘Pete Langman’s stories invite you into a cold, unsettling world in which ugly things happen. His writing, however, is clean and perceptive; you are transported into strange minds and settings and you leave feeling like you know a bit more about the human condition.’ Araminta Hall, author

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