Book Description This is the second novel out of a series of four: 1. In the Service of Constable Colonna, 2. His Holiness' Diplomat, 3. Richelieu's Admirer, 4. Ruler of France. The book describes Mazarini's service in the Papal armed forces and as the Pope's diplomat. As a protege of Constable Colonna he receives the rank of captain and is sent to the town of Ancona with a secret mission to expose and neutralize a Spanish spy ring acting in the army. After many dangerous adventures he manages to fulfill this task but faces the wrath of the Spaniards who are formally the Pope's allies. Through his ingenuity and resourcefulness he finds a way to allay the Vatican's fears of the Spaniards, survives the Spanish threats, and even defeats them diplomatically. Author Biography Arkady Alexeev was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1937. He spent many years studying European languages and history. After graduating from the St. Petersburg Herzen Institute he taught English at that school where he received the degree of Candidate of Sciences in English linguistics. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1975. He received a doctorate from the University of California - Berkeley and teaches Russian and history there. Alexeev has written some articles, a historical play and has done a number of translations of Russian poetry into English, "The Lay of Prince Igor's Host" being a recent example.