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Lord John and the Haunted Soldier

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Lord John and the Haunted Soldier
Book information

Diana Gabaldon

Publication date(s)

August 28, 2007

Published by

Delacorte Press

Preceded by

Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade

Followed by

The Custom of the Army

See also

Lord John and the Hand of Devils

Lord John and the Haunted Soldier is a novella in the Lord John Series by Diana Gabaldon. It was first published in 2007 in the collection Lord John and the Hand of Devils, which also included two previously released Lord John novellas.


In November 1758, following the events of June in Brotherhood of the Blade, the surviving members of the gun crew manning the cannon "Tom Pilchard" at Krefeld are brought before a board of inquiry, including Lord John Grey.

Grey, who commanded the cannon crew upon the abrupt death of Lt. Philip Lister, is both troubled and insulted by the questioning, and stalks out of the inquiry. He does see the remains of the burst cannon, and briefly presents a missing piece; shrapnel from the gun that had been removed from his chest by surgeons, but Grey refuses to surrender it. Eventually, this piece will be the only remaining evidence that the cannons were poorly manufactured. At least one piece of metal remains in Grey's chest, and this along with residual damage leave Grey with severe chest pains and uncontrolled shaking.

Harry Quarry warns Grey about Col. Twelvetrees willingness to use the cannon inquiry to goad John into action that will be used to discredit either him, his brother Hal, or both. He suggests Grey be seconded to the 65th or 78th regiments temporarily to stay out of Twelvetrees' way for a while, but Grey instead begins to investigate the cannon failures himself.

When Grey returns Lt. Lister's sword to the man's father, the elder Lister begs Grey's assistance in locating the missing fiance and child of his late son. While on these tasks, he discovers political intrigue surrounding his half-brother's government contract for supplying black powder to the military, and meets Captain Fenshaw and the other members of Edgar's consortium.

Grey writes on two occasions to his paroled charge, James Fraser; starkly honest confessions of his cares and worries that are never sent, but serve to help ground Grey's thoughts and emotions.


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