Bavaria, 1886:
King Ludwig II is declared insane by his government and
forcibly removed from the throne. A day later, Ludwig’s
corpse washes up in the shallows of Lake Starnberg.
Rumors swirl about the tragedy, but few know why
the eccentric king was really killed—
and what secret was silenced by his death.

Germany, present day:
Hidden amongst the crates in a newly discovered World
War II bunker are documents stamped with a black swan,
the insignia of the murdered king. As a favor to a friend,
Payne and Jones fly to Bavaria to investigate the discovery,
but soon face a deadly battle against an unknown
enemy. The duo must solve the mystery behind the
king’s death, or else they’ll share his tragic fate.

To read an excerpt:


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Andrew Gross, New York Times bestselling author—
“A dizzying, thrill-laden chase for treasure through Bavaria, with the coolest heroes since
Lethal Weapon.”

Lisa Gardner, #1 international bestselling author—
“Chris Kuzneski has mastered the art of the quest novel, bringing to life lost treasures, exotic locales, and fresh conspiracies, as his trusty duo of Payne and Jones rely on their elite military training to slay bad guys, solve riddles, and save the day.”

Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author—
“THE SECRET CROWN is hugely entertaining, an adventure made for the big screen — with secret codes, priceless artworks, and a search for treasure. Kuzneski seamlessly blends historical fact with ingenious fiction. Once you start, you’ll be hooked!”

Boyd Morrison, #1 international bestselling author—
“THE SECRET CROWN is an adventure brimming with mystery, intrigue, and humor. Kuzneski stirs together thrills, chills, and laughs in equal measures to serve up a rollicking fun read.”

David Hosp, bestselling author of Among Thieves
“Kuzneski combines the breakneck pace and historical intrigue of Dan Brown’s novels with the force and wit of Lee Child’s characters for a thrilling style all his own. He is rapidly establishing himself on the shortlist of must-read thriller authors.”

Jeremy Robinson, bestselling author of Instinct
“Nobody blends fascinating history and pulse-pounding action like Chris Kuzneski. THE SECRET CROWN is smart, funny and impossible to put down—so impossible that I finished the book by candlelight during a power outage. The book is
that good!”

Crime Squad (UK)—
“Part action, part mystery, part intrigue and ALL entertainment. Think Rambo meets Indiana Jones meets
Lethal Weapon and you’re about halfway there.”

Fresh Fiction—
With a fascinating tale of history and long-lost treasure, this pulse-pounding adventure thriller will keep readers entertained until the fascinating conclusion.”