Childhood sweethearts find their loyalties challenged and their lives at risk as they race time to unravel a mystery that threatens family, friends, and the future of a nation.
The country is at war, Missouri languishes under martial law, and a once-peaceful river town throngs with soldiers, spies, and sedition.
Caught in the middle is Becky Thatcher. Once a pampered only child, she has lost nearly everything, including her faith in love. When her father is jailed for treason and their very survival depends on her, the last person in the world she wants to rely on is her faithless first beau, Tom Sawyer.
Tom has no problem remembering the mistakes he made concerning Becky, but is she the reason he returned home after so many years? Upon awakening without crucial memories after someone tried to kill him, the undercover spy can’t recall his mission and dares not trust anyone — not even his childhood sweetheart.
As assassins close in and time runs out, Tom and Becky must put the past behind them and find a way to work together to unravel a deadly mystery and defeat an unknown enemy.
Follow the new adventures of America's most beloved characters in a series fraught with danger, rich in romance and woven with historical authenticity, from award-winning author E.E. Burke.
Return to a New Adventure
From an early age, I’ve been afflicted with a fondness for two precocious Missouri-bred boys introduced to me by Mark Twain. As I read (and reread) Tom and Huck’s adventures, I hated to bid them farewell at a point where their stories were just taking off. I wanted to know what happened to them when they grew up. Did they find new adventures? Did they embark on the greatest adventure of all—falling in love? No one (not even the author of their stories) provided sufficient answers to my questions.
Great writers have penned volumes about Mark Twain and his characters. A few have written books about them. I’ll admit to being intimidated as I pondered on embarking on an adventure of my own—writing stories about Tom and Huck’s grown-up adventures. I’ll be the first to say, I am not in the same authorial stratosphere as Mark Twain. I’m not attempting to write what he would’ve written, or even how he would’ve written these stories had he decided to do so. I’ve written what I imagine could’ve happened had these two men actually lived in their historical settings in the midst of actual events.
Tom Sawyer Returns picks up more than a decade after we left him as a carefree lad in a sleepy town on the Mississippi River. It made sense that Tom would eventually leave to seek adventures. History provided a desperate event that would bring him home, determined to be a hero.
Numerous incidents in this book are based on historic reports, one of which alludes to a shadowy conspiracy by Confederate sympathizers. Put Tom in the middle of a deadly scheme, having to solve a mystery without crucial memories, and you have an exciting plot.
But a love story requires more.
In Twain’s book, the character of Becky Thatcher fits the traditional stereotype of the Victorian female: beautiful, helpless, idealized…quite frankly, boring. I wondered what a girl like that might do when faced with adversity if she were made of more than fluff? The Becky Thatcher who sprang to life as an adult surprised me with her cleverness, compassion, courage and sense of adventure. She’d shown something of her spunk in choosing Tom in the first place. Seeing her develop into a multi-faceted, independent woman, was pure delight.
After you finish Tom Sawyer Returns, be sure to pick up Taming Huck Finn.
I humbly offer these historical tales with profound gratitude to the man who inspired it. Perhaps more than any other author, Mark Twain influenced my love of the written word and my belief in the power of a well-told story.