Another of Doherty's teeming, throbbing, authentically humming historicals (Death of a King; Crown in Darkness, etc.), this one in hot pursuit of Richard II--who may not have starved at Pontefract after all, but escaped to Scotland, where, in the early 1400's, he is sighted with more frequency than assorted loch monsters. Henry V, whose perch on the throne is precarious at best, must know: Is Richard, the Whyte Harte, still alive? Matthew Jankyn, an impoverished Oxford scholar/inveterate liar/ all-around rogue, is put on a secret commission to find out. He survives various Lollard conspiracies, the battle of Agincourt, and the wily intrigues of several kings, to ultimately arrive at the truth--which includes Richard's doppelganger Maudelyn, who impersonated him, while the king himself came to a grisly end. A rousing reenactment of medieval life, and Jankyn makes a picaresque guide through some of the most convoluted periods in English history. Still, more for history buffs than detection fans--with day-to-day minutiae taking precedence over sleuthing. Lively discussions, however, of vellum and ink storage, channel crossings, rackings and wining, dining and foraging.