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by P.C. Doherty

Pub Date: April 24th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-312-67819-7
Publisher: Minotaur

The extreme wealth, dire poverty and resulting intrigue of 1304 London lead to murder.

Keeper of the Secret Seal Sir Hugh Corbett, problem solver for King Edward I, is tasked with solving several murders whose roots may lie deep in the past. Walter Evesham, Chief Justice in the Court of the King’s Bench, has been accused of bribery and corruption. His attempts to atone for his sins at the Abbey of Syon are cut short when he’s murdered in his locked cell. Suddenly people connected to one of his old cases are also found dead. The deaths appear to be the work of the Mysterium, the killer Evesham had caught years ago who vanished from the locked and guarded church of St. Botulph’s. His former sanctuary is now awash in blood as Edward’s men kill or capture escaped prisoners who are making a last stand. The priest is Parson John, Evesham’s timid, ineffectual son, who claims that he barely knew his father. Also lodged at Syon are a number of people who have cause to hate Eversham. Corbett is convinced the answer to the riddle lies in Evesham’s past investigation of the Mysterium, which probably accused an innocent man of murder for hire. As Corbett pores through old documents and uses his powers to question everyone involved, the Mysterium continues to kill. Only a clever trap will capture him.

Doherty (Nightshade, 2011, etc.) provides another meticulously researched trip to the distant past, a clever mystery with a fine feel for the period.