A magnificent weapon created before the Norman Conquest becomes known as the Sword of Shame and provides many a murder to solve.
After buying his officer Gwyn a new sword, Crowner John has to defend him from the charge that he used it to kill his landlord. The sword reappears in 1262 Venice, where Nick Zuliani, who lives by his wits, becomes entangled in election fraud and murder. Losing the sword in the mud of a Venetian canal, he barely escapes with his life. In the next tale, Keeper Sir Baldwin and Bailiff Puttock investigate the death of the Reeve of Sir John de Curterne, who covets the sword, which belongs to his neighbor Sir William de Tracy. Then the sword appears in Cambridgeshire, where Matthew Bartholomew and Brother Michael must unravel more deaths. When Elizabethan player Nick Revill visits the wrong house, he finds the sword again involved in murder, which he solves while snowbound near Cambridge. Modern times find the sword, now worth a fortune, about to be auctioned off. Its fascination for those that touch it adds another homicide to its bloody legend.
The second team effort in a series (The Tainted Relic, 2006) that follows a prized object through history. It’s not an original idea, but one that allows many favorite medieval sleuths to share a single volume.