A strange and ominous artifact could hold the key to everything...
December, 1380. When the corpse of Sir Robert Kilverby is discovered in a locked room, Brother Athelstan accompanies the King's coroner to investigate.
Sir Robert had in his possession a priceless relic, a sacred bloodstone, which has now disappeared. Did Sir Robert die of natural causes or was he murdered?
Athelstan is sceptical of rumours of a curse hanging over Sir Robert, but when it is discovered that a second old soldier has been gruesomely slain on the same night, the rumours no longer seem so far-fetched...
A scintillating murder mystery with twists and turns throughout, perfect for fans of C. J. Sansom, S. J. Parris and Michael Jecks.
Praise for Paul Doherty
'The best of its kind since the death of Ellis Peters' Time Out
'If you like Inspector Morse, you'll love Brother Athelstan' Prima
'Evocative and lyrical descriptions' New Statesman
Set in 1380, Doherty's solid 11th mystery featuring Brother Athelstan (after 2003's The House of Shadows) opens with the poisoning death of Sir Robert Kilverby, a retired merchant, who's found in a locked room of his London mansion with no obvious way for the fatal substance to have been administered. Kilverby is but the first victim of a vicious killer, who appears to be targeting members of the Wyvern Company, a group of master bowmen who stole "a precious bloodstone," the Passio Christi, believed to have been formed from drops of Christ's blood. The case is a natural for Athelstan, who's been distracted from spiritual pursuits in the past by his fascination with nabbing murderers, and may have political implications for England and its boy king ruler. This is a better-than-average whodunit, even if it's not up to the standard of Doherty's best work.