Crime & Mystery
1381. The Great Revolt was crushed; the king's peace enforced. Brother Athelstan prepares for a pilgrimage, but he is summoned to the scene of a triple murder. One victim was John of Gaunt. Was this an act of revenge? Athelstan is also receiving menacing messages from an assassin. Could Athelstan's pilgrimage be leading him into a deadly trap?
Sleuthing monk Brother Athelstan discovers that past crimes can cause new murder in the latest intriguing medieval mystery
June, 1381. Summoned to the monastery at Blackfriars to investigate the murder of a fellow priest, found stabbed to death in his locked chamber, Brother Athelstan learns there may be a connection with the fate of the king's great-grandfather, Edward II, murdered 54 years earlier. Meanwhile, the rebel armies plot the present king's destruction.
A medieval mystery featuring sleuthing monk Brother Athelstan
May, 1381. The Great Revolt draws nearer. The Upright Men roam the streets of London, waiting for violence to begin. Their mysterious envoy, the Herald of Hell, appears at night, terrifying those who oppose them. But who is he?
When his chancery clerk is found hanged in a Southwark brothel, Brother Athelstan is summoned to investigate.
An intriguing medieval mystery featuring sleuthing monk Brother Athelstan.
February, 1381. Brother Athelstan has been ordered to track down a ruthless killer known as the Fire Bringer. He appears to be targeting all involved in the recent trial and conviction of the beautiful Lady Isolda Beaumont, burned at the stake for the murder of her husband. But was she really guilty - and what does the Fire Bringer really want?
February, 1381. A splendid Southwark tavern, The Candle-Flame, is the site of a brutal massacre in which nine people, including John of Gaunt's tax collectors, their military escort and the prostitutes entertaining them, are murdered. The furious Regent orders Brother Athelstan to track down the culprits.
In 1376, the famed Black Prince died of a terrible rotting sickness, closely followed by his father, King Edward III. The crown of England is left in the hands of a mere boy, the future Richard II, and the great nobles gather like hungry wolves around the empty throne. As a terrible power struggle threatens the country, one of London's powerful merchant princes is foully murdered and Coroner Sir John Cranston and Dominican monk Brother Athelstan are ordered to investigate. When further deaths occur, they find themselves drawn ever deeper into a dark web of intrigue.
In the late autumn of 1380, Brother Athelstan is busy enough. He and his parish council are preparing for the annual Christmas mystery play when a series of brutal murders occur at a Southwark tavern. Two young whores are found slain but their deaths are only the beginning of a series of gruesome killings which occur around the parish of St Erconwald's. A whole host of mysterious characters assemble to this pageant of murder: the Misericord, master thief and cunning man; the Judas man, a bounty hunter who tracks down outlaws and wolfheads; and finally the Knights of the Golden Falcon who assemble to celebrate their annual reunion. Brother Athelstan and Sir John Cranstone have to resolve not only these grisly deaths but also their source - the Great Robbery of the Lombard treasure which occurred in Southwark some twenty years earlier...
After the discovery of three savagely murdered bodies in his parish, Brother Athelstan finds himself involved in the hunt for a dangerous killer. It is clear that two of the victims, a whore and a preacher, surprised an assassin who was then forced to kill them. But who the third victim is, and why someone has gone to so much trouble to kill him, remains a mystery. And can it really have any connection with Sir John Cranston's attempt to save a women unjustly accused of stabbing a clerk?
In the summer of 1380 a French captain is murdered in Hawkmere Manor - a lonely, gloomy dwelling place, otherwise known as the 'Devil's Domain', which is used by Regent John of Gaunt to house French prisoners captured during the bloody battles waged between the French and the English on the Narrow Seas. Sir John Cranston and Brother Athelstan are summoned to investigate the mysterious death but their path is riddled with obstacles. How could the murderer have entered the Frenchman's chamber when the room was locked from within? Their aide, Sir Maurice Maltravers, is more of a hindrance than a help, as he faces the misery of heartbreak. Lady Angelica, the woman he intended to marry, has been whisked away to a convent by her tyrannical and disapproving father. It soon becomes apparent that only when the lovers are reunited will any progress be made in the murder investigation...
It's the summer of 1380 and the corpse of Edwin Chapler, clerk of the Office of the Green Wax of the Chancery, has been pulled from the Thames
Chapler has drowned, but not before he received a vicious blow to the back of the head. Then Bartholomew Drayton, a usurer and money-lender, is found dead in his strongroom, a crossbow firmly embedded in his chest: a real mystery because the windowless strongroom was locked and barred from the inside. So who killed him; And how; And are the two deaths connected; Sir John Cranston, the Coroner of the City of London, comes to survey the scene. When other clerks are murdered, each with a riddle pinned to his corpse, Cranston enlists the help of his secretarius, Brother Athelstan; and together they must pit their wits against a deadly adversary bent on murder and mayhem.
"Medieval mystery fans have cause for rejoicing with the return of Brother Athelstan" Booklist on Bloodstone.
January, 1381. Guests of the Regent, John of Gaunt, Brother Athelstan and Sir John Cranston have been attending a mystery play performed by the Straw Men, Gaunt's personal acting troupe, when the evening's entertainment is rudely interrupted by the sudden, violent deaths of two of Gaunt's VIP guests, their severed heads left on stage. The Regent orders Athelstan to find out who committed such a heinous act, leading Athelstan to tackle his most baffling case yet.
1380. As the king's parliament debates whether to grant money supplies to the Regent for his war against the French, John of Gaunt orders Sir John Cranston and Brother Athelstan to investigate the murder of the Shrewsbury representatives, as the assassin must be caught before parliament suspects the Regent himself. Unfortunately, Sir John and Brother Athelstan have their own problems to deal with: the coroner is puzzled by a thief stealing cats from Cheapside, while Athelstan is concerned by claims that a devil is prowling his parish. Against a colourful pageantry of medieval court life and the dark slums of London, Sir John and Brother Athelstan pit their wits against a bloody murder and the assassin in the House of Crows.
Winter, 1379, and a sea of trouble is besetting England. French privateers attack the southern coast on a path to threaten London itself. In response, an English flotilla of warships, including God's Bright Light, drops anchor in the Thames. During the night, however, the first mate and two of the ship's crew disappear without trace. Summoned to resolve the mysteries on board, Sir John Cranston and Brother Athelstan finds themselves in the thick of a bloody battle on the Thames as scandal, treason and murder rule the day.
A 'Canterbury Tales' medieval mystery.
As Chaucer's pilgrims shelter for the night, it's the physician's turn to enthral his fellow travellers with a terrifying tale. When Brother Anselm and his novice Stephen are summoned to the Church of St Michael's, Candlewick, to perform an exorcism, the demons that plague the church appear to have been summoned by an infamous sorcerer known as the Midnight Man. But what has he unwittingly unleashed - and why? Is there any link to the disappearance of young women in the area? Before Anselm can get to the truth, he must first uncover the identity of the mysterious Midnight Man.
Summer, 1379. Sir John Cranston, coroner of the city of London, is trapped into a wager with Signor Gian Galeazzo, Lord of Cremona, when challenged to resolve a certain murder mystery within two weeks. Men have been found dead in the scarlet chamber of one of Cremona's manors. They have no mark upon them; they have neither drunk nor eaten poison; there are no secret passageways or entrances to the room. And they all have an awful expression of terror upon their faces. Realising his reputation and future wealth rest upon the solving of this mystery, Cranston seeks the help of his faithful secretarius, Brother Athelstan.
Autumn, 1379. The power of the crown is invested in John of Gaunt, and the kingdom is seething with discontent. The French are attacking the southern ports and peasants are planning a revolt organised by a mysterious leader who proclaims himself 'Ira Dei', the Anger of God. His plans plunged into chaos by a series of bloody murders, Gaunt turns to Sr John Cranston to catch the assassin and recover a vanished king's ransom in gold. Together, Cranston and his ally, Brother Athelstan, face threats and attack from the powerful as well as the seedy underworld of medieval London as they attempt to bring a cunning murderer to justice.
December, 1377. A great frost has London in its icy grip; even the Thames is frozen bank to bank. The Constable of the Tower of London, Sir Ralph Witton, is found murdered in a cold, bleak chamber in the North Bastion. The door is still locked from the inside and guarded by trusted retainers. So how did the assassins slip across a frozen moat to climb the sheer wall to commit such a dreadful crime? Appointed to investigate, Brother Athelstan and Sir John Cranston soon discover that Sir Ralph's murder is only the first in a series of macabre killings which have their roots in a terrible act of betrayal committed many years previously.
An intriguing new Brother Athelstan historical mystery.
December, 1380. When the corpse of Sir Robert Kilverby is discovered in a locked room, Brother Athelstan accompanies the King's coroner to investigate. For 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 . . .