In the year 1101, Sir Geoffrey Mappestone returns to his home at Goodrich Castle on the Welsh border. He is travelling in the company of a knight who claims to be carrying an urgent message for King Henry I.
When the knight is killed during an ambush, Geoffrey feels obliged to deliver the message to the King himself, but quickly regrets his decision when the King orders him to spy on his own family in order to ferret out a dangerous traitor. Geoffrey returns home to find his father gravely ill and his older brothers and sister each determined to inherit the Mappestone estate. Geoffrey's father claims he is being poisoned by one of his own children, a claim no one takes seriously until he is found murdered with his own knife in the dead of night. Geoffrey's investigation of the murder, however, takes him far beyond a family quarrel. Accusations are flying, and Geoffrey must prove his own innocence in the face of greed and fear.
The villainous Earl of Shrewsbury is clearly implicated, and as Geoffrey delves deeper, he discovers a plot that reaches far beyond the realm of Goodrich Castle to that of the entire kingdom: the assassination of the King.
1743, and the tanners of Preston are a pariah community, plying their unwholesome trade beside a stretch of riverside marsh where many Prestonians by ancient right graze their livestock. When the body of a newborn child is found in one of their tanning pits, Cragg's enquiry falls foul of a cabal of merchants, dead set on modernising the town's economy and regarding the despised tanners - and Cragg's apparent championship of them - as obstacles to their plan. The murder of a baby is just the evidence they need to get rid of the tanners once and for all. But the inquest into the baby's death is disrupted when the inn in which it is being held mysteriously burns down. Then Cragg himself faces a charge of lewdness, jeopardising his whole future as a coroner. But the fates have not finished playing with him just yet. The sudden and suspicious death of a very prominent person may just, with the help of Fidelis's sharp forensic skills, bring about Cragg's redemption...
From the author of Cinderella Six Feet Under, a beauty must solve a beastly murder. Variety hall actress Ophelia Flax knows how to win over an audience. That's why she's accepted the marriage proposal of the brutish Comte de Griffe to nettle her occasional investigative partner and romantic sparring partner the pompous if dashing Professor Penrose. But with his boorish table manners, wild mane of hair, and habit of prowling away the wee hours, the comte has shredded Ophelia s last nerve. She intends to disengage from her feral fiance at his winter hunting party until Penrose, his lovely new fiancee, and a stagecoach of stranded travelers arrive at the comte s sprawling chateau. Soon she can't tell the boars from the bores. When one of the guests is found clawed and bloody in the orangerie, Ophelia is determined to solve the murder before everyone starts believing the local version of Beauty and the Beast. But until the snows melt, she can't trust her eyes or her heart since even the most civilized people hold beastly secrets...
Shakespeare. William Shakespeare. [cue Bond Theme]
Following his successful humorous steampunk novel, The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy
, Jacopo della Quercia returns with a Tudor historical in which an intelligence operative in the service of Elizabeth I, Thomas Walsingham, stages the murder of Christopher Marlowe. The 'hit-man' - none other than William Shakespeare!
Shakespeare as you've never seen him before a secret agent. Caught up in a world of corruption, secrets, staged deaths, and playwriting, Will must use but not abuse his license to quill.
A page-turning James Bond-esque spy thriller starring William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe during history's real life Gunpowder Plot. The story follows the fascinating golden age of English espionage, the tumultuous cold war gripping post-Reformation Europe, the cloak-and-dagger politics of Shakespeare's England, and lastly, the mysterious origins of the Bard's most haunting play: Macbeth.
A fast-paced historical retelling!
London: 1883. Sidney Grice is London's foremost personal detective. Called away to Yorkshire, he leaves his ward, March Middleton, to run his house. But hearth and home hold little charm for March, who harbours dreams of becoming London's foremost, and first, lady detective. So, when a mysterious letter arrives from her long-lost uncle, she accepts his invitation to stay at the palatial Saturn Villa. Her new Uncle Tolly is sweet, eccentric and - come the morning - very, very dead. But March is not called upon to solve the case, instead she's in the frame for murder.
The fifth book in the Home Front Detective Series. London, Autumn 1916. When he slips out of a house in the early hours of the morning, Simon Wilder is too preoccupied to realise that he is being stalked. As he walks along the street, lights begin to dim as a warning that there's another Zeppelin attack. Guns begin to pound away as British aeroplanes attack the Zeppelin. Suddenly, it bursts into flame and lights up the whole sky. The crowds cheer as the great fireball drops slowly down and crashes in a field but the one person unable to watch is Simon Wilder. While he is staring up at the sky, he is stabbed to death and left in an alleyway. It will prove to be a very puzzling case for Inspector Marmion and Sergeant Keedy...
1587. Three years after his enforced departure to London, Hew is reconciled with King James VI and recalled to Scotland. He elopes to St Andrews with a young Englishwoman. The death of Mary, Queen of Scots has unleashed a wave of anti-English sentiment among the Scottish people, and fear and confusion in the king himself. James will grant his blessing to their controversial marriage on the condition that Hew discovers what lies behind a painting cunningly contrived to prick the young king's conscience - an anamorphic death's-head with his mother's face. Meanwhile in St Andrews, the death of a painter is troubling to Giles Locke, and the English Frances, struggling to adapt to a foreign town and culture, helps Hew find the link among the artists and intriguers of opposing courts, a quest for love - and life - requiring all his skills.
1361: John the Carpenter, married and soon to become a father, has plenty of work to keep him busy in Chesterfield. But when an elderly man in the town is found murdered with no clue as to why, the coroner calls upon John's mystery-solving expertise once again. However, this is a crime where nothing is as it appears. When the suspected murderer is found dead and a valuable Book of Psalms vanishes, John is suddenly embroiled in a string of crimes that threaten his own life and the safety of his new family.
When the door opened and he came out, there came with him the stench of a dead thing, the sweet, sulphurous, warm, rotten chicken smell that only ever comes from unburied flesh.
A dead body is found in a locked house. It has been stabbed in a frenzy, the hands and feet bound, the skull smashed, false teeth knocked from its jaws. Blood pools around the corpse and drips from the staircase. Yet nothing is missing: money and valuables remain untouched. Who could have murdered an old woman in such a horrifying way? And why?
This is the mystery facing Sergeant John Fraser and Detective Lieutenant Trench when wealthy spinster Miss Jean Milne is murdered in the quiet seaside town of Broughty Ferry. Yet, despite an abundance of clues and apparent witnesses, the investigation proves troublesome: suspects are elusive and Miss Milne herself is found to be far from a model of propriety.
And when sensational headlines put pressure on the police force to find a culprit, Fraser and Trench must work fast to prevent the wrong man from going to the gallows. But will they ever unravel the secret life and curious death of Miss Jean Milne?
A royal birth, a nobleman's death, a scarlet woman's murder.
In March, 1279, Edward I takes a break from hammering the Welsh and bearing down on England's Jews to vacation in Gloucestershire. The royal party breaks the journey at Woodstock Manor. And there one life begins as Queen Eleanor labors to birth a new daughter, and one draws to an end when apoplexy fells Baron Adam Wynethorpe.
Hotfoot to the baron's deathbed comes his elder son, Hugh, a veteran of Edward I's Crusades, who can't shake off the battle horrors he's witnessed. The baron's daughter, Prioress Eleanor, has already arrived, bringing along both her sub-infirmarian, Sister Anne, and the monk, Brother Thomas, to tend her father. Awaiting Hugh is his bastard son, Richard, a youth filled with rebellion and a secret. The royal manor is packed with troubling guests including a sinister priest, an elderly Jewish mother from nearby Oxford mourning a son hanged for the treason of coin-clipping, contentious and greedy courtiers, and a lusty wife engaged with more than one lover.
Quite soon, the wife is found hanged. Eleanor and Sister Anne persuade the High Sheriff of Berkshire that Mistress Hawis' death was not a suicide. In fact, many at the manor had reason to wish Hawis dead. One suspect is Richard.
It is 1859, and novice detective Campbell Lawless has just arrived in London. Woken in the middle of the night, he is summoned to the scene of a deadly act of sabotage at Euston Station by the illustrious Inspector Wardle. Wardle believes that the man found dead amidst his handiwork is the culprit, but Lawless is not so sure. So begins his hunt for elusive revolutionary Berwick Skelton, one that will thrust him into a lethal and intoxicating world of royal scandal and intrigue. Aided by a gang of street urchins and a vivacious librarian, Lawless must capture his underworld nemesis before Skelton unleashes his final vengeance...
The infamous Sherlock Holmes, now in his retirement, has turned his attention to his beekeeping hobby. But when a shadowy figure is seen walking below the cliffs one night, Holmes cannot resist the temptation of solving one more mystery. He summons his old flatmate and confidante Dr Watson to help. Against the backdrop of the stormy Sussex coast, desirable women and suspicious men weave an engaging and complex case.