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Nightshade: A Hugh Corbett Medieval Mystery Hardcover – April 12, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Whodunits don't get much better than this outstanding historical, Doherty's 16th Sir Hugh Corbett medieval mystery (after 2010's The Waxman Murders). Edward I dispatches Corbett, keeper of the secret seal, to Essex to recover an ornate cross claimed by the Templars from Lord Oliver Scrope. The king also wants Corbett to censure Scrope for exceeding his authority in ordering the massacre of the members of a religious sect the orthodox Scrope had labeled heretical. On arrival, Corbett finds Scrope's community plagued by a killer known as Sagittarius, who has already claimed multiple victims. The murderous archer has created an atmosphere of terror with his apparently random attacks, heralded with the blast of a hunter's horn. Another murder committed in a locked room on an inaccessible island considerably ups the ante. The first-rate pacing will have readers racing through the book to learn the truth, which the author has artfully concealed. (Apr.)
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About the Author

P.C. DOHERTY is the author of several acclaimed mystery series.
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Product Details

  • Series: A Hugh Corbett Medieval Mystery (Book 16)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; Reprint edition (April 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312678185
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312678180
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,361,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Hair Balls on June 10, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
P.C. Doherty tells his tale so well I feel like I could be in Hugh Corbett's shoes. There are interesting intrigues around the varying loyalties of the characters. Hugh is always true to his tasks, his love of family, his loyalties and to always do the right thing. Part of his effectiveness as an investigator is knowing when to speak and when not to speak as well as when to act and when not to act. Timing is elemental in this story. I particularly liked the scene where they find the old bridge underwater and are able to walk along it unseen. The potential for drowning and hypothermia was foremost in my mind. The scenes in the woods where the hanged and the dead are left unburied leaves me as sickened as Hugh. P. C. Doherty writes like it really could have happened. I felt as though I was there in the story. Definitely hard to put this book down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ohioan on September 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the first P.C. Doherty novel I've read, and I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed the Medieval setting and the way it was rendered. At all times I had a sense of the cloaks used for warmth, the weapons, the buildings, the foods, the transportation. In many places I had to look up words ("frumenty," for example, and "arbalest"), but that's to be expected in a book about Medieval times. I also enjoyed the fact that much of the plot was based on actual events: the theft of King Edward's treasures from Westminster, and the subsequent capture of the thieves.

The plot kept me interested. I definitely wanted to know who the deadly archer was and why he was killing the people he chose to kill. I wanted to know what horrible crime Lord Scrope had committed at Acre, and even though it's pretty easy to guess what it was, the revelation was satisfying. When it comes to the unmasking of the killer, however, I was disappointed: the clues, if any, were so private to Hugh Corbett's observations that I couldn't go back and reconstruct who was where at what time. I wanted Corbett or Ranulf to list who was where, and discuss it. Even then, the identity of the killer seemed to come out of the blue. Further, Corbett demands to see the manor ledgers (household accounts) near the end of the book, studies them, and reaches some conclusion. What that conclusion is, we never know. It doesn't seem to figure into the solution at all.

Two of P.C. Doherty's writing quirks (for lack of a better word) bothered me. Each time I encountered either of them, I felt myself leave the world of the book for an instance.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on April 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In 1304 King Edward I directs his most-trusted aide and the keeper of the secret seal Sir Hugh Corbett to travel to Essex. There Sir Hugh is to retrieve an ornate cross from Lord Oliver Scrope who took it from a sect the latter declared heretical. The monarch also orders Sir Hugh to censure Scrope for going outside his power when he slaughtered the members of the sect.

Corbett arrives in Essex to learn a serial killer Sagittarius stalks the residents. The attacks by this predatory hunter have left everyone fearful as the killer seems to randomly choose who is next to kill before the sound of the hunter's horn announces an arrow has been sent at a target. When an impossible homicide occurs on a remote nearly unattainable island inside a locked room, Corbett knows he must end the reign of terror.

The latest Corbett medieval mystery (see The Waxman Murders) may be the historical whodunit of the year as P.C. Doherty provides a super investigative tale. Fast-paced yet setting time and place so that fans will feel they accompany the hero in January 1304 England on his regal mission. Set aside plenty of time as Nightshade is nearly impossible to put down.

Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By RomanFW on April 12, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
PC Doherty has a winning formula with his Hugh Corbett charactor. Always a good read. You can feel the that medievel period as you read these stories and you can let your own imagination run with his words. I look forward to the next book in this series.
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Format: Hardcover
Very interesting reading. Doherty is a gifted medieval fiction writer.Have most all of the Hugh Corbett books on the shelf and when you start reading its is hard to put down, and when finished one you are eager to continue the next volume.
My Thanks goes out to you Mr Dohetry.
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By Bodicia on November 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read all of the Corbett books and really enjoy the immersion in the Medieval world. Although it occasionally requires my checking on the meaning of certain words not in current use. The clues keep you guessing as to the perpetrator of the crimes so it keeps you guessing. Corbett is a character that is always true to what he believes is right. And I hope there will be other books to come, although the ending might imply other. But, he's done that before to his readers.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a solid Doherty fan and I have almost all of his books on medieval English mysteries. This Hugh Corbett episode is, as usual, outstanding. I was glued to the book from the moment that I started it to the finish. I hope he lives forever....l
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