From Publishers Weekly
Set in December 1303, Doherty's intricate 15th Hugh Corbett mystery (after 2009's The Magician's Death) opens after a prologue with Hugh, keeper of the secret seal of Edward I, riding into the snowbound cathedral city of Canterbury, where Sir Rauf Decontet has been murdered, perhaps by his adulterous wife. More killings follow that appear to originate in the slaying three years earlier of a pirate, Adam Blackstock, on his vessel The Waxman. A missing treasure map adds to the intrigue. An entire family is found hanged while their bodyguard has disappeared, and a spy who disguises himself as a leper also turns up dead. In addition to a richly detailed medieval courtroom scene, the prolific Doherty provides, as usual, a tantalizing locked-room puzzle. Historical mystery fans will cheer as Corbett sifts through a "farrago of half-truths" and sees to the rout of the "criminals, wolfsheads and outlaws he pursued on behalf of the Crown." (Dec.) (c)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Like a fine wine, Sir Hugh Corbett, keeper of the secret seal of Edward I of England, is mellowing gracefully. After 14 outings, he is back in better form than ever. This time, the King’s business brings the raven-haired Hugh and his stalwart redheaded sidekick, Ranulf atte Newgate, to Canterbury in order to secure and decipher the prized Cloister Map, rumored to point the way to a buried treasure sorely needed by Edward to replenish his dwindling coffers. After mayhem and murder break out, Hugh must reach back three years into the past to solve the mystery of a particularly gruesome series of homicides. Intelligent, suspenseful, and historically accurate, this medieval series continues to deliver the goods. --Margaret Flanagan