To say that the author is prolific is an understatement, just read the long list of titles by him at the front of this book. You would automatically think that his books suffer because of this proliferation but surprisingly nothing could be further from the truth. He has several main characters who are given their own series of books and the Sorrowful Mysteries of Brother Athelstan is just one of those series.
Whether the author is writing about medieval England, Alexander the Great or Ancient Egypt he seems to be able to convince the reader that his knowledge of the period is absolute. That is not to say that his books and this one in particular are dry or bogged down with historical detail. The writer always seems to succeed in giving the reader a good balance between an interesting storyline and enough historical detail to paint a picture of the life and times of the characters involved in the book.
In this book Brother Athelstan is once again called upon to solve the mystery of a brutal massacre in a Southwark tavern, involving among several others, John of Gaunt’s tax collectors. The Regent, Gaunt is incensed and instructs the Dominican to track down the killers. Brother Athelstan’s mind is stretched to the limit as he strives to piece together what little clues are available to him and his friend, Sir John Cranston, the wine loving coroner. Are members of Athelstan’s own congregation involved in the murders? Only time will tell, but he begins to fear the worst.
This offering is just as good as the ones that came before it. Readers of Paul Doherty’s books will love it. I did.