This is the second offering in the soon to be famous Abbot Peter Mysteries.
Simon Parke the author is learning his trade well and this book is even slicker than the first in the series `A Vicar Crucified'.
Abbot Peter has been called on again, by his niece DI Tamsin Shah, this time, to investigate the death of his friend Barnabus Hope, found viciously murdered and left inside a cupboard in Henry house, a foreboding Elizabethan mansion.
But Henry House has secrets of its own and to solve the murder Peter must tease these secrets free.
Again there is a scary moment when Abbot Peter's own life is put in danger and for a while I had to hold my breath while I waited to see how he could possibly survive.
Interwoven into the murder story is another story, that of Hafiz, a famous Persian poet who lived in Shiraz in the 1300's. This too is a heart stopping tale of bravery against dark religious forces. How will Hafiz save his children from the crazed lovers of orthodoxy, who want to burn and destroy all he has ever worked for?
I really love the way Parke takes two stories, one past and one present and blends them into each other, the past coming to life and speaking, informing the now.
This book brought me to the edge of my seat on more than one occasion and allowed me to cry both tears of relief and joy. There are also many great lines, many of them from the endearing Abbot Peter which made me laugh at the madness of human behaviour (I spot others; I also spot myself which is slightly disturbing).
Well worth a read. I'm already looking forward to Abbot Peter's next adventure!