Paul Doherty (Paul Harding) is my go to novelist when I want an entertaining, uproarious, historically accurate (within given artistic license) read that takes me out of present day and back to simpler (?!) times. Doherty really is like Dickins with his descriptions of 14th century London and his penchant for wonderfully descriptive names. Some reviewers think that Doherty in "Sorrowful Mystery" mode is formulaeic. He is. In the "Sorrowful Mysteries" parallel plotlines run throughout the book giving a couple of side problems to solve whilst dealing with the real story of the book which is usually the machinations of the regent, John of Gaunt. Cranston's mercurial personality and his and Athelstan's loving, humerous and at times antagonistic relationship and the hilarious trials and tribulations of his parishoners along with the tumultuous history of the period are what underpin the whole series.
In this outing for the 14th century's dynamic duo the main story is that someone is bumping off the commons; knights of the realm attending a parliament (really a fundraiser for the Lord Gaunt - never enough money!) and Gaunt wants the Lord coroner and his secretarius to find out who, and quick before the money disappears along with the rest of the commons. Twists and turns and the usual undercurrent storylines involving his parishoners make this another recommended read for the St Erconwald fan club.