Another Review at MyShelf.Com

The Tainted Relic
The Medieval Murderers

By Bernard Knight, et al.

      It had to happen - Michael Jecks, Bernard Knight, Ian Morson, Philip Gooden and Susanna Gregory (plus her alter ego Simon Beaufort) have joined forces to write a book. The thread linking a series of short stories running from Jerusalem in 1100 to a building site in modern Greenwich is a relic of the true cross, cursed by its Arab keeper Barzac after a crusader kills him. The curse is that the person holding it will die as soon as they pass it on, and as it is such an important relic it is bound to attract attention and cause mayhem. This is a cue for the various detectives to solve crimes whenever the item surfaces.

       There is a bitty feel about this loosely strung set of stories that the longer novels these writers normally write obviously lack. For anybody who hasn't tried this sort of fiction before and thinks this might be a way in, I do warn that it might spoil their pleasure of reading earlier works. As each story is set after the last novel that these writers had published then it is really aimed firmly at existing and long-standing fans. It is an interesting idea, that adds a little Paul Doherty style fantasy (the curse very obviously works) to the more realistic settings of the usual books but I personally will be glad to go back to reading their longer novels. However, as some of these writers will probably choose to allude to the events in this book in later novels then this is quite possibly essential reading.

The Book

Simon & Schuster
May 2005
Historical Crime

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2005
© 2005