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The Noble Outlaw
A Crowner John Mystery #11

by Bernard Knight

      When a mummy is found during renovations to an old house, coroner Sir John de Wolfe is mystified as to how it got there and who it was. The fact that the house was being converted into a university school at the behest of his crafty brother-in-law might have something to do with it - but what? Soon more murders are taking place, while high on the moors Nick oíthe Moor and his band of outlaws are seeking justice, for Nick is really Sir Nicholas de Arundell, a crusading knight whose lands have fallen into the hands of Henry de la Pomeroy ...and Sir Richard de Revelle.

Back for an eleventh adventure, itís the loveable and competent trio of Sir John, gigantic Gwyn and scholarly Thomas. This long-running series shows no signs of flagging, and is as fresh and inventive as ever. Alongside a teasing plot there is the usual well researched backdrop, and the continuing saga of John and his family and friends. This time Matilda plays a larger role than usual and shows how even a long standing character can still have some surprises. With Robin Hood back in vogue, thanks to the TV series, readers are sure to enjoy the story of Nick and his outlaw friends as they strive for justice from the absent King Richard. There are descriptions of Dartmoor and Exeter with plenty of local color to enjoy, as well as the even more colorful and convoluted politics of the day. When I finished, I felt very satisfied, rather as if I had enjoyed a really good meal in the company of some old friends. If that makes it all sound rather like a soap opera then it is a very superior one with some great stories and the sort of characters you wish you could meet in the flesh. More please... highly enjoyable as ever.

The Book

Pocket Books (Simon & Schuster)
August 6, 2007
Historical Crime [1195 Exeter and Dartmoor, Devon, UK]
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The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2007
© 2006