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The Tainted Relic

by The Medieval Murderers
Read by Stephen Thorne

      The Medieval Murderers are actually five mystery writers (Bernard Knight, Ian Morson, Michael Jecks, Susanna Gregory and Philip Gooden). I am most familiar with Bernard Knight and his character, Crowner John. Now, that Iíve read the anthologies such as this, where authors share a running storyline, I have to say itís become my favorite type of anthology.

The Tainted Relic spans over 900 years. In each act the myth of the tainted relic is retold. The tainted relic is a piece of the cross Jesus died on. One man is entrusted with this relic, but after his family is massacred, he curses the relic and all who touch it - and lose it.

The audio version is unabridged and allows you to get every historical detail. Stephen Thorneís narration takes you back in time and most certainly adds to the gritty charm of the story. Itís a fascinating, unforgettable listen. Highly entertaining. Highly recommended.

Here is a bit about The Tainted Relic.

July 1100 during a Crusade in Jerusalem, Sir Jeffery Matherson is approached by a man named Peter. Peter carries a relic treasured by Christians. The relic was preserved by the Brotherhood of the Cross. When the leaderís family is killed, he pulls the relic out and places a curse on it. Peterís goal is to get the relic to the Pope for safe keeping. Peter witnesses the beginnings of the curse first hand.

1194 Devonshire

Bernard Knightís Crowner John crosses paths with the cursed relic when his lady friend Nester discovers a dead priest at her inn. Johnís hated brother-in-law, the sheriff, blames Nester and itís up to Crowner John to prove her innocence.

1269 Oxford

Susanna Gregory's Matthew Bartholomew and Brother Michael investigate the death of Peter of Whitney. Father Andrew reveals that Peter was taking the relic to the abbey at Norwich. He believes the relic killed Whitney. John Seeton, the master of Gray Hall in Oxford, believes the Franciscan argued with two Carmelites and they killed him. Bartholomew chooses to follow his own leads when another death occurs and the relic disappears. London

While trying to retrieve an old journeyman drama for his friend Shakespeare, Philip Goodenís Nicolas Revill and fellow actors Jack and Abel end up in jail, suspected of murder. Hatch the book vender is murdered during the Saint Bartholomew Fair and the relic, which Revill had recently viewed, is now missing. The final tale takes flight with a conclusion of the relic or so you think...

The Book

Clipper Audio
September 2006
Audio book - unabridged / 13 CDs
Historical Mystery / England
More at US || UK
Audio Edition
NOTE: Amazon links are to paperback editions. The audio edition is through the publisher.

The Reviewer

Brenda Weeaks
Reviewed 2008
© 2008