Sir John de Wolfe, the county coroner, is once again solving an unusual death. This one is blamed
on a witchís spell after a straw doll is found under the victimís saddle. With a widow crying witchcraft
and a priest determined to expose and execute local witches—whether guilty or not, John needs to
solve the manís death before more lives are taken.
When Nester is endangered, John and Gwen travel to Johnís family home where he places Nester in his
familyís care. His widowed mother, brother, and sister are happy to help. They prefer Nester over his
wife, who has treated them so harshly.
Johnís background as a solider seems to have prepared him for life with his wife (in name only) and
her brother—the Sheriff.† Despite his wifeís religious prejudice, social snobbery, and lack of
compassion, and her brotherís vindictive, vile ways, John continues to preserve his integrity. Johnís
anger and frustration at his wife is understandable; but his sympathy not so much when she takes her
brotherís fall from grace as if he had actually died...† John warns her that the Sheriff has gone too
far this time and is sure to be charged with treason. But will this evil character with the shell of
an armadillo really be affected?
The mystery itself takes various directions with witchcraft at the forefront. Knight includes
plenty of adventure and historical detail. Iím amazed at how easily his writing—this one read
aloud, of course—is able to pull me deep into the era and the lives of his rich characters.†
There is really only one frustration with this series on unabridged audio and this is finding enough
time to enjoy it. Because once youíre drawn into Exeter and the lives of those who live there, it
makes it difficult to turn the player off.