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The Mysterium
Sir Hugh Corbett – Book XVII

By Paul Doherty

Corrupt Walter Evesham, the Chief Justice, has fallen from power and now hides within the Abbey of Syon, a penitent man to outward appearances. But when he is found dead in his cell, it looks as though it is the latest in a new series of murders, uncannily like those perpetuated some years earlier. The culprit back then was the strange Mysterium, an enigmatic figure who assassinated many people but was never caught. Enter Sir Hugh Corbett and his team to discover whodunit and to try and unravel the earlier crimes as well.

Paul Doherty certainly writes a novel with gusto and relish. As usual, this one hits the ground running and hastens along to its thrilling conclusion with all speed. Not that it is a short book, but one replete with his wonderfully pungent descriptions of mediaeval London, bloody murders and other dark deeds. I do like a detective novel that firmly stays on course, and this is one of those. Although the reader is fully aware at all times of being in the Middle Ages and King Edward I’s London at that, this is first and foremost a story about crime and detection. Corbett spends all his time investigating, chasing back and forth following clues, and frequently grilling his suspects many times, each time eliciting a different tale. Considering this is rather a grim story, it is quite a feat to give it a sense of fun, but Doherty is adept at pulling this off. It is surely what detective fiction is all about, and in these capable hands makes for an absorbing tale.

The Book

29 April 2010
0755354575 / 9780755354573
Historical Mystery 1304 London
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NOTE: A few gory moments

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2010
© 2010