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A Plague of Heretics
Crowner John Mystery Series – Book XIV

By Bernard Knight

As Devon is ravaged by the “yellow plague” Crowner John has several other problems to concern him as well. Who is killing seemingly honest men in such brutal ways for one thing…but when John discovers that they are all heretics, he finds himself up against the might of the church. Somebody is fanning the flames of persecution, and before long the mood of the city begins to turn ugly. Then John’s brother William falls ill…

This highly enjoyable series has reached that happy stage where it is as entertaining to read about what the various characters are up to as it is to read of a fresh serial killer on the rampage. The murders in this book take a back seat much of the time, and instead the reader is treated to the latest chapter of goings-on in John’s inharmonious ménage, at the Bush, in Dawlish, Stoke and more. It is also a vivid picture of an age when the church ruled and often clashed with the state, and when being merely suspected of heresy was to be in a very dangerous position indeed, whoever you were. Towards the end of the tale the pace quickens and it all gets very exciting – and unexpected – indeed, reinforcing my enthusiasm for this long running but evergreen series. There really is a lot to enjoy in here for many reasons.

The Book

Pocket Books (Simon and Schuster UK)
2 September 2010
1847393296 / 9781847393296
Historical Mystery / 1196 Exeter, Devon, England
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The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2010
© 2010