London, 1196. At the command of Richard the Lionheart, Sir John de Wolfe has lft his beloved West Country for the Palace of Westminster, where he has been appointed Coroner of the Verge. But with the king overseas, embroiled in a costly war against King Philip of France, Sir John is dismayed to discover that the English court is a hotbed of greed, corruption and petty in-fighting. The murder of one of the palace clerks, stabbed in broad daylight and thrown into the River Thames, leads John to suspect that there's a conspiracy underway to overthrow King Richard. And with the visit of the dowager Queen Eleanor fast approaching, the new Coroner must risk his life to prove his suspicions are right, root out the traitors within and prevent a national catastrophe.
As you’ve come to expect from Bernard by now a well written tale that has a cracking set of clues and puzzles that lead to demonstrate the corruption of those with the opportunities afforded to them by power in Norman Britain. It is, in my opinion, Bernard’s best book to date and one that kept me more than amused as I tried to figure it out before the conclusion beautifully wove its way to its conclusion which I failed to do so much so that it increased my delight upon completion. If you want a mystery that will keep you guessing, a cast of characters that continue to grow and all set in a historical past that’s as mysterious as the crimes within then you really can’t do better than this author. Whilst you don’t have to have read the other books in the series you’ll have sadly missed out on a wonderful set of mysteries.