Monday, April 23, 2012

Pierce’s Picks: “The Mysterium”

A weekly alert for followers of crime, mystery, and thriller fiction.

The Mysterium, by P.C. Doherty (Minotaur):
It’s more than a bit difficult to keep up with the literary productivity of Dr. Paul C. Doherty, the headmaster of Trinity Catholic High School in Essex, England, and author of more than 90 historical novels set in a number of Old World cultures. The best recognized of his many series is undoubtedly the one starring Hugh Corbett--later dubbed Sir Hugh Corbett--which takes place during the reign of King Edward I (1239-1307). Corbett and his protégé, former felon Ranulf-atte-Newgate, debuted in Satan in St. Mary’s (1986) and have continued investigating plots large and small ever since. Their 17th adventure, The Mysterium, finds them in London in 1304. Walter Evesham, Chief Justice in the Court of the King’s Bench, is charged with bribery and corruption, and has retreated to the Abbey of Sion on Thames, seeking sanctuary “from the law he had once exercised so imperiously.” But after Evesham is slain in his cell, Corbett is asked to investigate. Suspicion falls quickly on the Mysterium, a devious killer once pursued by Evesham, who may finally have exacted revenge against the disgraced Chief Justice. It’s possible, though, that a copycat murderer is to blame.

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