cover image Nightshade: A Hugh Corbett Medieval Mystery

Nightshade: A Hugh Corbett Medieval Mystery

P.C. Doherty, Minotaur, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-67818-0

Whodunits don't get much better than this outstanding historical, Doherty's 16th Sir Hugh Corbett medieval mystery (after 2010's The Waxman Murders). Edward I dispatches Corbett, keeper of the secret seal, to Essex to recover an ornate cross claimed by the Templars from Lord Oliver Scrope. The king also wants Corbett to censure Scrope for exceeding his authority in ordering the massacre of the members of a religious sect the orthodox Scrope had labeled heretical. On arrival, Corbett finds Scrope's community plagued by a killer known as Sagittarius, who has already claimed multiple victims. The murderous archer has created an atmosphere of terror with his apparently random attacks, heralded with the blast of a hunter's horn. Another murder committed in a locked room on an inaccessible island considerably ups the ante. The first-rate pacing will have readers racing through the book to learn the truth, which the author has artfully concealed. (Apr.)