cover image Deadly Inheritance

Deadly Inheritance

Simon Beaufort, Author . Severn $28.95 (282p) ISBN 978-0-7278-

Two deaths—the stabbing murder of Harry Mappestone at his Herefordshire castle, Goodrich, in September 1102, and the apparently more natural passing of the duchess of Normandy across the Channel the following spring—propel Beaufort's exceptional sixth Sir Geoffrey Mappestone mystery (after 2004's The Coiners' Quarrel ). Sir Geoffrey, a crusader knight, reluctantly comes to Goodrich to claim his late brother's estates. Geoffrey's sister urges him to marry soon and produce an heir to secure the family inheritance. A local bishop asks Geoffrey to investigate the duchess's death. While her doctors said the duchess died from complications of childbirth, the bishop suspects the duke's jealous mistress poisoned her. Well-rounded characters, rich period detail, and a clever closing twist or two put this in the same league as the best work of Kate Sedley and Michael Jecks. Beaufort is the pseudonym of Susanna Gregory, author of the Thomas Chaloner series, and the historian Beau Riffenburgh. (Apr.)