cover image The Sacred Stone: A Historical Mystery

The Sacred Stone: A Historical Mystery

The Medieval Murderers. Simon & Schuster U.K. (IPG, dist.), $24.95 (400p) ISBN 978-1-84737-676-3

A meteorite that lands in an isolated Greenland settlement in 1067 propels the so-so sixth collaborative mystery (after 2009's King Arthur's Bones) from the Medieval Murderers (Susanna Gregory, Simon Beaufort, Bernard Knight, Karen Maitland, Ian Morson, Philip Gooden). At the end of the prologue, men transport "the sky-stone" east across the seas. Over the next few centuries, Welsh monks, oppressed English peasants, persecuted Jewish merchants and scholars, the ailing Henry III, and a secret agent in Shakespeare's day successively possess the stone, which appears both blessed with the power to cure the sick and injured and cursed to trigger murderous greed or lethal accidents. While fans of the individual authors will enjoy seeing old friends, the ambiguity surrounding the stone's true nature, which persists up to the epilogue set in present-day London, may frustrate more casual readers. (May)