A Maze of Murders: A Medieval Mystery Featuring Kathryn Swinbrooke

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9780312290160: A Maze of Murders: A Medieval Mystery Featuring Kathryn Swinbrooke

A violent past haunts Sir Walter Maltravers, the wealthy lord of Ingoldby Hall. As a commander during the War of the Roses, he fought alongside Edward IV at the bloody, fratricidal Battle of Towton. Decades earlier, and thousands of miles away, he served in the fanatical bodyguard of the last Byzantine emperor, Constantine XI Palaeologus.

There, as Turkish Jannisaries breached Constantinople’s walls and set the city aflame, Sir Walter committed what may have been an unforgivable sin: instead of defending the emperor with his last drop of blood, Maltravers fled. But not before scooping up all the treasure he could carry, including the Lacrima Christi---a giant ruby said to be a holy relic of incalculable value.

When the ruby disappears from Canterbury’s Franciscan monastery, Sir Walter fears the emperor’s vengeful loyalists---the Athanatoi---have tracked him to his estate. He doesn’t have much time to ponder his dilemma. Crawling on his bare knees to the shrine at the center of his enormous private hedge maze, the penitent Sir Walter encounters his axe-wielding killer. . . .

Maltravers’s head turns up days later, impaled on a pole.

Gossips in Canterbury whisper of the fabled Athanatoi, come to claim their bloody due from a traitor. But apothecary Kathryn Swinbrooke doesn’t think so. Her Irish fiancée, Colum Murtagh, the King’s Commissioner in Canterbury, is called in to investigate the crimes.

A Renaissance woman in a Middle Age world, Swinbroke comes to believe that all is not as it seems within the cozy confines of Ingoldby Hall. She asks tough questions of the wealthy power-players who seem to hover around the murder case. And before long, the death toll mounts: a maid, a madwoman, a scribe, a retainer. . . .

One thing becomes abundantly clear: if Swinbrooke and Murtagh don’t nail down the killer---or killers---soon, they’ll be next!

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About the Author:

C. L. Grace is the pseudonym of Paul Doherty, author of five previous Kathryn Swinbrooke mysteries as well as numerous books in other series. He holds a doctorate from Oxford and lives in England.

From Booklist:

When a precious relic disappears from a seemingly impregnable chapel, Kathryn Swinbrooke, medieval physician and apothecary, is commissioned by the king to investigate the theft. With the able assistance of her stalwart fiance, King's Commissioner Colum Murtagh, Kathryn attempts to put the pieces of an elaborate puzzle together. After the owner of the relic, Sir Walter Maltrevers, a former soldier who amassed a fortune via the spoils of war, is decapitated while praying deep in the recesses of his elaborate maze, Kathryn and Colum realize they are dealing with something more sinister than a simple case of thievery. As murder follows murder, they must delve deeply into Sir Walter's unsavory past in order to expose a vicious conspiracy. As usual, Kathryn takes advantage of her considerable medical knowledge in order to solve a mystery steeped in treachery, intrigue, and poison. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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