If you are a fan of historical mysteries, then chances are you have heard of Paul Doherty and his most famous creation, the 14th century sleuthing monk Brother Athelstan.
The Sorrowful Mysteries of Brother Athelstan (to give the series its full and proper title) tracks the social and political unrest leading up to the Peasants’ Revolt.
Throughout this gripping series, historian Doherty has woven the mishaps and mysteries encountered by Brother Athelstan into the fabric of historical events with a unique blend of light-handed storytelling and gritty realism.
Critics agree, with Booklist saying: “Doherty successfully resurrects medieval London in all its grime, grit, and glory.”
This series consistently receives starred reviews, with Publishers Weekly observing in their starred review of The Book of Fires that “only the cleverest readers will identify the Ignifer before Athelstan does.”
In the latest series entry, The Herald of Hell, it is May, 1381 and the Great Revolt draws ever nearer. The Upright Men openly roam the streets of London, waiting for the violence to begin. Their mysterious envoy, the Herald of Hell, appears at night all over the city, striking terror into the hearts of those who oppose them. But who is he?
When his chancery clerk is found hanged in a notorious Southwark brothel, the ruthless Thibault, John of Gaunt’s Master of Secrets, summons Brother Athelstan to investigate. Did Amaury Whitfield really kill himself following a visit from the terrifying Herald of Hell? Athelstan is unconvinced.
In the dead man’s possession was a manuscript containing a great secret which he had been striving to decipher. If he could only unlock the cipher and interpret the messages being carried to the so-called Herald of Hell, Athelstan would be one step closer to catching the killer. But can he crack the code before the Great Revolt begins?