The Grim Reaper, Paperback

The Grim Reaper Paperback

Part of the A Crowner John Mystery series

4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


May 1195, and Sir John de Wolfe is faced with a strange series of serial murders, which begins with the suffocation of a Jewish money-lender and proceeds through that of a London harlot, a dissolute priest and a burgess suspected of abusing young boys.

The common factor is that an appropriate Biblical text is left at each murder scene, the mode of which reflects the alleged sin of the victim.

This means that a literate and Bible-learned killer is involved - which, in an age where only 1% of the population can read or write - can only be a priest.

There are at least twenty-five parish churches in Exeter, so the killer could be any one of more than a hundred clerics.

Crowner John sets about to discover the identity of the homicidal priest.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368 pages, maps
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9780671029678



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

A general review of this series:This is back in the good old days of law enforcement, when trial by combat was definitive and would-be plea bargainers had to fight their accomplice(s) to the death.I find these books fascinating as living history, perhaps even more than as mysteries. Knight always starts off with a glossary of terms. The period is not romanticized, but neither is it overly repulsive. Sir John de Wolfe went crusading with Richard the Lionheart. Now back in England, he has been appointed to the newly reconstituted office of Crowner (Coroner). He fights a pitched battle with his corrupt, treacherous brother-in-law, the Sheriff, over official territory. He is very unhappily married to Mathilda, his incompatible wife; their relationship makes sleeping in peasant huts while on duty a treat. One of the things that makes it interesting, is that although Sir John is the central character, and presumably to be regarded with sympathy, his marital problems are not entirely blamed upon his wife.John is assisted in his duties by his gigantic man of arms, and his clerk, a frail, defrocked priest.

Review by

Another Crowner John mystery. Rich historical story about the Church and State. There is a priest killing people according to biblical quotes.

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