The Book of Fires : A Medieval Mystery Hardback
by PAUL DOHERTY
Part of the A Brother Athelstan Medieval Mystery series
An intriguing medieval mystery featuring sleuthing monk Brother Athelstan February, 1381.
A ruthless killer known as the Ignifer - Fire Bringer - is rampaging through London, bringing agonising death and destruction in his wake.
He appears to be targeting all those involved in the recent trial and conviction of the beautiful Lady Isolda Beaumont, burned at the stake for the murder of her husband.
As the late Sir Walter Beaumont was a close friend of the Regent, John of Gaunt orders Sir John Cranston and Brother Athelstan to investigate.
In the dead man's possession was a copy of the mysterious 'Book of Fires', containing the secret formula of a devastating weapon, the so-called Greek Fire.
The manuscript has since disappeared, and Gaunt is desperate for it not to fall into the hands of the Upright Men, who are busy plotting the Great Revolt.
Was Isolda really guilty of murder? Who is the terrifying Fire Bringer - and what does he want?
Brother Athelstan is about to tackle his most challenging, and potentially dangerous, case yet.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 256 pages, black & white illustrations
- Publisher: Severn House Publishers Ltd
- Publication Date: 01/09/2014
- Category: Historical mysteries
- ISBN: 9781780290669
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Review by eyes.2c
Medieval mystery at its best!A young woman, Lady Isolda Beaumont is condemned for the murder of her powerful merchant husband and burned alive at the stake. Walter 'Black' Beaumont, an expert in canons, was known to hold the secret to creating explosive fires, and was rumoured to have Mark the Greek's 'Book of Fires' stolen from the Greek emperor in Constantinople. The Book contained the secret of Greek Fire, a highly volatile substance that will ignite even when thrown on water.Isolda's judges are being attacked, doused by a mysterious liquid, set alight and burnt alive by a mysterious harbinger of destruction . Are those with old and malignant grudges and discord seeking retribution?Brother Athelston with his old friend and sleuth Sir a John Cranston are caught up in the mystery behind the murder of the merchant and the attacks on the judges.Brother Athelston is also stunned by a sudden miracle in his church. A man crippled and burnt down one side is suddenly healed!At the same time many of his parishioners are caught up in the movement of the Upright Men against John of Gaunt, against the deprivation that they are being forced to endure.The mystery deepens, plots intertwine and Athelston's patience and understanding are stretched to the limit by the momentous happenings that are brought into play.Doherty's writing is tight, his descriptive prose has the conditions of the times leaping off the page. One can feel the squalor and turgid surroundings of the streets through which Athelston trudges. Athelston's humble abode is a tranquil pool of stillness amongst the tensions of the surrounding countryside. A NetGalley ARC