On the morning following the feast of St Giles, 1 September 1966, the Bishop of Worcester, the Right Reverend Giles Wyndham-Brookes, is found slumped and lifeless in his study at Hartlebury Castle, his official residence. The doors and windows are securely locked from the inside, and on his desk is a fifteenth-century book (in Middle French and Gothic script) which he could not read. He had seemingly tripped on an edge of carpet and hit his head on the fender; but there is a distinct whiff of murder in the air. The immediate suspects are the members of his household: his wife, the chaplain, the secretary, the housekeeper, his almoner and the archdeacon of Worcester. Others, including a woman found casting spells in the castle grounds, a young Italian lurking at night in the bishop’s chapel and a suggested unknown late-night visitor, appear in the course of the investigation. Inspector Wickfield and his sergeant embark on a roller-coaster tour of the Anglican Church in a search for motive and for a cunning killer. There are forays into Naples, relics, assassination, locked-room mysteries, the cult of the saints, wicca and blue moons. Follow the inspector if you dare – but hold on to your hats! In this latest offering from the pen of the adept Julius Falconer, you will be instructed, entertained and intrigued in equal measure. Book reviews online: PublishedBestsellers website.
About the author
Warwickshire-born Julius Falconer, educated in Leicestershire, Birmingham and Italy, is a former translator and a retired teacher, who has taught at schools in Cornwall and Scotland. He now divides his time between a cottage in central France and the house in Yorkshire which he shares with his daughter and her husband. He was widowed in 2000. As well as some booklets and several dozen papers in professional journals, he is the author of twelve murder mysteries featuring the diffident and cultured Inspector Wickfield. Because the stories are set in Worcestershire, he has featured in the Worcester News, on BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester and in the online Newsletter for the Worcestershire tourist board. His hobbies include music, gardening, walking and reading.
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