In 1522 the rogue Roger Shallot and his sober-sided master Benjamin Daunbey are sent for by Cardinal Wolsey. Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, has been arrested for treason and Benjamin and Roger are made to witness his bloody execution. The true reason for Buckingham's downfall soon becomes apparent: he was searching at Templecombe Manor and Glastonbury Abbey in Somerset for two precious relics - the Holy Grail and Excalibur, the sword of King Arthur.
Benjamin and Shallot are ordered to Templecombe, accompanied by the leaders of King Henry VIII's dreaded secret service, the Agentes in Rebus, to find these relics for the King. They must pit their wits against the Templars, a secret organisation plotting against the Tudors, of which Buckingham may have been a part and who may still have a member of their society close to the crown.
The difficulties that wily Shallot - running true to his boast of possessing the fastest legs and quickest wits in Christendom - has to face soon make their presence felt: a duel, blackmail, the curses of a witch, the grisly hand of glory, decapitated heads, mysterious fires - and silent murder in the eerie Templar chapel.
What readers are saying about The Grail Murders:
'This book had it all, locked room murders, a mysterious country manor house, an abbey, Templar conspiracy and Arthurian folklore - excellent!'
'Fascinating... historical mysteries brought to life with lots of accurate historical facts'
'Excellent story. Always enjoyed the Shallot stories, he is a lovable rogue'
The golden summer of 1303 and Oxford is plunged into chaos. The severed heads of beggars have been tied by their hair to the trees in woods outside the city. John Copsale, the Regent of Sparrow Hall, has been found dead in his bed and it is being whispered that he was murdered by the mysterious 'Bell Man'. Then the college librarian and activist, Robert Ascham is discovered with a crossbow bolt in his chest. King Edward, hearing of the seething unrest in Oxford, arrives unannounced at Sir Hugh Corbett's country manor, and insists that Corbett go to the city to solve the murderous mysteries. And when the King commands, few can resist even if it means knowingly entering a dangerous and violent world...
What readers are saying about Paul Doherty:
'One of the best in the series so far'
'As with all Doherty books, historical accuracy and superb plots are of the highest standard, as are the characters'
'Paul Doherty's depictions of medieval England are truly outstanding'
Spring 1523. Benjamin Daunbey and his rapscallion servant, Roger Shallot, are summoned to London. A Florentine envoy, Lord Francesco Abrizzi, has been murdered and King Henry is determined to unmask the perpetrators of this outrage. In London, Shallot experiences King Henry's rage, the insults of the Abrizzis and a murderous attack. Shallot, a born coward, wants to crawl away and hide, but the King and Wolsey insist that he and Benjamin go to Florence, find Abrizzi's assassin, deliver a secret message, and bring back a Florentine painter. It sounds simple enough - but the reality is murderously different.
What readers are saying about Paul Doherty:
'Paul Doherty weaves a tangled web of murder and intrigue'
'These novels vividly bring the dirt, squalor and adventure of Henry VIII's reign to life'
'Excellent story. Always enjoyed the Shallot stories, he is a lovable rouge'
In 1521, England is at peace under the magnificent Cardinal Wolsey, who rules the country while Henry VIII spends his time in masques, banquets and hunting, whether it be the fleet-footed deer or the even more delicious quarry of the silken-garbed ladies of the court.
But Richard Falconer, chief secretary of the English embassy in Paris, has been found mysteriously murdered. Wolsey believes that Falconer's death is connected with the disturbing news that there is a spy in the English court, or in its embassy in Paris, passing information to King Francis I of France. He summons his nephew, Benjamin Daunbey, and the wayward Roger Shallot to investigate. The only clue is the spy's code name, 'Raphael'.
King Henry has secret instructions of his own before the pair journey to Paris: to retrieve a precious ring, the subject of a wager, and a certain book that the King does not want to fall into enemy hands. They are not to return to England without them.
What readers are saying about The Poisoned Chalice:
'Shallot is a superb character, and his voice is once again portrayed convincingly'
'The story moves along briskly, sprinkled liberally with foul murder, to an unexpectedly sensitive and touching ending'
'Paul Doherty seems to be able to turn his hand to virtually any century in history'
“Mary Renault lives again!” declares Emma Donoghue, author of Room, referring to The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller’s thrilling, profoundly moving, and utterly unique retelling of the legend of Achilles and the Trojan War. A tale of gods, kings, immortal fame, and the human heart, The Song of Achilles is a dazzling literary feat that brilliantly reimagines Homer’s enduring masterwork, The Iliad. An action-packed adventure, an epic love story, a marvelously conceived and executed page-turner, Miller’s monumental debut novel has already earned resounding acclaim from some of contemporary fiction’s brightest lights—and fans of Mary Renault, Bernard Cornwell, Steven Pressfield, and Colleen McCullough’s Masters of Rome series will delight in this unforgettable journey back to ancient Greece in the Age of Heroes.
In the autumn of 1523, Roger Shallot, self-proclaimed physician, rogue, charlatan and secret emissary of King Henry VIII, has nothing to do. His master, Benjamin Daunbey, has been sent to Italy on a diplomatic mission, leaving him in charge of their manor outside Ipswich. Shallot, forbidden both to practise the art of medicine and to approach the beautiful Miranda, takes to reading. Discovering the potential wealth which can be accrued by the finding and selling of true relics, he goes in search of his own. Almost immediately he is in trouble - and in prison. Rescued by the return of his master and the influence of Cardinal Wolsey, Shallot finds himself at court, where he is ordered by the King and Cardinal to break the law - to steal back for the crown the Orb of Charlemagne, now under close guard at the priory at Clerkenwell. Benjamin and Roger have no choice but to agree to the task... Before long they are drawn, not only into the shadowy underworld of Tudor London and the illegal trade of relics, but also into murder and blackmail.
What readers are saying about The Relic Murders:
'[The] most exciting - and best written - of the six Shallot journals and well worth reading'
'This series has been consistently absorbing, fascinating, funny and thrilling, and [The Relic Murders] is no different'
'Pacey mysteries, with cunning plot twists and lots of action'