Author: P.C. Doherty
Publisher: Headline Book Publishing
Ashdown Forest, 1303: an outlaw, the Owlman, discovers the corpse of a woman (a noblewoman?) in a shallow forest grave, an arrow in her throat. Unwilling to leave the decomposing body to the scavengers--this writing is graphic--Owlman delivers her to the door of the local convent: "he'd give Lady Madeleine and her nuns an opportunity to show some charity". So begins "The Demon Archer", Paul Doherty's 11th Hugh Corbett mystery and another classic in the genre of medieval detective fiction. Within pages, there's a second corpse: Lord Henry Fitzalan, the very image of gothic sexuality and corruption--the Owlman's prime suspect in the death of the woman, "a great lord, a friend and confidant of the King", he dabbles in the black arts--is felled by an arrow to the chest. Hunting accident, or murder? Enter Hugh Corbett, keeper of the King's Secret Seal, directed to track down Sir Henry's murderer and--the plot thickens--to test the dead Lord's allegiance to the King, Edward II. A heady brew of murder, history and politics drives this fiction--together with the promise of what Doherty calls a certain "historical truth" in the characters and events framing this complex tale. --"Vicky Lebeau"