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Paul Harding aka PC Doherty

The Assassin's Riddle

Headline 1996

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In the summer of 1380 brutal and sudden death is not uncommon in the foul alleys and streets of London. But now the Fisher of Men, an eerie, ghoulish royal official, has pulled the corpse of Edwin Ghapler, clerk of the Office of the Green Wax of the Chancery, from the Thames. Chapler has drowned, but not before he received a vicious blow to the back of the head. The next morning Bartholomew Drayton, a usurer and moneylender, is found dead in his strongroom, a crossbow firmly embedded in his chest. His death is a real mystery because the strongroom was locked and barred from the inside and there are no windows or secret passageways. So who killed him? And how? And what connects the two deaths? Sir John Cranston, the Coroner of the City of London, comes to survey the scene. He, too, is deeply puzzled by the deaths and decides to ask for the help of his secretarius, Brother Athelstan, the Dominican parish priest of St Erconwald's in Southwark across the Thames. When other clerks are murdered, each with a riddle pinned to his corpse, Cranston and Athelstan have to pit their wits against a deadly adversary bent on murder and mayhem.

Paul Harding - PC Doherty

Classic Crime Fiction

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