In the late summer of 1302 Edward I of England and Philip IV of France continue to observe the diplomatic niceties whilst their agents wage a secret, bloody war in the filthy streets of Paris. Edward's agents, controlled by his chief clerk and keeper of the Secret Seal, Sir Hugh Corbett, are desperate to discover Philip's military preparations for the invasion of Flanders. They manage by seduction and murder to obtain this information - only to discover it's hidden in a secret cipher which Corbett is unable to break. Edward has other problems: a few years previously he issued a pardon to the famous wolfshead, Robin of Locksley, popularly known as Robin Hood. Robin, however, has now gone back to his outlaw ways in Sherwood Forest where he battles against royal authority, culminating in the barbarous massacre of royal tax collectors and the mysterious murder of Sir Eustace Vechey, one of the sheriffs of Nottingham. Corbett and his two faithful servants Ranulf and Maltote are sent to Nottingham to hunt down both Robin Hood and Vechey's murderer. Corbett is all the more perplexed on his arrival to find fresh mysteries: why are three fire arrows shot into the air above Nottingham Castle on the 13th of every month? Who is the traitor in Nottingham Castle? And his already precarious peace of mind is further shattered by the cipher and the news that the French, fearful of his skill, have dispatched a secret assassin...
Classic Crime Fiction
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