Down a torch-lit stone corridor, the tower room's only occupant scribbles a hurried message that might save a kingdom or plunge it into wrack and ruin. But a few hours hence, the messenger lies dead along the wooded path. Enter, if you dare, the world of medieval intrigue.
At Oxford University, in 1624, the savage murder of a young girl kindles a frenzy of suspicion between privileged students and impoverished townspeople. And when one of Falconer's students who may have witnessed the crime narrowly escapes being beaten to death by a lynch mob, the Regent Master rushes to his defense.
Narrated by a defrocked nun, a poignant victim of Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries, Unicorn's Blood is about a dangerous secret, the existence of a private diary kept by the Queen as a young princess. Should this stolen journal, embroidered with a unicorn that has a ruby for an eye, fall into the wrong hands, its intimate revelations would destroy the entire edifice of Tudor government.
In order to quell widespread rumors about their supposed murderous intentions, Elizabeth I and Sir Robert Dudley dispatch one of her ladies-in-waiting, young widowed mother Ursula Blanchard, to help tend Lord Dudley's sickly wife, Amy. Despite Ursula's friendly attentions, Amy dies violently. Ursula's subsequent search for the murderer of a trusted retainer uncovers evidence of Catholic scheming and tests her love for a dashing Frenchman.
In 1517 the English armies have defeated and killed James IV of Scotland at Flodden and James's widow-queen, Margaret, sister to Henry VIII, has fled to England, leaving her crown under a Council of Regency. Roger Shallot is drawn into a web of mystery and murder by his close friendship with Benjamin Daunbey, the nephew of Cardinal Wolsey, first minister of Henry VIII. Benjamin and Roger are ordered into Margaret's household to resolve certain mysteries as well as to bring about her restoration to Scotland. They begin by questioning Selkirk, a half-mad physician imprisoned in the Tower. He is subsequently found poisoned in a locked chamber guarded by soldiers. The only clue is a poem of riddles. However, the poem contains the seeds for other gruesome murders. The faceless assassin always leaves a white rose, the mark of Les Blancs Sangliers, a secret society plotting the overthrow of the Tudor monarchy.
Newly apprenticed to Shakespeare's theatre company, Richard and Kit are drawn into a series of crimes involving the members of Queen Elizabeth's court.
Eleanor of Aquitaine sits on England's throne. At seventy, she has outlived the husband with whom she had once scandalized the world. But has she also outlived her favorite, her first-born son? Richard Lionheart, England's king, has been missing these last months. It is rumored that he is dead. Many think his youngest brother plots to steal the crown. Only Eleanor's fierce will can keep John from acting on his greed. Only a letter, spattered with the blood of a dying man murdered on the Winchester road, can tell her if Richard still lives.
In 1327, finding his sensitive mission at an Italian abbey further complicated by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William of Baskerville turns detective, penetrating the cunning labyrinth of the abbey and deciphering coded manuscripts for clues.
The fate of kings is not always glorious.... Indeed, England's Edward II so angered his wife, her lover, and his subjects when he flaunted his male favorites that they revolted, deposed him, and made him prisoner. History records Edward II was eventually murdered most foully in Berkeley Castle and buried most publicly in Gloucester Cathedral. But was he? The heir, Edward III, charges Chancery Clerk Edmund Beche with uncovering the truth of the matter. Beche's investigation is torturous, blocked by hidden records, outright lies, unexpected confessions, double crosses, and a high body count. Grave-digging, burglary, and soldiering at the bloody battle of Crecy await him. But he's a most determined man....
Nicholas Barber is a 23-year-old monk who, fearing the wrath of his bishop for breaking his vows of chastity, takes up with a troupe of traveling players. Coming to a small town in the middle of winter, the troupe puts on its usual morality play, only to get caught up in a drama of a different kind. A murder has taken place and a mute-and-deaf girl stands condenmed, awaiting execution. Seeing an opportunity to attract a large audience, the players go through the town collecting information, which they weave into their second performance.
Seventh-century Ireland is the scene of Celtic-style Christianity vs. Roman Christianity, warrior-kings, and brutal murder. Can Fidelma, sister to the king and judge in her own right, discover who has murdered the abbess of Kildare? A sister of the Celtic persuasion, Fidelma is teamed with her intellectual and spiritual equal, Brother Eadulf, who owes his allegience to Rome. First of a series.