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1361: Orphaned by the Black Death, all John possesses are the tools that belonged to his father, a carpenter, and an uncanny ability to work wood. His travels bring him to Chesterfield, where he finds work erecting the spire of the new church. But no sooner does he begin than the master carpenter is murdered and John himself becomes a suspect. To prove his innocence John must help the coroner in his search for the killer, a quest that brings him up against some powerful enemies in a town where he is still a stranger and friends are few.

Along with the Richard Nottingham crime series, Chris Nickson brilliantly evokes the time period in which his novels are set, this time with beautifully described scenes of medieval Chesterfield. John Carpenter finds work erecting the new spire of the church but ends up trying to solve the murder of his new boss helped along with sidekick Walter. There is plenty of character development in the story as John also has to re-assess his future goals after a nasty break in his arm that could signal the end of his carpentry career but also with his growing relationship with Walters’ sister Katherine. It’s a slow paced book but one that echoes the pace of the time period but one that builds as it goes along leading to a satisfying conclusion

There are enough hints along the way to give the reader the feeling that there is more to John Carpenter which hopefully will be revealed in future books. All in all a book that gives us love, laughter, suspense in one go resulting in a most enjoyable read.

For more books by The History Press please go to http://www.thehistorypress.co.uk/inde…

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