A Dead Man’s Secret
In Simon Beaufort’s sixth foray into 12th-century England, the king we know as Henry I orders Sir Geoffrey Mappestone to go to Wales to deliver five letters, evaluate two clerics, and solve a seven-year-old murder. Ever wary of Henry’s motives, Sir Geoffrey is a trifle reluctant, especially when several travel companions, none completely trustworthy, are thrust upon him.
After a series of attacks while on the road, Sir Geoffrey knows someone is trying to keep him from following orders. But who? Sir Geoffrey becomes embroiled in Welsh politics, clerical rivalries, and family disputes as well as royal plotting. As always, his intuition and intelligence allow him to thwart the villains – and satisfy the King’s demands.
The action is exciting but, with a few stylistic changes, it could have taken place almost any time in history. Don’t expect period detail. Sir Geoffrey and his wife are both clever, however, and, in spite of their arranged marriage, they make a good team. Read the Mappestone mysteries for intricate plots and interesting protagonists (who may yet fall in love).