The Hill of Bones

By

Prologue: Two young boys bearing a precious gift must join ageing Arthur the Bear who faces his imminent vital battle. Treachery lurks amongst the reed beds of their river crossing.

Act One. A monk from Bath Abbey has been murdered at sinister, haunted Solsbury Hill. Investigators Sir Simon Cole and Lady Gwenllian find the quarrelsome monks of Bath about as useful as a bag of ferrets.

Act Two. Sacrilegious theft at the Cathedral, and hapless cleaner Eldred is the perfect scapegoat. His only refuge is the ill-famed Solsbury Hill.

Act Three. Has William, miraculous survivor of shipwreck, escaped from his implacable enemy? Solsbury Hill is a bad choice to establish himself as a wonderworker.

Act Four. Nick Revill of the King’s Men, now on tour, cannot refuse a request from a beautiful, distressed woman: a seeming harmless impersonation, and Nick is such an accomplished actor.

Act Five. Mr Trevithick’s innovative steam-driven vehicle meets its match in the gradient of Solsbury Hill. On a night of confusion and skulduggery, Joe Malinferno, Egyptologist and conman, and his charming companion Doll Pocket mix with aristocracy and royalty.

Epilogue. Ferocious argument, as two archaeologists unearth a baffling collection of artefacts. Adjacent police officers abandoning their own unrewarding digging are well placed if academic feelings run disgracefully high.

It is hard to choose a favourite from amongst these delightful stories. In Act 1, humour escalates to farce; Two, great suspense; Three, cynical, wry humour; Four, sheer charm; Five, outrageous and cheeky. The prologue & epilogue bring the volume together in fine style.

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Jenny Barden's masterful novel about the lost colony of Roanoke.

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