Falconer and the Death of Kings

Written by Ian Morson
Review by Patricia O’Sullivan

William Falconer, cleric and regent master at Oxford University, is called to Paris to learn about the Church’s condemnations of Aristotle while secretly meeting with his old friend, Roger Bacon, whose own teachings have been judged suspicious by Church officials. But while in Paris, Falconer and his assistant, Thomas, are drawn into the mystery of a series of strange deaths among medical students while also being requested by the new king of England to investigate the death of his young son and an attempt on his own life. Falconer and Thomas have their hands full investigating the two cases, and things get even more complicated when the killer targets Falconer himself.

Ian Morson’s eighth installment in his Falconer series is a lively page-turner full of intellectual tidbits and details of everyday life that are sure to please new readers and those already committed to the series. The frequent references to previous titles in the series made me wish I’d read them all before reading this installment as sometimes I found them a distraction to the story at hand. Also, Morson’s tendency to switch the narrative point of view in the middle of a scene and even sometimes in the middle of a paragraph sometimes threw me off, but overall this was an enjoyable read.