Holy Blood

Written by Kim Fleet
Review by Edward James

Eden Grey, Kim Fleet’s fictional private detective, continues with her mission to litter Cheltenham with as many literary corpses as Inspector Morse’s Oxford. Holy Blood begins with the discovery of an ancient skeleton at Hailes Abbey, a monastery in Gloucestershire which was dissolved in 1539. Nearby is what appears to be the holy relic which made the abbey a place of pilgrimage, a phial of Christ’s blood.

The BBC sends down a celebrity producer to cover the story. He is found murdered in a room in Cheltenham’s best hotel and the relic is missing. Most of the drama which follows takes place in Cheltenham in the present day, but there are several flashbacks to the 16th century. This is a fast-moving thriller with a suitably tortuous plot and a gallery of colourful suspects. You will never think of Cheltenham in the same way again.