The Mysterium: A Hugh Corbett Mystery

Written by P. C. Doherty
Review by Mary F. Burns

The 17th entry in the Sir Hugh Corbett medieval mysteries opens with a “locked cell” murder of a much-hated, highly placed judge who conveniently chose a life of penance and renunciation when his crimes were found out — but he couldn’t hide away from the Grim Reaper.

Hugh is busy fighting insurrection and riots in the streets of London, King Edward is grumpy and devious as usual, but unraveling what turns out to be a series of brutal murders takes all of Hugh’s insight, intuition and just plain grit. The title is taken from the name of a serial killer who everyone thought had vanished years before — but it appears that he’s back, flaunting his signature killing method that is striking fear into every on-the-take official and all the royal minions in London.

Doherty effortlessly presents the world of the early 14th century and engages the reader right from the start in the smells, sights and terrors of the dark and slimy alleys of the London criminal underworld — but he also lifts our spirits with Sir Hugh’s true devotion to the sacred mysteries of the Church at its reverential and spiritual best, despite the corruption and temptation knocking at every door.