The Rough Collier

Written by Pat McIntosh
Review by Marilyn Sherlock

When the peat cutters up on the moor find a buried body another mystery begins for Gil Cunningham. The locals are firmly of the opinion that it is one Thomas Murray missing from the local coal mine and that he was killed by witchcraft, the main suspect being the local wise woman, Beattie Lithgo. Needless to say things are not that simple and much is to happen with several surprises in store before all is made clear.

Gil and Alys are married at last and visiting Gil’s mother, Egidia Muirhead, the Lady Cunningham, at her home at Belstane, some distance from Glasgow, when the body is discovered on neighbouring Douglas land. With Sir James away at Stirling, his deputy in Edinburgh and his son, Michael, at the University of Glasgow, there is no one immediately in authority to deal with the situation. Gil, as the Archbishop’s Quaestor, is asked to look into it.

This is the fifth book in the Gil Cunningham series, and it certainly lives up to expectations.