Set during the reign of Edward I, Hugh Corbett (later Sir Hugh Corbett) investigates threats to the King and Country. Assisted by Ranulf-atte-Newgate, a felon saved from execution, there are seventeen books in the series to date. Note that some of the earlier ones were released under the name P C Doherty and then later re-issued under the name Paul Doherty.
Set in 1284 London, this is an introduction to the characters, showing how Corbett wins the King’s favour by investigating a plot against him and how he meets his servant/protegee Ranulf. It features a locked room mystery – the victim is found hanging inside a locked church.
It’s off to Scotland for Corbett and Ranulf as he’s sent northward to investigate the strange case of the death of Alexander III. What prompted the king into a sudden cliff-top horseride in a dreadful storm? And was someone waiting for him in the darkness?
James Bond, 1290s style, as English spy (i.e. good) Hugh heads to France, back to England, to Wales, back to England, back to France and back to England again to unmask the foreign spy (i.e. evil) who is thwarting Edward’s every move against Philip IV of France.
Walter de Montfort drops dead in front of the King in St Paul’s, poisoned. But no poison is found in the communion goblet and none of the other priests are affected. Was someone trying to kill the bishop or did they have a grander target in mind?
It’s 1301, and there are more shenanigans between England and France over Gascony, as the future Edward II arrives on the scene and his ex-lover is murdered at a convent. Can Corbett negotiate his way around both political machinations and murdered nuns?
1302 London and a hooded serial murderer of prostitutes seems to have branched out, killing Lady Somerville in the same way. Are they also responsible for the burning to death of Father Benedict? The only clue – “Calcullus non facit monachum” – the cowl does not make the monk…
Robin Hood! A locked room poisoning! Possibly the highest death count of the series so far – and that’s just in Chapter One! Corbett investigates the once-pardoned outlaw’s return to a life of crime – and much more violent crime at that.
A headless corpse on a Norfolk beach. The wife of the local baker is found hanging on a gallows overlooking the beach. Is witchcraft involved or does the villainy result for a much more recent legend? Corbett finds himself entangled in intrigue dating back to the King’s grandfather…
Corbett is in York to investigate Assassins (with a capital A), Templars and multiple deaths by supernatural fireballs that appear out of nowhere. Oh, and someone’s doing their damndest to kill both him and the King as well. Can Corbett uncovers the secrets of the fall of Acre and thwart the vengeance of The Old Man of the Mountain?
Oxford this time, and we have a selection of decapitated beggars in the woods, devil worshippers and the mysterious Bell Man posting treasonous missives around the city. And the small matter of a librarian being shot by a crossbow inside a sealed library. On top of that, a life-changing moment for at least one of the central cast.
Ashdown Forest, Kent, and the outlaw known as the Owlman is terrorising the area. But who is this masked man? And is he the one that put an arrow through the throat of Sir Henry Fitzalan in front of the French delegation. When faced with someone who can kill from a long distance, Corbett will need to watch his back.
The village of Melford thought the string of murders of young girls was over when they hanged Sir Roger Chapleys. But five years later, the killing starts again – not just young girls, but also the jury who convicted Chapleys. Has his ghost returned for revenge (no) or is there a human hand behind the deaths? (yes). One of the finest in the series.
Set in 1303 in the abbey of St-Martin’s-In-The-Marsh with the senior monks being murdered one by one. Features a locked room mystery – the abbot is found stabbed inside his locked study and many, many more mysterious deaths. A serial killer and a locked room mystery – what more could one ask for?
The secrets of the scholar Roger Bacon are at stake as English and French scholars meet at Corfe Castle to “co-operate” over deciphering Bacon’s journals. But there is a murderer of young girls stalking the countryside and death soon strikes even closer to home.
The Waxman, a privateer ship, was carrying the Carta Mystriosa, a map leading to an ancient King’s treasure when it was boarded in 1300, but the map disappeared. As it re-appears three years later, Corbett is dispatched to secure it and decode it. Soon the owner of the map and his family have been murdered, but why was the map not taken?
Set in 1304 Essex, Corbett is sent to retrieve a relic from a local manor lord, only to find a mysterious archer killing people seemingly at random. Features a locked room murder – someone is stabbed inside a locked building on an island where the only bridge is under constant guard.
Chief Justice Walter Evesham has fallen from power, which has set off a chain of brutal murders across London, including his own. The Mysterium, a deadly killer-for-hire, apparently brought to justice by Evesham has returned from the dead and even Hugh Corbett will struggle to stop his vengeance.
Seven years later, Edward II brings Hugh Corbett back to the role as Keeper Of The Secret Seal, as his protege, Ranulf, is accused of the murder of a young novice in the centre of an impossible-to-navigate maze. Needless to say, the real killer’s work is not over… A novella bridging the gap between The Mysterium and Dark Serpent.
- Dark Serpent (2016)