The Palkin Festival, held in the Devonshire town of Tradmouth, occurs every summer (although it’s passed without mention in the previous seventeen books), inspired by the local hero/villain John Palkin. But last year it was shrouded in tragedy as Jenny Bercival, a young woman, disappeared without trace. And this year, as the festival begins again, notes are sent to Jenny’s mother saying that the woman is alive and well and still in Tradmouth. But tragedy is about to strike again.
When a young woman’s body is found floating at sea in a boat, it seems that a fantasy website called Shipworld links the disappearances. In this world, Palkin is a hero, fighting against the faceless Shroud Maker. And both missing girls have a tatto of Palkin’s ship on their shoulders.
Meanwhile DI Wesley Peterson’s friend Neil has uncovered evidence of past horrors but it seems that the present seems intent on mimicking both the past and the fantasy world.
Meet Will Benson, journalist for Theatre World, whose life revolves around reviewing a variety of shows, drinking far too much and lusting after Kim, the sub editor. But after a few unfortunate events, including an interview with an extremely drunk Northern comedian who let slip too much, and some bad reactions to some reviews (of admittedly bad plays) he starts receiving cryptic death threats.
Over the course of the week, as Will pursues both his enemy and tries to straighten out his love-life, the threats become more and more serious before it seems that the only solution is to run away. Of course that doesn’t stop someone from following you…
When driving home, Detective Sergeant Jessica Daniel is horrified to witness a car crash right in front of her. The driver is beyond help, but there is worse to come as in the boot of the car, Jessica finds the body of a young boy, Isaac Hutchings, who has been missing for three weeks. Bizarrely, a map is found in the possession of the dead man. A map that leads the police to a buried package of clothing – clothing that belonged to Toby Whittaker, a boy that disappeared fourteen years ago.
As Jessica and her colleagues investigate further, they find a list of names of children with Isaac’s name at the top of it. As they struggle to find the link between the names, their worst fears are realised – another child on the list disappears…
Well there I was strolling around Amsterdam and I spotted this in a shop window. As this is much nicer than my existing copy and was only five euros, there wasn’t much delay in buying it. But…
In the reign of Henry VI, the lands in France that were taken by his father, Henry V, are being taken back by the French, under the leadership of Jehanne D’Arc, a young peasant girl being led by visions from God. For both military and religious reasons, this troubles Cardinal Beaufort and he sends his man, Matthew Jankyn, to infiltrate the French forces and get close to the Maid.
This is exactly what he does, following the Maid from victories to her eventual capture. But as he grows close to Jehanne, not only does he become convinced there is more to her story than it seems, but it becomes clear that she knows more about him that he’d like. And if the French find an undercover Englishman in their midst…
Once upon a time, a monk from Tavistock saw fit to steal his Abbot’s wine. As punishment for his crime, he was lured onto the Devonshire moors by the devil himself and murdered. The story has been told throughout the ages in the region but now, in the Autumn of 1322, the tale seems to be coming true.
Bailiff Simon Puttock is enlisted by Abbot Robert to get to the bottom of a theft from the abbey. Not just wine, but several other thefts as well. But there are dark undercurrents flowing through Tavistock. Apart from the thefts, there are a number of people in town who once lived in the Scottish borders, witnesses – and even participants – in a particularly savage crime. But as past memories and emotions bubble to the surface, there is a brutal murder. Plagued by doubts about his own ability and future, Simon must overcome his own problems in order to track down a ruthless killer.
Rex Fortescue, family patriarch and business man, is found dead in his office, apparently poisoned by his morning tea. Rather oddly, one of his jacket pockets is full of rye. His widow is found poisoned in her rooms, after eating bread with honey. And a housemaid, Gladys, is found strangled with a clothes peg on her nose…
With echoes of a nursery rhyme bouncing around his head, Inspector Neale finds himself tackling his most difficult case yet. With a plethora of suspects, he is rather at a loss to make sense of it all. Luckily the person who trained Gladys turns up to find out what happened to her. Even more luckily, that person happens to be from St Mary Mead. You might have heard of her…