Scholars convene at Corfe Castle to crack the code of Roger Bacon's Secretus Secretorum, or Book of Secrets, in this 14th medieval mystery in P.C. Doherty's rich historical series. When murder and mayhem ensue, Sir Hugh Corbett must thread through a maze of mystery while trying to unlock Bacon's great secrets.
"British veteran Doherty makes conveying the daily life of 14th-century England look easy in this sterling entry in his long-running series that features Hugh Corbett, keeper of the secret seal for Edward I (Corpse Candle, etc.). In 1303, a delegation of French scholars arrives at Corfe Castle to help decipher the secret writings of Roger Bacon, whose coded book is rumored to contain blueprints for inventions whose development could shift the balance of power in Europe. Corbett's men have recently stolen a copy of Bacon's book from France, despite the efforts of an unknown person to thwart them. Meanwhile, a killer armed with a crossbow has dispatched a number of young women connected with the castle. Those crimes may be connected with the apparently accidental deaths of several members of the French delegation. Doherty keeps the reader guessing even after one of the book's major mysteries is resolved."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)