On the morning following the feast of St Giles, 1 September 1966, the Bishop of Worcester, the Right Reverend Giles Wyndham-Brookes, is found slumped and lifeless in his study at Hartlebury Castle, his official residence. The doors and windows are securely locked from the inside, and on his desk is a fifteenth-century book (in Middle French and Gothic script) which he could not read. He had seemingly tripped on an edge of carpet and hit his head on the fender; but there is a distinct whiff of murder in the air. The immediate suspects are the members of his household: his wife, the chaplain, the secretary, the housekeeper, his almoner and the archdeacon of Worcester. Others, including a woman found casting spells in the castle grounds, a young Italian lurking at night in the bishop’s chapel and a suggested unknown late-night visitor, appear in the course of the investigation. Inspector Wickfield and his sergeant embark on a roller-coaster tour of the Anglican Church in a search for motive and for a cunning killer. There are forays into Naples, relics, assassination, locked-room mysteries, the cult of the saints, wicca and blue moons.
Follow the inspector if you dare – but hold on to your hats! In this latest offering from the pen of the adept Julius Falconer, you will be instructed, entertained and intrigued in equal measure.
This book is due to be released before the end of January 2010. Find out more: A Time to Prey.