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Synopsis

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.

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