Third in the Crowner John historical mystery series set in 1190's Devon, UK. A priest is found hanged in the privy behind his home, at first presumed a suicide but upon further investigation, it's obvious someone else did the deed. Why would anyone kill such a quiet, mousy little man who was happiest in the church library poring over history books, especially on a holy day such as the Eve of Christ's Mass? When a second murder takes place a few days later, Crowner John de Wolfe begins to see the connections though of course his brother-in-law the Sheriff would disagree and seems to be deliberately trying to keep the coroner from investigating fully. Political intrigues and women troubles plague the Crowner in this book and a simple little murder is never quite what it seems. Enjoyable historical mystery with refreshingly realistic characters.
Poor Robert de Hane, a most devout humble canon is a pitious figure hanging in the privy...this apparent suicide seems incongruent with the prebendary known in the cathedral close. Could it be murder? As Crowner John digs deeper into this death he uncovers a greedy plot that nearly leads to his own undoing. A felicitous Christmas this is not for many in Devon County 1194, but the crowner receives a most welcome gift from a surprising ally.