british mystery about a Cathedral in fictionized Norwich,England.
From the back cover: A blasphemous inscription spray-painted on its ancient, hallowed walls was the first sign that something was amiss at Angleby Cathedral. Then camethe body inLittle St. Ulf's tomb: a murdered and mutilated choirboy, his wounds forming the Star of David, in grotesque parody of Little St. Ulf himself, a child murdered 840 years before. Already the malignant strains of anti-Semtism are stirring in the tiny town of Angleby. "Ritual murder!" trumpets the rabble, into the media maw. Pressed by explosive circumstance, Detective Inspector Ben Jurnet first looks to the victim for answers: a quiet boy with a paper route and secrets to burn. Even the cathedral's august Dean seems more concerned with the holy sanctuary than with the devil's work below. And the choirmaster himself does not believe in the reality of evil. But within these sacred precincts, evil has indeed found purchase. And Jurnet must act quickly-before murder stains the cathedral again....
Detective Inspector Ben Jurnet, in Norfolk, is sent to Angleby Cathedral to investigate some graffiti written on one of the Cathedral walls. At the cathedral, a well-known media-loving professor is leading an excavation of the tomb of Little St. Ulf, a child who was killed and horribly mutilated in the middle ages, at which time his death was blamed on the Jews of the town. After gathering evidence and information on potential suspects for the vandalization of the Cathedral walls, Jurnet is shortly called back to the Cathedral to investigate a murder. It seems that one of the choirboys was found at the archaeological site, and his body mutilated after the fashion of Little St. Jurnet, who is studying for his conversion to Judaism (for the sake of marriage), must get to the bottom of the crime quickly, but with so many suspects, it's not going to be easy. There are other problems as well, as anti-Semitism begins to rear its ugly head in Angleby.
There is an abundance of suspects, lots of red herrings, and the core mystery is really well written. I like Jurnet's character, but I think the author gets a bit carried away at times in sharing his inner demons with her readers -- here's yet another detective whose angst is a bit off-putting at times. However, Haymon's comments about the nature of modern crime and criminals are also pertinent to today, although this book was written over 20 years ago. It is a cross between a police procedural and a cozy, leaning more toward the procedural side of British mystery, so I'd recommend it to both cozy readers and to fans of British mystery in general.
Overall -- a good mystery with a main character somewhat overly weighted down by his own problems. I'll definitely be revisiting Inspector Jurnet in the future.