Historical mystery set in 12th century in the county of Devon, England where Richard the Lionheart has just implemented the first "county coroner" system. Unlike modern-day coroners, there is very little forensic work involved, since dissecting a human body would be looked at as heretical. However, the coroner does examine the body, question suspects and witnesses, holds inquests etc. This is a gritty, honest portrayal of the 12th century that doesn't gloss over the realities of life nor the morality and mores of the day. Loved it and have already ordered the second and third books in the series.