How a humble Devon knight became a king’s coroner: the thrilling prequel to the perennially popular Crowner John medieval mystery series, set in twelfth-century England.
1192. At the end of the Third Crusade, Richard the Lionheart, King of England, sets sail for home from the Holy Land. Sir John de Wolfe, a Devon knight, is part of the king’s small bodyguard on that ill-fated voyage – and during the journey, Sir John’s loyalty to the monarch is tested to the limit.
On his return, Sir John finds England simmering with rebellion. Richard’s younger brother John has used the king’s absence to plot to seize the throne, and the country is a hotbed of unrest. Discovering a body washed up on the shores of the River Exe, its throat cut, Sir John deduces from the device etched on the victim’s signet ring that he was a king’s courier. Tasked by Sir Hubert Walter, the Chief Justiciar, to find out why the man died and who killed him, de Wolfe finds himself drawn unwillingly into affairs of state. His new career as a king’s coroner is about to begin . . .