By Murder’s Bright Light (1994) by Paul Doherty – a re-read

The winter of 1379, and the Thames at London is filled with warships. The French are plaguing the south coast, privateers attacking English merchants, so it is time to strike back. But while the channel rages with warfare, there are events in London itself that may well end up turning everything upside down.

The God’s Bright Light is at dock in the Thames, and, for security, is constantly under watch. All through the night, its signalmen flash the coded all-clear signal. No one approached or left the ship throughout the night, but when it is boarded in the morning, the crew have disappeared. When it transpires that the captain of the boat died from poison on the homebound voyage – despite no source of the poison being found – it seems that devilry is plaguing the God’s Bright Light. Devilry that is spreading into the city…

Book 5 of the Brother Athelstan series – yes, I’m still comfort-re-reading – and yes, I’ve reviewed this before. Still using the excuse that these have recently been re-released on ebook, but the fact of it is that currently there are times when I need something familiar to read. I actually read this a good few weeks ago, but I’m trying to finish off this year’s reading before the end of this year. As you do.

It’s a good tale, with the majority of the story concerned with the mystery surrounding the ship. There is one subplot (as opposed to the four or five in The Anger Of God) concerning some impossible thefts, but there’s a nice denouement to that.

I think this is one of Doherty’s better hidden murderers, and there’s some nice deduction leading to their unmasking. As with every book in this series, the author keeps everything moving forward, and finds a way to make the impossible make perfect sense.

Sorry, this is briefer and vaguer than usual, mainly because I read this over a month ago. Do take a look at my previous review, or just buy it yourself – it’s more than worth your time.

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