The Noble Outlaw

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Overview

Renovations of a school in 12th-century Exeter are disrupted by the shocking discovery of a partially mummified corpse hidden in the rafters, and the county coroner Sir John de Wolfe is called in to investigate. Richard de Revelle, Sir John's brother-in-law and founder of the school, immediately blames Nicholas de Arundell, a young outlawed knight. As Sir John discovers, Nicholas has good reason to bear a grudge against the unscrupulous de Revelle. With the victim's identity unknown and the motive a mystery,...

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Overview

Renovations of a school in 12th-century Exeter are disrupted by the shocking discovery of a partially mummified corpse hidden in the rafters, and the county coroner Sir John de Wolfe is called in to investigate. Richard de Revelle, Sir John's brother-in-law and founder of the school, immediately blames Nicholas de Arundell, a young outlawed knight. As Sir John discovers, Nicholas has good reason to bear a grudge against the unscrupulous de Revelle. With the victim's identity unknown and the motive a mystery, however, the murder remains unsolved. But then comes news of a second violent death, and Sir John is forced to track down the culprit in order to find the answers.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

A serial killer targets respected guildsmen in Knight's gripping 11th Crowner John mystery (after The Elixir of Life), set in 12th-century Exeter. When Matthew Morcok, a former master saddler, is found mummified above a renovated school, the authorities call on Sir John de Wolfe and coroner's clerk Thomas de Peyne to stop what is fast becoming "a campaign of terror." Later victims include a master glazier, who's strangled, and a candle maker impaled through the eye. John's work is complicated by the conflict between his shady brother-in-law, Richard de Revelle, and "Nick o' the Moor," an outlaw who returned from the Crusades to find his estates expropriated by de Revelle and de Revelle's cronies. John makes an arduous wintertime journey into Dartmoor to meet Nick, who's actually a knight, Nicholas de Arundell. Nick's plight so moves John that he takes the outlaw's case to England's "Chief Justiciar" for resolution. The author offers a vivid picture of medieval life with fascinating insights into England's fledgling legal system. (Feb.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
Someone is interrupting the Middle Ages to kill several prominent members of the Exeter Guild. When a mummified body is found on property belonging to Richard de Revelle, the much disliked brother-in-law of coroner Sir John de Wolfe, Richard spitefully suggests it may be the work of Nicholas de Arundell, a Cornish knight whose estate Richard and his partner in crime appropriated, claiming Nick had died in the Crusades. Sir John's shrewish wife Matilda befriends Nicholas's wife, who has lived with a cousin under an assumed name since her husband was outlawed and forced to flee to the wilds of Dartmoor. Knowing that Richard is greedy and dishonest, John investigates, meets Nick o' the Moor, believes his tale and goes so far as to travel to London to obtain a pardon for him. John gets the pardon and a promise to open an inquiry, but he has little luck solving the apparently unrelated murders of Guild members until a suggestion about the manner of their deaths gives him a clue to the killer's identity. Sir John and his squire, Gwyn, travel far in their quest for justice for Nicholas, but both the murderer and rough justice are eventually found in the streets of Exeter. The 11th of Crowner John's 12th-century adventures (The Elixir of Death, 2006, etc.) is faster-paced than usual, with more mystery as well.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Bernard Knight is the author of the Crown John Mysteries series and is a member of The Medieval Murderers.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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    Posted April 13, 2009

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    Posted April 11, 2009

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