The Rough Collier (Gil Cunningham Murder Mysteries Series #5)

The Rough Collier (Gil Cunningham Murder Mysteries Series #5)

3.6 3
by Pat McIntosh

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The fifth in a series of medieval murder mysteries set in Glasgow.  See more details below


The fifth in a series of medieval murder mysteries set in Glasgow.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

McIntosh's fifth medieval whodunit to feature Archbishop's Quaestor (constable) Gil Cunningham (after 2007's St. Mungo's Robin) may frustrate some mystery fans because whether a conventional crime has been committed is unclear for a long time. When a corpse turns up in a peat bog, its skull crushed and throat slit, in Beltane parish outside Glasgow, no one has a clue how long the remains have been buried. The parish chaplain blames village healer Beatrice "Beattie" Lithgo and demands her arrest based on his obsessive reading of a tome on witchcraft. Gil and his new bride, Alys Mason, try to identify the body and clear Beattie's name, traveling from haunted coal mines to the coast, where they interview "salt boilers" who may have known the victim, rumored to be decadent fee collector Thomas Murray. More cadavers spark lurid allegations about Murray's relationship with a young collier (coal miner) and other missing men. An unconvincing confession briefly distracts Gil and Alys from the case's shocking resolution. U.S. readers should be prepared for plenty of Scottish brogue ("I wouldny ken about that"). (May)

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Kirkus Reviews
A body in a peat bog, accusations of witchcraft and missing men add up to Middle Aged murder. Lawyer Gil Cunningham and his wife Alys, visiting his mother's estate near Glasgow, become embroiled in a local priest's charge of witchcraft. When the body of a red-haired man is found preserved in a peat bog, the priest accuses Beattie Lithgo, an herbalist and member of the family that runs the local colliery, of murder by witchcraft. Gil and Alys realize that although the man was indeed murdered, it happened a very long time ago, and the body is not that of Thomas Murray, who has been missing from the colliery for a month. Murray ran the mine, but the real control lies in the iron fist of the beautiful Arbella, head of a household of talented and mysterious women that includes Beattie, Phemie, Bel and Thomas's wife Joanna. In their different ways, Gil and Alys investigate. At length Gil discovers Thomas dead in the bed of his male lover, and Alys slowly unravels intricate family relationships. Apparently Thomas is just the last in a string of murder victims all tied to the colliery. Only the uncovering of deeply buried secrets reveals the truth. McIntosh's fifth pairing of medieval detectives Gil and Alys (The Merchant's Mark, 2006, etc.) is another hearty meal stuffed with fascinating period tidbits and a satisfying mystery.

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Product Details

Soho Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
Gil Cunningham Murder Mysteries Series, #5
Product dimensions:
5.67(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.18(d)

Meet the Author

Pat McIntosh, like Gil Cunningham, is a graduate of Glasgow University. Born and brought up in Lanarkshire, she lived and worked in Glasgow in before settling on Scotland's west coast, where she lives with her husband and three cats. She is the author of seven mysteries in the Gil Cunningham series.

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