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Friday, May 23, 2014

The Lions of the North by Edward Marston

Genre: Historical Mystery

Setting: England, in the years after the conquest by King William.

First Sentence: The two men were courting danger.

This novel is the fourth in Marston's Domesday Book series.

In the years after the conquest, King William of Normandy had his clerks compile a listing of all the properties in England and their rightful owners.  This listing was called the Domesday Book.

In Marston's novel, we follow a group of the King's commissioners as they travel the country settling irregularities in the Domesday documents.  Obviously, their arrival is often not met with joy.  In each town, there are those who those who control lands that they do not have legal title for.  Some resort to murder in order to keep their ill-gotten property.

This installment of the series takes our intrepid commissioners to York.  The owner of the castle at York keeps two lions as pets.  Prior to the commissioners' arrival, an unidentified young man had been mauled to death by the lions.

Soon after the commissioners begin their work, one of the commissioners is killed.  As the commissioners investigate they learn that the two deaths, a particularly difficult property case, and an outlaw named Olaf Evil Child are somehow related.

Will the lions of the North find another victim before the killer is discovered?

This novel is another example of why I like Marston's novels.  Each has a twisty plot, plenty of action, and witty dialog.  For me, this book was a very enjoyable read.

Each of Marston's books is a stand alone novel.  However, there are some plot lines which carry over from book to book.

                           The first book in the series: 

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