The bone fire

S. D. Sykes

Book - 2019

During a resurgence of the plague in 1361 London, Oswald de Lacy moves his family into his friend's island-fortress where he must uncover a murderer living among them.

Saved in:

1st Floor Show me where

MYSTERY/Sykes, S. D.
1 / 1 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
1st Floor MYSTERY/Sykes, S. D. Checked In
Series
Sykes, S. D. Somershill Manor mystery.
Subjects
Genres
Mystery fiction
Suspense fiction
Historical fiction
Detective and mystery fiction
Thrillers (Fiction)
Published
New York : Pegasus Crime 2019.
Edition
First Pegasus Books hardcover edition
Language
English
Physical Description
309 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN
9781643131979
1643131974
Main Author
S. D. Sykes (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* The Somershill Manor mysteries began with Plague Land (2015), which concerned the first appearance of the Black Death in England in 1349, an event that catapulted series hero Oswald de Lacy from life as a monk to Lord Somershill, after his father and two brothers died from the plague. In this, the fourth in the series, it's 1361, and the Black Death has returned to England. Oswald seeks safety for his wife, four-year-old son, mother, and servant, in a friend's fortified castle, surrounded by water on three sides and with a cliff on the other. What happens is a blend of Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death" and a country-house murder mystery. Sykes is brilliant at showing the elaborate precautions the castle owner, Geoffrey, has taken, with stores of provisions in cellars, an in-house well, and a drawbridge and portcullis to keep out anyone infected, or desperate to escape the plague. As with any good shut-off-from-the world country-house mystery, murders start piling up. Oswald, who has been thrown into investigative work since he became Lord Somershill, uses all his skills to stop the killings (it's fascinating to see him estimate time of death from the knowledge of morbidity gained from his former job of preparing monks' bodies for burial). An absolutely engrossing historical mystery. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* The Somershill Manor mysteries began with Plague Land (2015), which concerned the first appearance of the Black Death in England in 1349, an event that catapulted series hero Oswald de Lacy from life as a monk to Lord Somershill, after his father and two brothers died from the plague. In this, the fourth in the series, it's 1361, and the Black Death has returned to England. Oswald seeks safety for his wife, four-year-old son, mother, and servant, in a friend's fortified castle, surrounded by water on three sides and with a cliff on the other. What happens is a blend of Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death" and a country-house murder mystery. Sykes is brilliant at showing the elaborate precautions the castle owner, Geoffrey, has taken, with stores of provisions in cellars, an in-house well, and a drawbridge and portcullis to keep out anyone infected, or desperate to escape the plague. As with any good shut-off-from-the world country-house mystery, murders start piling up. Oswald, who has been thrown into investigative work since he became Lord Somershill, uses all his skills to stop the killings (it's fascinating to see him estimate time of death from the knowledge of morbidity gained from his former job of preparing monks' bodies for burial). An absolutely engrossing historical mystery. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Set in 1361, Sykes's excellent fourth whodunit featuring Oswald de Lacy (after 2017's City of Masks) finds Oswald traveling with his family from Somershill Manor in Kent to the Isle of Eden, an island surrounded by marshes on England's south coast, to avoid the bubonic plague. Their destination is Castle Eden, a place of refuge offered by Oswald's friend Godfrey, Lord Eden. Once the castle portcullis lowers behind them, Oswald and his party are cut off from the outside world. Godfrey, who believes the pestilence to be a manifestation of divine punishment, has several other guests plus supplies to last for months. Soon after the nobleman asks Oswald to deliver two sealed envelopes in the event something happens to him, one addressed to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Godfrey is found dead in a tool chest with a head wound. Oswald must ascertain which of the castle's other occupants is responsible, while keeping his family protected from the deadly contagious disease. Sykes effectively uses her diligent research in the service of a memorable plot. This outing reinforces her place in the historical mystery genre's top ranks. Agent: Gordon Wise, Curtis Brown (U.K.). (Sept.) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

During a resurgence of the plague in 1361 London, Oswald de Lacy moves his family into his friend’s island-fortress where he must uncover a murderer living among them. By the author of City of Masks.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

In the new Somershill Manor Mystery, Oswald de Lacy brings his family to a secluded island castle to escape the Black Death, but soon a murder within the household proves that even the strongest fortresses aren't free from terror in fourteenth-century England.  When the Black Death reappears in England in 1361, Oswald de Lacy knows that the safest place for his wife and young son is the island-fortress of Eden, where his eccentrically pious friend Godfrey has invited the family to stay to wait out the plague during the long, dark winter. But Oswald has barely had time to settle in when a brutal murder shocks the household and it soon becomes clear that the castle is not the stronghold of security that he was so desperately looking for.Oswald knows the castle isn't safe, but escaping to the plague-infested countryside outside its walls is not an option. His only hope is to solve the mystery of the murder before the killer strikes again. With a cast of characters like something out of Chaucer'a lord and lady, a knight, a religious radical, a court jester, a drunk, and a couple of traveling craftsmen are just some of the suspects Oswald must reckon with'and the all-consuming threat of the plague hovering just outside the castle walls, the newest novel in the Somershill Manor Mysteries is the most brilliant and frightening yet.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

In the new Somershill Manor Mystery, Oswald de Lacy brings his family to a secluded island castle to escape the Black Death, but soon a murder within the household proves that even the strongest fortresses aren't free from terror in fourteenth-century England.  When the Black Death reappears in England in 1361, Oswald de Lacy knows that the safest place for his wife and young son is the island-fortress of Eden, where his eccentrically pious friend Godfrey has invited the family to stay to wait out the plague during the long, dark winter. But Oswald has barely had time to settle in when a brutal murder shocks the household and it soon becomes clear that the castle is not the stronghold of security that he was so desperately looking for.Oswald knows the castle isn't safe, but escaping to the plague-infested countryside outside its walls is not an option. His only hope is to solve the mystery of the murder before the killer strikes again. With a cast of characters like something out of Chaucer'a lord and lady, a knight, a religious radical, a court jester, a drunk, and a couple of traveling craftsmen are just some of the suspects Oswald must reckon with'and the all-consuming threat of the plague hovering just outside the castle walls, the newest novel in the Somershill Manor Mysteries is the most brilliant and frightening yet.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

When the Black Death reappears in England in 1361, Oswald de Lacy knows that the safest place for his wife and young son is the island-fortress of Eden, where his eccentrically pious friend Godfrey has invited the family to stay to wait out the plague during the long, dark winter. But Oswald has barely had time to settle in when a brutal murder shocks the household and it soon becomes clear that the castle is not the stronghold of security that they were so desperately looking for. Oswald knows the castle isn’t safe, but neither is the plague-infested countryside outside its walls. His only hope is to solve the mystery of the murder before the killer strikes again. With a cast of characters like something out of Chaucer—a lord and lady, a knight, a religious radical, a court jester, a drunk, and a couple of traveling craftsmen are just some of the suspects Oswald must reckon with—and the all-consuming threat of the plague hovering just outside the castle walls, the newest novel in the Somershill Manor Mysteries is the most brilliant and frightening yet.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

In the new Somershill Manor Mystery, Oswald de Lacy brings his family to a secluded island castle to escape the Black Death, but soon a murder within the household proves that even the strongest fortresses aren't free from terror in fourteenth-century England.