Domesday

The Owls of Gloucester

The Owls of Gloucester Murder at the abbey, intrigue at the castle, domestic strife and the imminent arrival of William the Conqueror make this one of the most difficult cases for Ralph Delchard and Gervase Bret.

"Once again Marston has created a credible 11th century atmosphere within an intriguing story."
Sunday Telegraph

"Abrim with energy, heroism, tenderness, chicanery and suspense, while crisply evoking a vivid picture of the era."
Kirkus Reviews

"Marston is probably the best of our British writers of historical crime."
Birmingham Post

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The Foxes of Warwick

The Foxes of Warwick When they reach the bleak comfort of Warwick Castle, a brutal murder is only one of the problems that confront Ralph Delchard and Gervase Bret. A giant blacksmith, a dancing bear and a miracle worker also appear.

"A lively, fast-moving tale of medieval England."
Publishers Weekly

"A bang-up read."
Washington Times

"Vivid characters, rich historical detail and energetic writing."
Kirkus Reviews

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The first eight titles (in reverse order) in the Domesday series have been reprinted and are now available from Ostara Publishing:

The Wildcats of Exeter

The Wildcats of ExeterNicolas Picard is riding home from Exeter when he's attacked by a snarling wildcat. Yet, when the body is found, there are lacerations on his neck put there by a human hand.

He is involved in a land dispute and his wife claims to be the benefactor on his behalf. Picard's mistress emerges to stake her claim then a third woman - wife of the deceased original owner of the land - comes forward.

Ralph Delchard and Gervase Bret have three human wildcats trying to tear out each other's throats. They wonder if one of the women committed the murder to get her hands on the land but the root of the mystery lies far deeper than mere avarice.

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The Hawks of Delamere

The Hawks of DelamereHugh Lupus, Earl of Chester, is enraged when his hawk is killed by an arrow in the Forest of Delamere. When two poachers are caught, he orders their execution yet neither of them fired the arrow.

Ralph Delchard and Gervase Bret come to Cheshire to settle a series of disputes between Church and State. They are guests of the Earl. Exploring the castle, they discover that the Prince of Gwynedd is being held there as a hostage.

Who is trying to rescue him? Why is Idwal, the over-zealous Welsh priest, lurking in the city? And whose arrow is responsible for a gruesome human death in the forest? The mystery thickens by the day.

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The Stallions of Woodstock

The Stallions of Woodstock Three powerful Norman lords and a Saxon thegn watch their horses competing in a race near Woodstock. When one of the riders is murdered during the race, suspicion falls on the Saxon.

Ralph Delchard and Gervase Bret are guests at Oxford Castle while they deliberate on land disputes in the area. Caught up in the murder investigation, they feel that a man has been wrongly accused and, in trying to save him from execution, get themselves immersed in a sea of malice, treachery, lust and simmering hostility.

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The Serpents of Harbledown

The Serpents of Harbledown Ralph Delchard and Gervase Bret are royal commissioners appointed to investigate irregularities that come to light during the compilation of the Domesday Book in the reign of William the Conqueror. They arrive in Canterbury to be met by the news that the body of a young girl has been found, apparently killed by a poisonous snake.

Their investigation takes them to the leper hospital in Harbledown where the girl used to take herbs. Once they establish that she was murdered by human agency, they begin to uncover all sorts of hidden secrets in the town. A second murder sends them off in a different direction altogether and they encounter a surprising twist.

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The Lions of the North

The Lions of the North The commissioners arrive in York to find it terrorised by the two lions held at the castle but given hope of liberation by Olaf Evil Child, hero of the poor and downtrodden. When the lions kill and eat an intruder, a complex and murderous tale is set in motion.

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"Intriguing and exuberant."
Booklist

"Brings to life the turmoil of an England torn between Norman and Saxon."
Publishers Weekly

The Dragons of Archenfield

The Dragons of Archenfield Archenfield is a no man's land on the Welsh border. When the commissioners sit in judgement on a land dispute, they learn that their chief witness has been burned alive in his home.

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"Another outstanding medieval mystery, brimming with intrigue, suspense and authentic historical detail."
Booklist

"Marston offers another solid, well-written, entertaining historical piece."
Library Journal

The Ravens of Blackwater

The Ravens of Blackwater The village of Maldon is dominated by the cruel Hamo Fitzcorbucion, lord of Blackwater Hall. But the serfs who have laboured under his yoke decide to strike back with deadly effect.

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"First-class entertainment for lovers of historical whodunits."
Kirkus Reviews

"Excellently written and unreservedly recommended."
Mystery News

The Wolves of Savernake

The Wolves of Savernake The murder of a miller in the Savernake Forest brings two of William the Conqueror's most astute men to the scene of the crime. They uncover dark secrets and find a two-legged killer more savage than any beast.

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"One of the best murder-in-medieval-England practitioners."
Anniston Star

"An artful and evocative adventure, steeped in the local humour, lore and legend of 11th century England."
Booklist

Domesday

Ralph Delchard and Gervase Bret are commissioners, appointed by William the Conqueror, to look into the serious irregularities that come to light during the compilation of Domesday Book, the great survey of England. Delchard is a Norman soldier who fought at the Battle of Hastings, and who does not suffer fools gladly. Bret, a talented lawyer, comes from mixed Saxon and Breton parentage. They make a highly effective crime-fighting team in a violent and unstable period of history. Each of the books in the series takes them to a different English county.

The novels

Domesday - series titles (in publication order):
The Wolves of Savernake
The Ravens of Blackwater
The Dragons of Archenfield
The Lions of the North
The Serpents of Harbledown
The Stallions of Woodstock
The Hawks of Delamere
The Wildcats of Exeter
The Foxes of Warwick
The Owls of Gloucester
The Elephants of Norwich
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