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Bernard Knight - Page 1
Bernard Knight
Crowner RoyalCrowner Royal New06 Apr 09
The Manor of DeathThe Manor of Death
The Noble OutlawThe Noble Outlaw
The Elixir Of DeathThe Elixir Of Death
The Tainted RelicThe Tainted Relic
Audio Titles
About the Author

New First British Edition Simon & Schuster (2009)
Buy at Crowner Royal
London, 1196. At the command of Richard the Lionheart, Sir John de Wolfe has left his beloved West Country for the Palace of Westminster, where he has been appointed Coroner of the Verge. But with the king overseas, embroiled in a costly war against King Philip of France, Sir John is dismayed to discover that the English court is a hotbed of greed, corruption and petty in-fighting. The murder of one of the palace clerks, stabbed in broad daylight and thrown into the River Thames, leads John to suspect that there's a conspiracy underway to overthrow King Richard. And with the visit of the dowager Queen Eleanor fast approaching, the new Coroner must risk his life to prove his suspicions are right, root out the traitors within and prevent a national catastrophe.

First British Edition Simon & Schuster (2008)
Paperback - Pocket Books (2007)
Buy at The Manor of Death
When an unidentified body is discovered in the harbour town of Axmouth, twenty miles from Exeter, Sir John de Wolfe, the county coroner, is summoned to investigate. The manner of the young man's death is a matter of some dispute - but, as Sir John soon discovers, it was no accident. The victim did not drown, as the manor reeve alleges, but was strangled to death. In the ensuing murder investigation, Sir John is frustrated by what appears to be a conspiracy of silence among the seamen and townsfolk. Just what is the local population trying to hide? As Crowner John is to learn, there are many inhabitants of Axmouth who will go to any lengths to ensure the shocking truth remains hidden. And the coroner will have to draw on all his resources of courage, cunning and determination if he is to escape from the town with his life.

Paperback - Simon & Schuster (2007)
Buy at The Noble Outlaw
Exeter, 1195. Renovations at the new school in Smythen Street are disrupted by the shocking discovery of a partially mummified corpse hidden in the rafters - and Sir John de Wolfe, the county coroner, is summoned to investigate.
Richard de Revelle, Sir John's brother-in-law and founder of the school, immediately tries to blame Nicholas de Arundell, a young outlawed knight living rough on Dartmoor. As Sir John discovers, Nicholas has good reason to bear a grudge against the unscrupulous de Revelle.
But is he really a killer? WIth the victim's identity unknown and the motive a mystery, the murder remains unsolved. But then comes news of a second violent death - and Sir John is forced to track down the noble outlaw in order to find the answers…

Praise for the Crowner John mysteries
`Crowner John is a splendid character, full of imperfections and faults, but ultimately the triumphing hero’ Evening Standard
‘Detection and suspense are combined with historical authenticity’ Daily Mail
‘Bernard knight writes extremely well. The folk who people his stories are likeable and understandable, with all their failings and foibles. Even the most unpleasant characters somehow win your sympathy, perhaps partly due to the loving detail which Knight gives us about the city and its dubious levels of hygiene!’ Michael Jecks
‘Bernard Knight brings medieval Exeter to life with gritty realism, smells and all, but with an underlying sympathy and humour’ Historical Novels Review
`Sir John de Wolfe is a truly powerful character’ Shots
`Meticulously researched and redolent of the sights and sounds of the times’ Tangled Web UK
`Bernard Knight sets his crime novels in a brilliantly described West Country of the late 12th century ... Packed with the sights, sounds and smells of medieval England, the Crowner John series is a national treasure’ Mike Ripley, Birmingham Post

First British Edition Simon & Schuster (2006)
Buy at The Elixir Of Death
A Crowner John Mystery
1195. Prince John still plots to seize the throne from his brother, Richard the Lionheart - and in his wicked schemes he is actively supported by Philip of France. The French king offers to help John financially by sending him a mysterious alchemist, a Mohammedan named Nizam, who claims to be able to turn base metals into gold.
But the ship which was transporting Nizam and his retainers is found wrecked off the south Devon coast, its crew savagely slaughtered.
Shortly afterwards, a Norman knight named Peter le Calve is foully murdered, his severed head stuck on the rood screen of Exeter cathedral.
It’s up to Sir John de Wolfe, the county coroner, to find a motive and connection between the killings. And just what is his unscrupulous brother-in-law, the disgraced ex-sheriff and known Prince John sympathiser, Richard de Revelle, trying to hide?
The Elixir Of Death is the tenth gripping murder mystery to feature Crowner John, one of historical fiction’s most enduring sleuths.

First British Edition Simon & Schuster (2005)
Buy at The Tainted Relic
Writing with the Medieval Murderers
Five enthralling interlinked mysteries from Bernard Knight, Ian Morson, Michael Jecks, Susanna Gregory and Philip Gooden, with a prologue by Simon Beaufort.
July, 1100. Jerusalem has fallen to the Crusader armies; the Holy City lies ransacked. Amidst the chaos, an English knight named Geoffrey Mappestone is entrusted with a valuable religious relic: a fragment of the True Cross, allegedly stained with the blood of Christ. The relic is said to be cursed: anyone who touches it will meet an untimely and gruesome end as soon as it leaves their possession.
Several decades later, the Cross turns up in the possession of a dealer - robbed and murdered en route to Glastonbury. Investigating the death, Bernard Knight’s protagonist Crowner John learns of its dark history.
In Oxford in 1269, the discovery of a decapitated monk leads Ian Morson’s academic sleuth William Falconer to uncover a link to the relic. In 1323, in Exeter, Michael Jecks’ Sir Baldwin has reason to suspect its involvement in at least five violent deaths.
Thirty years later, several suspicious deaths occur in Cambridge during a contentious debate about Holy Blood relics. Once more, as Susanna Gregory's Matthew Bartholomew and Brother Michael are to discover, the tainted relic has a crucial part to play.
Finally, it’s despatched to London, where it falls into the hands of an unscrupulous bookdealer and where Philip Gooden’s Nick Revill will determine its ultimate fate.
The Medieval Murderers is a group of crime writers whose novels span some of the most exciting periods of English history. The five members, Bernard Knight, Ian Morson, Michael Jecks, Susanna Gregory and Philip Gooden, are in constant demand to give talks and sit as panels for libraries, bookshops, clubs and associations throughout the UK.

About The Author
In His Own Words…
Forensic pathologist, barrister and writer, born and spent most of life in Cardiff.
Started life as a farmer, then a hospital laboratory technician, then a medical student. Qualified in 1954, was a regular Army doctor in Malaya for three years during the terrorist Emergency (in a hospital like MASH!) Started forensic pathology in 1959 with Dr Francis Camps in London, became a Home Office pathologist in 1965. Called to the Bar at Gray's Inn in 1966. Retired in 1996 as Professor of Forensic Pathology in University of Wales, Cardiff.
Consultant to Amnesty, went on missions to Uganda to examine torture victims and to Kuwait at the end of the Gulf War to investigate atrocities. Received the CBE in 1993 for services to forensic pathology. Now a private forensic consultant, involved in cases all over the world, such as the Vatican banker, Roberto Calvi exhumation a few months ago.
Was the pathologist who recovered all twelve bodies in the Fred West case in Gloucester in 1994.
Began writing as a medical student, was editor of the student magazine, The Leech. Wrote first detective novel in 1961, The Lately Deceased publ. Herbert Jenkins. Then a string of others, Mistress Murder, Russian roulette, Policeman's Progress, Tiger At Bay, Thread of Evidence for Robert Hale and several in Welsh. Numerous foreign language editions.
Wrote non-fiction popular medical books, Murder, Suicide or Accident (Hale) about forensic pathology and Discovering the Human Body, an illustrated history of anatomy and physiology ( Lippincott and Heinemann) Turned to historical novels in '70s, about 12th century Wales, called Lion Rampant and Madoc, Prince of America.
In 1977 wrote biography of Milton Helpern, famous Chief Medical Examiner of New York City, went into five editions and foreign translations.
Turned to radio and television drama, numerous radio plays for BBC and scripts for BBC & ITV, especially S4C. Wrote story-lines for The Expert series for BBCTV, with Marius Goring - then wrote link novel The Expert for Sphere. Wrote scripts for and was technical advisor to District Nurse, Bergerac, etc. Also written ten textbooks of forensic medicine and pathology between 1972 and 1996, including the most widely-used standard textbook in UK, USA and Japan - books mostly published by Arnold (Hodder), Churchill, Blackwells etc. Most recent book (1998) was Lawyers Guide to Forensic Medicine (Cavendish).
Now writing the Crowner John series of historical mysteries for Simon & Schuster's Pocketbooks. Based on the first coroner for Devon in 1194, as I am very interested in and have lectured and written on, the origins of the English coroner and of the much older Chinese coroner - have lectured on the latter in China and Hong Kong.
Three Crowner John novels so far, The Sanctuary Seeker & The Poisoned Chalice (1998) and Crowner's Quest (1999). Contracted for three more, the first to be The Awful Secret early next year. BBC are negotiating for a radio play based on Crowner John.

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N.B. dates and publishers in dark red indicate British First Editions. Dates and publishers in black indicate recent reprints.

  • Crowner Royal (Simon & Schuster, 2009) New Apr 09
  • The Manor of Death (Simon & Schuster, 2008) Pocket Books Pbk Aug 07
  • The Noble Outlaw (Simon & Schuster, 2007) Simon & Schuster Pbk Aug 07
  • The Elixir Of Death (Simon & Schuster, 2006) (Sir John de Wolfe)
  • The Tainted Relic Short Stories (Simon & Schuster, 2005)
  • Figure of Hate (Simon & Schuster, 2005) (Sir John de Wolfe)
  • The Witch Hunter (Simon & Schuster, 2004) Pocket Books Pbk Apr 04 (Sir John de Wolfe)
  • Fear In The Forest (Simon & Schuster, 2003) Pocket Books Pbk Sep 03 (Sir John de Wolfe)
  • The Grim Reaper (Simon & Schuster, 2002) Pocket Books Pbk Jul 03 (Sir John de Wolfe)
  • The Tinner's Corpse (Simon & Schuster, 2001) Pocket Books Pbk Jul 01 (Sir John de Wolfe)
  • The Awful Secret (Simon & Schuster, 2000) Pocket Books Pbk Aug 00 (Sir John de Wolfe)
  • Crowner's Quest (Pocket Books Pbk, 1999) (Sir John de Wolfe)
  • The Poisoned Chalice (Pocket Books Pbk, 1998) (Sir John de Wolfe)
  • The Sanctuary Seeker (Pocket Books Pbk, 1998) (Sir John de Wolfe)

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