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Michael Clynes Books In Order

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Publication Order of Sir Roger Shallot Books

The White Rose Murders (1991)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Poisoned Chalice (1992)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Grail Murders (1993)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Brood of Vipers (1994)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Gallows Murders (1995)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Relic Murders (1996)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Paul Doherty is a mystery and horror author best known for his Sir Roger Shallot series. Doherty also has an impressive collection of published works under his aliases Anna Apostolou, Ann Dukthas, Michael Clynes, Paul Harding, and Vanessa Alexandra. His other outstanding works include Hugh Corbett mysteries and The Sorrowful Mysteries of Brother Athelstan. Doherty studied history at Oxford and Liverpool universities, which explains his in-depth knowledge of medieval matters. Besides writing, Doherty works as a teacher in Essex.

The White Rose Murders

The White Rose Murders comes first in the Sir Roger Shallot series. In 1517, Scotland King James IV had already been defeated and killed by English armies. His widow, Queen Margaret, who also happens to be the sister to Henry VIII, had also fled to England, leaving her children and crown behind. Determined to restore Margaret to the throne, the king’s minister enlists Benjamin’s help, the nephew to Cardinal Wolsey, and his friend, Roger Shallot. Before they can venture to unknown territories, Roger and Benjamin have to start by resolving the mysteries in Margaret’s household and find the person responsible for James’s murder.

The duo starts their investigation by questioning Serkirk, a physician imprisoned inside the tower. When the physician turns up dead in a chamber that was always guarded, Benjamin and Roger know that they must move quickly before more people lose their lives. The only clue to the physician’s murder and others is a poem filled with riddles. More people are going to lose their lives, and the only thing the faceless assassin will be leaving on the scene is a white rose. This rose is a mark of Les Blancs Sangliers or the secret society keen to overthrow the Tudor monarchy. Will Benjamin and Roger manage to catch the assassin? Is it possible for Margaret to be restored to the throne? Read this book to the end to find out this and more.

This is an engaging read that every Tudor fan will find exciting. The author makes use of the White Rose Faction to tell the story of the mystery and murder of King James. It is no secret that King Henry VIII always worried about an overthrow to the extent of approaching every nobility carrying Yorkist blood with suspicion. The book is well researched, and the author had done a great job of blending fact and fiction. At the heart of this story is a murder mystery that will make your head spin. Just when you think you have everything figured out, the author will introduce an unexpected twist that will throw you completely off-guard.

The White Rose Murders is an exciting story set in Tudor, England. With its historical titbits and complicated plot, this story will take you a few centuries ago when life, as we know it today, was just a dream. Roger Shallot’s braggadocio and cheeky humor will leave you in stitches, and there will be enough times when you will hate him. All in all, it is fun following him and his friend as they try to resolve a murder while working with just a handful of leads. There is enough action in this story to keep you interested, and the tension grows as the story continues.

The Poisoned Chalice

The Poisoned Chalice is the second book in the Sir Roger Shallot series. This story starts with Roger Shallot recounting his adventures throughout his youth. His chaplain is sitting beside him writing this memoir, but some of Shallot’s memories make him blush. When Roger and Benjamin are sent to find St Augustine’s book and a ring gifted to King Francis I by Henry in France, nothing would have prepared them for whatever they encounter. Many dangers characterize their journey, and, surprisingly, they kept going despite the near-death experiences. Fortunately, they find the book and can identify the spy they had been searching for and find the ring.

The identification of the spy means that the person could now be dealt with. His accomplice is also challenged even though he is allowed to live. Once Roger and Benjamin get back to King Henry’s Court with the book, it is destroyed. The king is determined to destroy any proof of Catherine’s virginity since he was planning to divorce her. Unlike in the first book, Roger shows a lot of humanity here. It is refreshing that his character is developing, and you cannot help but wonder how this man will act in future books. It sounds like Roger lived a charmed life from his recounting, and he doesn’t regret any part of it.

One of the most outstanding things about this book is that the descriptions and narration will make you feel like you are right there with Roger and the rest of the cast. From the escapades in France to the happenings in Henry VIII turbulent courts, everything reads so real. It is easy to get emersed in the story and get transported back in time when kings and their subjects live a completely different life. While it is clear that Roger’s master is the clever one, you will love this rogue detective more. It is always fun interacting with Roger and seeing how he acts in different situations.

The Poisoned Chalice is a great story characterized by an intriguing main character and a plot that is sure to keep you interested. Reading the historical references, it is clear that the author did his homework and knows his history well. The historical details are expertly woven into the fiction, making this read like a true story. It is fun following Roger through his adventures, and some of his outrageous thoughts and actions will leave a big smile on your face. If you like mystery stories with a good dose of historical information, you will love this book. It is also a perfect read if you are in the mood for a light crime story set in Todor. The book is just 280 pages, so you can enjoy it all in one sitting.

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