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Missal for Murder
Sherborne in 1436 was a quarrelsome town, the townspeople and the Abbot at loggerheads over the narrowing of the entrance to Allhallows, the chapel-of-ease attached to the Abbey, and the positioning of a font in the same chapel.
Against this background, a young man is found murdered in the Lady Chapel of the Abbey, and subsequent strange deaths occur. Matthias Barton feels compelled to investigate and being unused to murder, stumbles along until suddenly things become clearer to him.Will he, together with the local coroner Sir Tobias, unravel the mystery before things become too heated?
A Tale of Two Abbeys
The building of the Alms house in Sherborne has taken the good people of Sherborne into much thought and energetic fund raising, despite still owing the Abbot money for rebuilding after the fire.
Against this backdrop, Shaftesbury Abbey becomes embroiled in a gruesome happening which involves A Sherborne family close to the young schoolmaster, Matthias Barton.With eighteen miles of hard riding between the two towns, how can this be resolved?
A Quenchless Fire
When an injured man appears at the home of Sir Tobias, Coroner of Dorset, claiming to have devastating news of his son-in-law, he is compelled to investigate for the sake of his daughter and grandson.
Matthias Barton is drawn into the investigation and travels to Calais to seek answers. Here he and William, squire to Sir Tobias, discover a sinister organisation designed to weaken the English soldiers in their failing battle against the French.
Meanwhile in Sherborne, the unrest grows stronger and the fire in the Abbey reveals a most gruesome discovery. Matthias must gather his wits about him to help unravel this strange affair.
Spare the Rod
The fourth in the series sees Matthias as a married man but all is not plain sailing as his young step-son makes waves in the household.
With the school remaining successful, Matthias is forced to make some hard decisions when young Luke runs away and then disappears.
Following ancient drovers' tracks through Hampshire and Sussex, Matthias is far from home and eventually on the track of a killer.
About the cover designs
The covers are designed by Neil Pockett, an illustrator based in Sidmouth. As well as designing for the Matthias Barton series, Neil has also produced his own charming book of local watercolours called Scenes from Sidmouth, available from Paragon Books.
The cover for the fourth Matthias Barton book in the series draws on the author's memories of blackberrying among the cliffs of Sussex.