Medieval Murderers

Sword of Shame and The Lost Prophecies by the Medieval Murderers. These two short story collections by a small group of well-established historical mystery writers can be a good starting point for readers unfamiliar with the authors’ works and characters and want just a taste of what’s on offer. The format also allows the authors a chance to introduce new characters, such as Ian Morson’s Venetian adventurer, Nick Zuliani, and to test their worth. Each book has a central theme, usually a specific item, such as a sword or book. However, the individual tales within each book are self-contained, so readers can pick and choose which sections to read. Because each story is fairly long (60-80 pages), the authors have sufficient time to give background on their principal and secondary characters, overcoming a problem frequently found with the short story format. Someone look for a wide range of settings will be disappointed however, because with the exception of Zuliani, all of the stories take place in medieval England. For those readers, I recommend the “Mammoth” anthologies edited by Mike Ashley. Book reviewer Liz provides a nice summary of various titles in this area.

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