This third edition of the Hugh Corbett series sees our eponymous hero thrust from his quiet life as a clerk of the Chancery of Edward of England (he’d been promoted since the events of the previous adventure) into the lofty realms of political and diplomatic intrigue, treason and betrayal, and affairs of the heart.
The tensions between Edward I of England and Philip IV of France have escalated to just short of general war, and the situation is made significantly worse because of the discovery of an unidentified French spy privy to the deliberations and decisions of Edward’s royal council. The task of discovering the identity of the betrayer is entrusted to Hugh Corbett by the direct command of Edward himself. And this leads Corbett to Wales, to France, and to danger.
Another masterful marrying of historical reality and fictional narrative by Paul Doherty, whose efforts and skill in this artform I am coming to admire significantly. A wonderful narrative is intertwined with historical events, and the reader is left almost to the end to discover the identity of the spy (assuming they, like I, have no grasp of the intricacies of English history).