Merchant Master Wood and his servant Bertram are in Kyme on a business trip. They attend the annual May celebration Lordy Kyme has organised for local people at his fortified manor house. But after dinner, the celebration descends into mayhem as Master Wood is found dead in suspicious circumstances, with a knife sticking out of his body.
The obvious suspect, Mr Robert Middleham, an uninvited and unwanted guest, refuses to appear before a judge and jury. The only hope of solving the crime is for the Lord Chancellor to appoint a Special Commissioner, Martin Byrd, to look into the matter. But things are not quite as simple as that. Mr Middleham is held responsible for the murder as his knife was sticking out of Wood’s body when he was found dead outside at the stables.
After delving into the details of the case, the Special Commission realise there is bad blood between the Kyme and Middleham families. Could this rivalry have sparked Mr Middleham to crash the May Day extravaganza and kill one of Kyme’s guests?
The case is complicated further when it is discovered that one of the kitchen maids, Daisy, who reported the dead body to Lord Kyme, had been more than friendly to a number of men at the party. Could jealousy have inspired the murderer to strike?
Will Martin Byrd be able to cast light upon the secrets hidden behind the walls of the castle and find enough evidence to solve the mysterious murder of the merchant?
Special Commission is a classic medieval murder mystery full of historical accuracy and gripping plot twists.
Praise for John Hall:
“… a spellbinding medieval murder mystery.” – BOOKLIST
John Hall spent many years in the civil service before becoming a professional writer specialising in crime fiction. His book Death of a Collector won the Sherlock magazine’s competition for the best new fictional detective. He is also the author of Sherlock Holmes at the Raffles Hotel and Sherlock Holmes and the Hammerford Will.