I write historical thrillers, but you won’t find Tudors having their heads cut off or the likes of a Downton Abbey Lady Mary dragging a body along a corridor in mine. That’s because I like to go way back: 800+ years to the medieval period, to be precise. And I go there because it is the most amazing period in history.
The Blood of the Fifth Knight is the second in a series. My first novel, The Fifth Knight, added a fictional fifth called Sir Benedict Palmer to the group of four knights who brutally murdered the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket. Becket was cut in his own cathedral on a freezing December evening in 1170. It is one of the most infamous episodes in the entire of British history. The blame has always been assigned to King Henry II for sending the knights on their deadly mission.
Henry has a deserved reputation for extra-marital affairs. By far the most well-known of his mistresses is Rosamund Clifford, the young woman who is often referred to as Fair Rosamund. Their affair became public in 1174. A less flattering contemporary description comes from Gerald of Wales, Henry’s acid-penned chronicler. He refers to her as ‘that rose of unchastity.’
Her story has been embellished by layers of myths and legends over the last eight centuries. Most of them are references to Eleanor of Aquitaine (Henry’s wife) carrying out the ghastly murder of Rosamund. As well as poisoning, there is stabbing, burning, bleeding and doing something unmentionable with toads. The exact cause of Rosamund’s death in 1176 remains a mystery.
So The Blood of the Fifth Knight provides a take on the unanswered question. Someone is trying to murder Rosamund. Henry calls back the only man he can trust to find out who is responsible, Sir Benedict Palmer. Trouble is, Rosamund prefers the hero knight, Palmer, to her aging lover, the King. And the attempts on her life aren’t stopping.
If you’ve not visited the twelfth century before, then why not try it? Sir Benedict Palmer and The Blood of the Fifth Knight will take you right there!
E.M. Powell is the author of medieval thriller The Fifth Knight, which was a #1 Amazon Bestseller. Born and raised in the Republic of Ireland into the family of Michael Collins (the legendary revolutionary and founder of the Irish Free State), she now lives in the northwest of England with her husband and daughter and a Facebook-friendly dog. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society (HNS), International Thriller Writers and Romance Writers of America, as well as a reviewer of fiction and nonfiction for the HNS.
Her latest book is the historical mystery/thriller, THE BLOOD OF THE FIFTH KNIGHT.
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