Not Another Murder

Not Another Murder. A question? A statement? Or the despairing sigh of a monk convinced that Death’s scythe must have caught in his habit?

Escape from Gernesey and a return to Derby is on everyone’s mind, but events have spotted Brother Hermitage, and they’re up to their usual tricks.
This time, they’ve put him in a priory. What could be better? And what could possibly go wrong?

The cloistered life has called him back and so all will be well.
There will be no murder here, even though he’s the King’s Investigator.
No one will die, ignoring the deaths that seem to follow him around.
And anyway, this is only temporary. There won’t be time for anything untoward to happen.

Brother Hermitage hasn’t been reading his own chronicles, has he?

While Wat and Cwen try to make the best of things and work out who to bribe to get out of this place, Hermitage doesn’t even make it through the first night before the body turns up.
How it was done is a complete mystery, never mind why. And there is certainly something odd about this priory and its monks, who don’t seem at all concerned that one of them is now dead.

But a route off the island quickly opens up before them, and so there might not be time to solve some murder. With any luck, they’ll be miles away before long.
All they need is some money; considerably more money than they currently have.

That priory seemed to have a lot of treasure…

Embark on Chronicle number thirty-two, and your mind will be filled with wonder. (Wondering why, mainly.)

No Murder Here (The Chronicles of Brother Hermitage Book 31)








There is no murder here.

And even if there were, under no circumstances is Brother Hermitage, King William’s investigator, to be allowed anywhere near it.

This is a very sensitive matter for the Duke of Normandy, now King of England, and he wants it dealt with properly. He doesn’t want a band of Saxon idiots trampling all over the place, offending everyone.

But, in a far-off outpost of the duchy, an ancient ritual has been enacted, which immediately went horribly wrong. Someone must be sent to find out what happened and who is behind it.

Negotiating the way through scheming and feuding locals will demand sensitivity.

Untangling superstition from fact will require careful analysis.

Appreciating custom and practice will need a sympathetic ear.


And you’ll need to speak the right language, obviously.

So, this is really not a job for Brother Hermitage. It’s probably even more inappropriate for the weavers, Wat and Cwen – the woman who stares at people and the man who made those disgusting pictures. Keep them away.

However, the more explicit the instruction, the greater the chance of mistake…

In any case, there is no murder here.

Oh, really?

Now available virtually everywhere:



How Many Monks? (The Chronicles of Brother Hermitage Book 30)

Not content with being King William’s investigator of murder, and he is not content with that at all, Brother Hermitage is now having his trouble delivered. The floods of Derby wash up something very specific and there is only one monk for the job.

But who would do that to an abbot? And where did he come from? Not only will Hermitage have to discover a killer, he’ll also have to find a monastery where there is none.

Perhaps some detestable monks will be able to throw light on the situation.
Could the Norman obsession with record-keeping turn out to be useful?

At least this murder is only a short walk away, and Hermitage, Wat and Cwen traipse through a soggy countryside to discover more about monks and monasteries than the weavers ever wanted to know.

The 30th – yes 30th Chronicle of Brother Hermitage continues the theme of a medieval detective monk who really shouldn’t be.

Murder ‘Midst Merriment (The Chronicles of Brother Hermitage Book 29)

Influencers, the nature of truth, state propaganda? And all nearly 1,000 years ago. Some things never change.

When conflicting versions of the Norman Conquest are offered to the people of Derby, Brother Hermitage is in the audience to hear both sides.

But, if Brother Hermitage is in the audience, someone is at serious risk of ending up less alive than they used to be.

As Wat and Cwen the weavers point out, Brother Hermitage, the King’s Investigator of murder, after all, was standing right there when the deed was done. How can he not know who did it?

Well, he will simply have to investigate as he always does, and the facts will be revealed.
Unfortunately, everyone seems to have their own version of the facts and they can’t all be right.

When even the liars are lying about their lies, and the people who know the truth don’t know that they know it, things are bound to be confusing.

But someone has been shot. With a bow and arrow, a rare item in Anglo-Saxon Derby. Someone must have seen something. And in this case, everyone is talking. They just aren’t saying anything reliable.

Never fear. Brother Hermitage will knock this investigation on the head. Unless someone knocks him on the head first, of course.

Non mitterent nuncio, as Hermitage might say. Don’t shoot the messenger. Oh, too late.

The 29th Chronicle of Brother Hermitage carries the familiar warning; if you like your historical mysteries serious and sombre, look away now.

Murder Can Be Murder (The Chronicles of Brother Hermitage Book 28)

It’s only murder, why is it so difficult?

When Brother Hermitage is approached on the streets of Derby, he knows that it is going to be bad news.
As King William’s duly appointed investigator, everything is bad news.

But young Fridolf, an apprentice goldsmith from London has the most bizarre request concerning a murder that Hermitage has ever heard. Still, at least he has the opportunity to make things very clear and put the young man straight before sending him on his way.

Until Wat and Cwen explain that Hermitage hasn’t made anything clear at all and that if calamity is to be avoided, some action is needed.

Luckily, for a weaver’s workshop, Wat’s home has a surfeit of investigators and so a despatch to London will not be a problem. And a trip to London, just to make sure everything is all right, will be a positive pleasure.

Until those despatched get themselves in trouble, of course.

Most unreasonably of all, those wretched Normans have decided that the old Saxon punishment for murder, a hefty fine, is no longer sufficient. They have something much more permanent in mind.

Containing many facts, including the Saxon defeat of the Norman army in 1066, and a real-life sheriff of London, Murder Can Be Murder goes where other medieval mysteries wouldn’t bother.

Audiobook: Brother Hermitage’s Christmas Gift

Howard of Warwick narrates and Callum Hale plays all the parts in this modest little tale for the season.

Running time 2hrs 40m File size 220MB – Available Here

Brother Hermitage heads for London.
William Duke of Normandy is to be crowned King of England on Christmas day 1066; and he expects presents.
For reasons beyond reason the monastery of De’Ath’s Dingle is invited to the ceremony and the only ones who can be let out on their own are Brother Hermitage and Wat the Weaver.
But it will be a rush to get there. With only 7 days to travel over 100 miles, the pair must cross a frozen and largely lawless country if they are to make it to Westminster alive.
And then there’s the problem of Wat’s attitude towards gifts in principle. He doesn’t mind a reasonable exchange but simply giving sounds like a very poor deal.
Perhaps the days of the journey will give Brother Hermitage the opportunity to breathe the spirit of the season into his weaving friend.
Or perhaps not.

The Return to The Dingle (The Chronicles of Brother Hermitage Book 27)

Already a No 1, it seems.

With multiple No 1 Best Sellers and nearly a quarter of a million sales, your chronicler continues to muck about with the detective monk.

But this one is a very funny sort of medieval mystery.

Brother Hermitage wants there to be a murder? This can’t be right. In all of his previous excursions, he’s been pretty meticulous about avoiding the things.

When an instruction arrives from the Normans to find a missing person, Hermitage seems keen to shirk his duty. At least that’s a familiar theme. But he’s the King’s Investigator, he doesn’t do missing persons, that must be someone else’s job.

Knowing where the person may have gone missing might explain the trepidation.
The clue’s in the title; De’Ath’s Dingle.

That grim and dreadful monastery, which looms over Hermitage’s life like a falling loom, is calling him back. Perhaps he can try not listening.
It will only be full of the old familiar faces, up to their old revolting tricks. And if someone has gone missing there, all hope is gone.

But a shadow gathers in the west and the monastery is falling into darkness. Well, more darkness than normal.

With Wat, Cwen and Bart, Hermitage tramps his reluctant path back to the Dingle, always hopeful that someone might be murdered on the way as a distraction.

When he finally gets there, things are not at all as they should be. They should be truly awful, but this is simply peculiar. There is obviously something going on.

Hermitage can see it, so why doesn’t anyone else believe him?

And even when there is a murder, it doesn’t help much.

The Investigator’s Kingdom (The Chronicles of Brother Hermitage Book 26)

The Normans are coming, the Normans are coming. And they’re looking for Brother Hermitage.

This cannot go well. It’s never gone well in the past so why should this time be any different?
King William’s own messenger has come all the way from London looking for Brother Hermitage, the investigator. It can only mean one thing; a really important murder.

Running away or hiding are obviously options, but the king’s messengers don’t take “not available” for an answer. Hermitage hears the message and asks for it to be repeated, but still doesn’t understand. He is easily confused but seldom so quickly.

At least he has company. Wat the Weaver and Cwen are just as lost this time. Bart, the would-be investigator’s apprentice, is the only one who sees this very strange situation as an opportunity.
And that’s a worry in its own right.

Forced to travel to the far north, some fifteen miles away, Hermitage and the others make some alarming discoveries that go so far back in history, even Hermitage didn’t see them coming. Still, meeting new people and hearing about their ways broadens the mind. Or threatens the life, one or the other.

As usual, death is always close at hand, and it keeps looking at Brother Hermitage in a funny way.

Then one character turns out to have a secret no one would have guessed. Not even if the threat of death made you guess really hard.

The Investigator’s Wedding (The Chronicles of Brother Hermitage Book 25)

Caution; some weddings can be murder.

When Wat and Cwen the weavers are to wed, and there is a demand that no murder interrupts proceedings, you can guess what’s likely to happen.

It all starts with the Normans, as usual. One Walter d’Aincourt seems to have it in his head that Derby is his. Derby and all the people in it. And they can’t just go around marrying one another without his permission. An example must be set.

But his own men are not exactly a shining beacon of harmonious bliss, and when one of them ends up with a tent pole where no tent pole should be, the King’s Investigator’s talents are called upon; well, his panic, alarm and just plain luck.

Naturally, the Saxons are to blame, unless Hermitage can show otherwise.

He has Wat and Cwen to help, but Cwen is up to her eyes in the whole situation already, and, after an accident, Wat hasn’t got a clue what’s going on.

But they’ll all live happily ever after, surely? Probably? Possibly?


The Investigator’s Apprentice (The Chronicles of Brother Hermitage Book 24)

Now contains added history.

Brother Hermitage does worry. Even when there hasn’t been a murder, he worries that there probably has. It can’t do any harm to check, surely? Well, of course, it can. Has the King’s Investigator learned nothing from his previous 23 chronicles? No, of course he hasn’t.

When word of death is brought from Derby, Hermitage is concerned this may be more than the usual weekly toll. A simple check should suffice, while a more complex and thorough one would be more satisfying. And this turns up quite a list.
The Alodie family, who supposedly succumbed to plague; Maynard the Mighty who sweated to death and old Athlot; a ninety-year-old who fell off his roof. Hm, which one sounds a bit odd?

And every good tale deserves a meanwhile…
Meanwhile, off in the eastern marshes, a lone escapee from the Norman terror seeks Brother Hermitage with murder in mind. But the journey to Derby will be troublesome, including having to travel with a small band of Norman soldiers.

But remember, in 1066 not all Normans took those first boats to Hastings. Some stayed behind to guard the territory. Others ensured that the land continued to flourish. Still more were too old or infirm to partake in the great adventure;
And then one or two were simply best kept away from anything sharp.

And everything is converging on the King’s Investigator.

Murder Most Murderous (The Chronicles of Brother Hermitage Book 23)

More Best-Selling medieval mystery stumbles forth, not knowing when to stop.

“Aha” on page 1? This can’t be right.

When Brother Hermitage starts the latest investigation by working out who did it, you know that things are bound to be going wrong by page 2; nothing in Hermitage’s life is that easy.

And surely, William the Conqueror hasn’t dragged Hermitage, Wat the Weaver and Cwen across the country just to idle away the passing moments? There’s a dead Norman noble to be considered, and quickly because William hasn’t got all day.

But what Hugues d’Auffay, owner of the body in question, was up to is a mystery in its own right.
His father behaved strangely enough; he fought in the battle near Hastings, conquered the country and then went home again.Why would any self-respecting Norman conqueror do that?
Hugues himself had plans but no one is talking. Perhaps the servants can be persuaded to spill the turnips?

But they’ve got their own world to organise; entirely to their advantage, and so will need some persuasion.
The Saxon servants are keeping a dark secret in a locked trunk, one that the Normans are very keen to get their hands on.Is there a bargain to be made?

All of life is here:
tapestries that dare not show their faces;
a curse from an old wise-ish woman;
a physick who is surprised at the number of dead bodies one investigation can produce.

Read the 23rd Chronicle of Brother Hermitage and you’ll wonder why the King’s Investigator still hasn’t got the hang of it.


A Murder of Convenience (The Chronicles of Brother Hermitage Book 22)

This time, there’s murder in the air; and in the bushes, the castles, the highways and byways. And Brother Hermitage is caught in the middle of the lot; as usual.

Even though he’s expecting a murder to be dropped in his lap at any moment, the arrival of this one and the manner of its delivery take him completely by surprise.
But there is a victim, or there might be, and action must be taken.

A journey to Nottingham reunites them with some old friends, well, friends-ish, but they seem as confused as everyone else. At least Cwen finds an ally, which gives Wat plenty to worry about.
When the weaver gets drunk and comes up with the most ridiculous suggestion for a murder investigation that any of them have ever heard, it’s clear that things have gone downhill very quickly.

With very important people showing a great interest in this business, Hermitage has to be very careful with his, “aha”; if he can even come up with one that makes sense.

A Mayhem of Murderous Monks (The Chronicles of Brother Hermitage Book 21)

It’s Brother Hermitage, it’s new and it’s nearly a thousand years old.

From Best Selling Howard of Warwick comes yet more mysterious nonsense…

In what should be a straightforward investigation, Bishop Geoffrey of Coutances, (look him up), sends Hermitage, Wat and Cwen to find out who murdered one Brother Egeus.

Or does he?

It quickly becomes apparent that the bishop has more ulterior motives than a conclave of liars.

If they can find out who killed Egeus that would be nice, but there are far more important matters to resolve. Matters that virtually everyone seems to have a hand in.

And the more they find out about Brother Egeus, the more surprised they are that he stayed alive as long as he did. There isn’t enough woodwork in the world for all his trouble to come out of.

There are big Normans and little Normans, abbots, monks, butchers and bakers but no candlestick makers. And they all have an interest in what Egeus was up to and might have wanted him dead.

If Hermitage can work his way through this mess, he’ll be very surprised. Perhaps just hoping something occurs to him at the last moment is the only way to go with this one…

The King’s Investigator Part II (The Chronicles of Brother Hermitage Book 20)

There’s yet more investigation for Brother Hermitage just when you thought he’d given up that sort of thing.

The King’s Investigator Part II, surprisingly following on from Part I, finds that things have not improved.

But this time it’s a missing person and there isn’t a murder at all; well, perhaps just a little one.
And this is a Very Important Missing Person who needs urgent investigation, whether Hermitage likes it or not.

Following a completely blatant trail that even Hermitage can track, he has to call upon the help of people he’d really rather not call upon at all. He has to go to places he’d rather not go and face consequences better not faced.

A chase upriver means a boat – and we all know who that means. And worst of all, there’s the suggestion that someone might be after Wat’s money!

Of course, the Normans are making things as difficult as ever but now he has people harassing him from all sides. There are more forces at play than seems decent for one investigation.

And who’s this hiding in the woods? Surely not….

The King’s Investigator (The Chronicles of Brother Hermitage Book 19)

Death in the Tower of London? This could give the place a bad reputation.

In King William’s new London fortress (so new it doesn’t have a tower yet), a dead body lies right outside his chamber door.

This could be murder as the victim is the widely hated Malf; so widely hated, virtually everyone is suspect.

Brother Hermitage, the King’s Investigator must be summoned; the King’s investigator who really doesn’t want to do the job at all anymore.

Fortunately, someone else seems very keen to take over: If you thought Brother Hermitage didn’t know what he was doing, Brother Peter is going to be a revelation.

But murder seems to be a routine feature of court intrigue:

Could it be a result of the dispute between the ghastly Le Pedvin, William’s favourite killer, and Ranulph de Sauveloy, his favourite administrator?

Could it be Malf’s own family, who really can’t wait for him to die until they inherit?

Could it be the Saxon rebels who are hiding in a very peculiar place close at hand?

Brother Hermitage, Wat the Weaver and Cwen have got to find out and as usual, it all goes wrong almost immediately. Find the killer or face the same fate themselves is a familiar old refrain.

But perhaps this time, Hermitage sees a way out. Could he really hand his hated job on to someone else; someone who really wants to do it?

Populated by old familiar faces from most of Hermitage’s nightmares, The King’s Investigator could be the very end….

The 1066 via Derby (The Chronicles of Brother Hermitage Book 18)

Now available to order!


The Normans are in town; beware, be careful or be dead…

An old wise woman of Derby is dead, and Brother Hermitage has been asked to deal with her.
Which means she must have been murdered; people only die of murder when Brother Hermitage is in town.

And if she was murdered, who on earth would do that to an old wise woman in her own hovel, for goodness sake?

The Norman soldiers camping just down the road? Quite likely.
The local people who seem to have good reason to hate her? Quite possibly.
Anyone who wanted to steal her ill-gotten gains? Quite feasibly.

Very well, quite a few people would want to kill an old wise woman in her own hovel, Brother Hermitage just has to work out which one. Can’t be hard, surely?

But this is Brother Hermitage, and the characters of Derby are being less than helpful – as well as pretty peculiar.

In The 1066 via Derby Brother Hermitage is once more disappointed by the moral standards of the average 11th Century killer.
Stumbling through a host of conclusions, one of which must be right, surely, and a small host of extra murders just for completeness, Hermitage uncovers crime of a truly despicable nature.

The guilty must face the consequences of their actions and pay the price – but that’s someone else’s business, Hermitage only does investigation.

The 1066 to Hastings (The Chronicles of Brother Hermitage Book 17)

1066; coming to the seaside near you; whether you like it or not…

It’s more hilarity and death from Howard of Warwick, the best selling author who doesn’t know the meaning of “enough is enough”.

If ever there was a bad time to be an Anglo Saxon noble in England it was October 14th 1066.

Avoiding the Hastings area was also advisable.

When Saxon noble Lady Gudmund demands that the murder of her husband be investigated, Brother Hermitage feels obliged to help. When she reports that he headed south with King Harold and hasn’t come back, he thinks this might not take long.

But life is never simple for the King’s Investigator, and neither is death. Uncovering things that people have gone to a lot of trouble to cover up in the first place, Brother Hermitage, Wat the Weaver and Cwen embark on an exploration of some of the more deplorable aspects of human nature; along with several pretty deplorable humans.

From workshop to manorial hall they chase the most blatantly obvious murder they have ever had to deal with. And if that’s the case, why does it all start going wrong so quickly?

It’s a strange murder when the investigator knows perfectly well who did it, but no one will believe him…

The 1066 From Normandy (The Chronicles of Brother Hermitage Book 16)

Death and taxes… with extra death.

Yet more medieval detective-sort-of-thing from the best selling author…

Brother Hermitage, the King’s most medieval investigator, is about to discover the true meaning of the Norman Conquest; money.

It’s all very well Saxons fighting William on the battlefield and trying to kill him, but evading his taxes is simply beyond the pale. Something must be done about it. And who better to do something about things than his own investigator?

The first problem is that the King’s Investigator doesn’t understand what it is. But then not understanding things has never held him back in the past.

If tax evasion is a bad thing – which William assures him it is – then the people who do it are positively revolting. Hermitage has dealt with deceit, dishonesty and deception in the past, but he’s never met people who have made it their life’s work.

Needless to say, Wat and Cwen the weavers are dragged into this, quite literally, and Wat seems to know rather too much about dodging tax.

And then, of course, the bodies start piling up. Death and taxes, eh? Who’d have thought…

Brother Hermitage’s 16th adventure, and Howard of Warwick’s 21st attempt at synchronised scribbling simply reveals more of the same.

Take The 1066 From Normandy, departing Sept 2019

The Hermes Parchment (The Chronicles of Brother Hermitage Book 15)

Where goes the King’s Investigator, there goes death; by murder, usually.


Despite his protestations that disaster is inevitable, Brother Hermitage travels to Lincoln to sort out a library. It’s the task of his dreams, even if he’s reasonably confident that someone will get murdered in the process.

And there are several candidates. One of those troublesome Norman soldiers in the tavern? The king’s tenant-in-chief, Lord Colesvain, who has just forced the whole town to build his house for him? Colesvain’s objectionable son, Picot, who has a rather unhealthy interest in “illustrated” literature?

But a library should be safe enough; apart from the librarian obsessed with books on sorcery and magic, obviously.

Delving in the bottom of a box of books delivered from a long-lost monastery, Hermitage discovers the great Hermes Parchment and the whole world goes mad.

Hermitage, Wat and Cwen become embroiled in events that were pretty embroiled to begin with.There are wise men of the woods who turn out to be no such thing, and suggestions of an evil secret hidden in the parchment’s pages just waiting to be released.

And a dead body tuns up. Just as Hermitage said it would. Told you so.

The Chester Chasuble (The Chronicles of Brother Hermitage Book 14)

History, hilarity and some horrible goings on.

Howard of Warwick, the No 1 Best Selling author who brought you The Bayeux Embroidery, has fabricated yet another outing for the world’s most medieval detective.

At the request of some rather peculiar monks, Brother Hermitage and his companions, Wat and Cwen the weavers, travel to Chester to try and work out who has suffocated a priest with his own chasuble.

They’ve even been recommended for this job by some very important people, but of course it starts to go wrong even before they arrive.

Chester appears to be full of some very strange people and some even stranger religious institutions, all of whom detest one another with fervour. There are Saxon Nobles who have run away from the Normans and townsfolk for whom corruption is what they do best.

Brother Hermitage must find out if the man who got killed is all he seems to be. Then there’s a number of reasons why he could have been killed. And the list of who could have done it is a bit too long, even for Hermitage, who likes a list.

Why does Brother Merle seem so keen on dead people?
Who is the mysterious monk in the tower?
How many Saxons does it take to change a kingdom?

The Bayeux Embroidery (The Chronicles of Brother Hermitage Book 13)


The Bayeux Tapestry is no laughing matter. Well, apart from the rude bits, obviously.

The nuns of Kent have been commissioned by Earl Odo to create a great tapestry telling the glorious history of the Norman conquest of Britain. But when they start dying, one man must be sent for; Brother Hermitage, the King’s Investigator.

Who would commit such a heinous crime? Odo himself? Another nun, perhaps? Some Saxons? The Archbishop of Canterbury? The people of the marshes? Well, it could be anyone really, and that’s generally a problem for Brother Hermitage.

With Wat and Cwen, erstwhile weavers of “adult” tapestry themselves, he must solve the crime or face the consequences; as usual.

The best plan is probably to wander around Kent rather hopelessly, and trust that something occurs to him right at the end; also as usual.

At least in this tale the truth of the Bayeux Tapestry will be revealed: (well, a truth, perhaps)
How did it come to be? Who made it? And who thinks that they should have been given the job instead?

It’s the lucky 13th Chronicle of Brother Hermitage

The man who barely survives his own investigations.
The sleuth who seldom asks anyone the right questions.
The monk who is firmly medieval and slightly detective.

People have said things:

‘Laugh out loud’
‘Like Pratchett does 1066’

13 books and 80,000 sales; some people never learn.

A Murder for Brother Hermitage (The Chronicles of Brother Hermitage Book 12)

It’s more medieval mystery for people who laugh.

A Murder for Brother Hermitage; Volume 12 of the Chronicles of Brother Hermitage; “this time it’s historical.”

Norman England is still full of real people; the incompetent, the hopeless and the just plain useless.

But what’s this? At the monastery of his friend Abbot Abbo, a young, naive and bookish monk is killed in chapter 1? Surely not? It can’t be.

The death of this particular monk sets off a chain of events that’s tangled to say the least. The news must be taken to Derby, home of Wat, erstwhile weaver of pornographic tapestry and Cwen, fierce and independent weaver in her own right.

Then the death must be investigated, of course it must, and the guilty held to account. But the guilty seem to be queuing up in this case, and show not the least sign of shame, let alone guilt. In fact, they’re quite proud of what they’ve done.

Brother Hermitage, the King’s Investigator, made a lot of enemies over the last 11 books. It was bound to go horribly wrong sooner or later. “Horrible” and “wrong” crop up quite often where Brother Hermitage is concerned.

But, you need to read the book if you want to make any sense of all this; even then, there are no guarantees.

Some people have said “hilarious”, some have said “very, very funny,” others have said “stupid” (the good and bad kind).

Nearly 100,000 people have now succumbed to the nonsense that is Howard of Warwick. 1,000 reviews, Amazon number 1s, 5* littering the floor of the scriptorium? There must be something in it.

(May require prior reading of course HW101: medieval detection, the Hermitage years)

The Domesday Book (Still Not That One)

On the coat tails of the best-selling Domesday Book (No, Not That One), someone has let out volume II of William’s Adventures in England.

It’s history, but not as we know it.

England, 1067-ish and the King’s grip is tight. His Earls of Northumbria will keep dying though. Every time he appoints one, someone sticks something in them, or sets light to them. Something is going on and he has a strong suspicion who’s behind it. If he’s right, it could mean real trouble.

In Viking Vinland, the man who would be king awaits rescue – and waits. If no one else is going to do it, he will just have to rescue himself. There’s only a bit of sea to cross, he will sail home and take his throne by force. Although he might need a bit of help.

And then there are the Danes and the Scots who have their own ideas.

If Volume I is anything to go by, this situation is a recipe for disaster. And if you’ve got the recipe, you might as well make a disaster.

The textbooks would have you believe that everything in the past was carefully planned and organised. That the leaders of the time were clear in their aims and decisive in their actions. That the people knew what great events they were living through.
No one made mistakes, no one incompetent ever got to be in charge and above all, no one ever had a laugh.

The 16th book to do things to history that it never asked for, returns to the aftermath of the most famous date ever. 1066. Well, the year after actually, no one ever talks about that – and with good reason, it was chaos.

Caution: contains facts.

What they said of The Domesday Book (No, Not That One)

‘Had me chuckling the whole way through,’ Discovering Diamonds.
5* ‘Brilliantly humorous,’
5* ‘A laugh riot,’

A Murder for Master Wat (The Chronicles of Brother Hermitage, Book 11)

When weavers in the 11th century went out to play there was usually trouble. In this case it’s death, which Brother Hermitage, the King’s Investigator, always finds very troublesome indeed.

Wat the Weaver doesn’t want to go to the weavers’ Grand Moot in the first place and no one can make him. Except Mistress Cwen, of course. When they get there it all starts so well, but it only takes the blink of a bat’s ear for murder to rear its ugly head and stare straight at Hermitage. He’s starting to think that being King’s Investigator is actually a cause of death in its own right.

But this time, the perpetrators seem quite proud of their actions and have a lot more planned. Is this a race to stop a murder, rather than deal with all the mess afterwards? Hermitage certainly hopes so, although, as usual, he’d rather the whole thing just went away.

A Grand Moot of weavers should be a time of joy, celebration and cameraderie, not greed, violence and a generous serving of just plain stupidity.

Howard of Warwick invented Medieval Crime Comedy and doesn’t know any better;

5* Hilarious
5* Laugh out Loud
5* Very silly
1* Silly (apparently “very” is worth 4*)

Brother Hermitage’s Christmas Gift

Christmas cover 40In a modest little tale for the season, Brother Hermitage heads for London.
William Duke of Normandy is to be crowned King of England on Christmas day 1066; and he expects presents.
For reasons beyond reason the monastery of De’Ath’s Dingle is invited to the ceremony and the only ones who can be let out on their own are Brother Hermitage and Wat the Weaver.
But it will be a rush to get there. With only 7 days to travel over 100 miles, the pair must cross a frozen and largely lawless country if they are to make it to Westminster alive.
And then there’s the problem of Wat’s attitude towards gifts in principle. He doesn’t mind a reasonable exchange but simply giving sounds like a very poor deal.
Perhaps the days of the journey will give Brother Hermitage the opportunity to breath the spirit of the season into his weaving friend.
Or perhaps not.

Recent reviews for Howard of Warwick continue a theme:
5* “Very funny”
5* “Another demented tale”
5* “Briiiiiliant as always.”

A Murder for Mistress Cwen (The Chronicles of Brother Hermitage Book 10)

For a medieval monk who hates investigating anything, Brother Hermitage seems to do it quite a lot. As he stumbles into his 10th full length tale, signs of improvement remain stubbornly invisible.

When Stigand of Arundel arrives in Derby with a commission from King William to buy some very expensive hawks, Wat, Weaver of adult tapestry sees an opportunity for profit. Brother Hermitage sees only trouble.

We then discover that Cwen, fine young tapestrier with a good eye for colour, nimble fingers and a frightening temper, also has some very peculiar relatives. So peculiar that they warrant investigation in their own right.

Once more there is murder and of course there are Normans and Vikings and Saxons. If any of them actually has a clue what’s going on they’re not saying anything.

In his previous debacles Brother Hermitage relied on Wat and Cwen for guidance, support and frequent reminders to use some common sense. This time they’re all up to their eyes in it but surely things can’t go any worse?

Medieval Crime Comedy is not going away and Howard of Warwick doesn’t know any better…

The Case of the Cantankerous Carcass (Chronicles of Brother Hermitage Book 9)

How is a medieval monk supposed to investigate a death if the corpse keeps complaining all the time?

Once more Brother Hermitage toils to avoid his duties as King’s Investigator, and fails miserably. But this time it’s personal.

When his beloved old Abbot arrives at Wat the Weaver’s workshop asking for his aid, Hermitage cannot refuse. He only has one beloved old Abbot, after all. But this one comes with a web made by specially tangled spiders.

There are Normans involved of course, so far so normal. Add a monastery that no monk of sense would go anywhere near and a village of pagans whose answer to every problem is to set light to it and Brother Hermitage is out of his depth almost immediately.

Wat and Cwen the weavers bring some common sense to the situation, but there isn’t much of that to begin with.

It’s medieval crime with all of the normal human failings – and a few new ones as well.

People laugh out loud at Howard of Warwick.

5* “I laughed out loud.”

“Hilarious and very funny.”

“This series just gets better and better.”

The Case of The Curious Corpse (Chronicles of Brother Hermitage: Book 8)

More medieval crime comedy; the genre that hides in the bushes and makes strange noises.

Brother Hermitage is compelled to yet another investigation by  the sight of a most curious corpse.   Helpful compulsion also comes in the shape of a dozen well-armed Norman soldiers and the King’s man Le Pedvin, who will probably stab him if he doesn’t get on with it.

Clearly this a Very Important Victim.

Suspicions are raised by a host of fascinating characters, including Hereward the Wake, all of whom claim to have loved the victim dearly, but who all benefit from the death in one way or another.

It’s also a bit odd that King William insists that he is not to blame, despite boasting about being the killer of an awful lot of other people.

On top of all that there is even a rival for the role of Investigator. As Hermitage doesn’t want to be an investigator that’s good, isn’t it?

Ploughing in with Wat and Cwen at his back, side and sometimes in front, Brother Hermitage relies on his well established methodology (hoping something occurs to him at the last minute). But that might not be enough this time.

The mysteries of Brother Hermitage have been variously described as “hilarious”, “laugh out loud funny”, “side-splitting”, and “stupid”  – which is a bit of mystery in its own right. Go on, give it a try….

The Case of the Clerical Cadaver (Chronicles of Brother Hermitage: Book 7)

It’s new. It’s medieval. It’s very silly.

A hidden monastery in the depths of England’s depths?

A secret that could rock the church to its core?

A trail of clues that can only be interpreted by an expert?
This all sounds rather familiar….

Except the expert is Brother Hermitage, so I wouldn’t get your hopes up.

Called once more by King William – who doesn’t even know what he’s calling for – Hermitage, Cwen and Wat the weaver set off to deal with the greatest mystery of all. A mystery that has been protected and guarded for years by a secret brotherhood sworn by awful oaths.

A mystery only known to a priest who now happens to be dead.
A mystery hidden in a monastery that isn’t even supposed to exist.
A mystery of such value that the unscrupulous and greedy are also after it, and these particular unscrupulous and greedy know Brother Hermitage very well indeed.

Will all be revealed in a satisfactory manner?
Will the convoluted trail lead to a revelation of staggering significance?

Hardly. This is a Chronicle of Brother Hermitage, after all….


Hermitage, Wat and Some Nuns (Chronicles of Brother Hermitage: Book 6)

Brother Hermitage ventures into Cadfael Country…

From the world’s best-selling author of comedy historical mysteries comes another largely pointless excursion.

Medieval Shrewsbury is surely no place for murder. Not in this charming town would investigative monks wander around bothering people over every little incident.

When Brother Hermitage arrives at Shrewsbury in the summer of 1068 something is up. Or rather down. Gilder, the great merchant is dead and Hermitage’s urge to investigate is overwhelming.

His companions, Cwen and Wat, weaver of pornographic tapestry think this is a very bad idea.

So does the whole town Moot. And the sheriff and the rest of the population.

And then there are the nuns. Hermitage has never been strong in the face of adversity and an adverse nun is more than he can cope with. A whole order of them is something to be strenuously avoided.

But there is always his duty. It’s got him into trouble so many times; why should Shrewsbury be any different?

Hermitage, Wat and Some Druids (Chronicles of Brother Hermitage: Book 5)

Brother Hermitage keeps going – this time with druids.

Is it a murder mystery? Is it a thriller? Is it just something gone horribly wrong?

When his nemesis, the Norman conqueror Le Pedvin orders him to Wales, Brother Hermitage knows it is going to go wrong. He’s had a prophecy it’s going to go wrong. And from his first steps on the road it strides firmly in that direction.

Brother Hermitage, Wat, weaver of pornographic tapestry and Cwen, weaver in her own right and the fiercest of the lot, are commanded to find one dead Norman in the whole of Wales – as usual under pain of death.
Add to that some treasure and a druid curse or two, and we have the recipe for a laugh out loud historical tale like no other. (Apart from the other Chronicles of Brother Hermitage)

It’s all complicated enough, but when what seems like the whole of the country wants to join in, things get very messy.

And then there are the druids, and stone circles, and sacrifices….

“he who has laughter on his side has no need of proof” Theodore Adorno.

Hermitage, Wat and Some Murder or Other (Chronicles of Brother Hermitage: Book 4)

As if one trilogy wasn’t enough….

Humour ahead: The works of Howard of Warwick are hilarious and very silly. If you value your historical proprieties look away now.

After 1066 not all the Normans were in England. Those left in Normandy were up to no good and the ghastly Le Pedvin, wants one of them dealt with.

Brother Hermitage, the most medieval of detectives, and his companion Wat, weaver of tapestry you wouldn’t want your children to see, are dispatched to the Norman home-land to bring a killer to justice. How they do it is up to them and why they’re doing it is none of their business; they have their orders and the consequences of disobedience will be death – as usual.

It’s not clear what Le Pedvin is up to.
It’s not clear that anyone is actually dead.
Not much is clear about Norman villagers at all.
It’s definitely not clear how Hermitage and Wat are going to get out of this alive.
But it will be….

The Tapestry of Death (Chronicles of Brother Hermitage: Book 3)

Yet more from Brother Hermitage.

England 1067: Briston the weaver has been murdered – in a very special way – and it is up to his old friend Wat to avenge his death.
Brother Hermitage will naturally support his companion in the quest, but the young monk worries as the number of suspects keeps rising. He’s never been good with crowds.

When events take a turn for the truly bizarre, Hermitage and Wat find themselves up to their Saxon socks in people who want them dead, people who want one another dead and people who seem to want everyone dead.

They must find a missing maiden, placate a giant killer and reveal the awful secret of the Tapestry of Death before matters are resolved. Resolved largely unsatisfactorily, but then that’s life.

With a monk, tradesmen, priests, Normans and Saxons, The Tapestry of Death should be a solid, traditional medieval who-done-it, but it isn’t. Really, it isn’t.

Authentic and accurate representation of the time? Barely.
Historically informative? Certainly not.
Hilarious and very silly? Now you’re getting warm.

The Garderobe of Death (Chronicles of Brother Hermitage: Book 2)

Brother Hermitage is at again….

England 1067: Henri de Turold, King William’s favourite hunting companion has been murdered. How anyone actually did it, given the remarkably personal nature of the fatal wound, is a bit of a mystery.

Lord Robert Grosmal, of disordered mind, disordered castle and Henri’s host at the time, knows that King William gets very tetchy when his friends are murdered. He sends to the nearby monastery of De’Ath’s Dingle for a monk to investigate.

Medieval monks are usually good at this sort of thing.  Brother Hermitage is a medieval monk but he’s not very good at this sort of thing. Motivated by the point of a sword he and his companion Wat the weaver set off to solve the crime.  Oh, by the way King William is arriving that night so they better get a move on.

Brother Hermitage’s second criminal investigation reveals many things. Improvement is not among them. If you are looking for a poignant evocation of the medieval world, an insightful exploration of the characters of the time, buy a different book. Ellis Peters is quite good.

After this debacle he even has another go in The Tapestry of Death. Out now on Kindle

The Heretics of De’Ath (Chronicles of Brother Hermitage: Book 1)

Where it all begins – The Chronicles of Brother Hermitage, Book 1.

Now an Amazon top 20 Best Seller

England 1066: At the monastery of De’Ath’s Dingle, during a completely pointless theological debate, there is a mysterious death.

Routine business for the average investigative medieval monk. Unfortunately, this isn’t a tale of average monks.

Anyone who would put the idiot Brother Simon in charge of a murder investigation is either one chant short of a plainsong, or is up to something.

When Brother Hermitage, innocent in every way, including bystanding, is lined up for execution, he begins to wonder if something might be going on. Perhaps his new companion Wat, weaver of pornographic tapestry, can figure out what it is. Before it’s too late.

Brother Hermitage, the Shorts

One short story now available to listen to!

Read by the author and free to newsletter subscribers. Click here


Vignettes from the life of the most medieval detective of all, Brother Hermitage.

Rooting through the cast-off manuscripts of an accident in a parchment factory, Howard of Warwick has pieced together a remarkable tale. Several of them in fact.

These tales cast a new light on medieval investigation, but it’s not a very bright light. They follow the comings and goings of Brother Hermitage, the monk who somehow resolved the mystery of The Heretics of De’Ath.The monk who stumbled though the murder of The Garderobe Of Death. The monk who wandered through The Tapestry of Death. And the monk who came out alive from Hermitage, Wat and Some Murder or Other.

Doing what no other storyteller of medieval murder would dare do, probably quite wisely, Howard of Warwick, takes us into the mind of Brother Hermitage. Here we find there is quite a lot of room, but most of it is full of books.

Read if your dare. Read if you must. Just don’t take anything too seriously.

The Domesday Book (No, Not That One)

Special tie-in edition…now available in paper with words and everything.

The time in Hastings, England is 1066 precisely. Duke William of Normandy may have just won the most recent battle in the area but he has mislaid something precious; something so precious no one must even know it is missing.

He carefully assembles a team for a secret mission of recovery, (the assembly is careful, not the team), and he sends them forth to the north.

But his secret is already out and another band has the treasure in their sights.

In a race across a savage land, against the clock and against one another, two forces hurtle towards a finale of cataclysmic proportions; all in 29 concise and entertaining chapters.

Find out what the treasure is. Find out who gets it first. Find out what happens to everyone afterwards. Find out some other stuff. Containing several facts and a brief appearance by a monk; it could have happened, it might have happened… but probably didn’t.

Out of the Scriptorium comes an extraordinary history.

A book so epic it has a map.

The Magna Carta (Or Is It?)

Read the full text of Magna Carta in Latin and English here! But don’t take the tale of its production too seriously – or seriously at all.

From the quill of Howard of Warwick, the world’s best selling author of historical humour, comes yet more History as it might have happened, but probably didn’t.

To mark the 800th anniversary, Howard has forced his attentions on the most famous charter in history. Here is a Runnymede full of real people; confused, squabbling, ill-informed and largely incompetent. Never mind 800 years, it’s a miracle the charter survived to the end of its first week…. if it did!

In The Magna Carta (Or Is It?) we discover that King John entrusted the copying of the original charter to one Aelward Dunktish, a man not normally reliable enough to pour water. The King must be up to something. And so must the nobles who want Dunktish for their own purposes. And then there are the King’s notorious mercenaries, the men of Touraine, who have ideas of their own, all of them involving death and horses.

They’re all up to no good, and Dunktish IS no good. It’s the sort of tale that will end in disaster – except in the hands of Aelward Dunktish, it all starts with one.