Two bodies are discovered bludgeoned to death in Kent woodland. Six ravens are feasting on the corpses.
It is springtime in 1413 and Henry V is now on the throne of feudal England. The Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 had begun the great shift towards democracy and the country is recovering from the ravages of the Black Death.
Wat Baudin is a man on the up in this brave new world and is returning from his duties as an alderman at the assizes in Maidstone. He can sit in judgement on the lower classes but the noble families of the land remain a law unto themselves.
When Wat and his colleagues happen upon the unfortunate murder victims, he is only too aware of the superstition that still surrounds the macabre presence of that posse of birds. They are a sign of more death to follow.
Wat is glad to get back home where his wife Rosalind in expecting their second child. But his joy is short-lived as he is suddenly summoned by the Earl of Rochester, Lord John Ridley.
It appears that the earl’s nephew, young Sir Hugh Montmorency, has mysteriously disappeared and Wat is tasked to get to the bottom of the matter.
It is not long before Wat finds himself heading a murder investigation. Not one murder, but two… then three. The ravens’ augury seems to be true as a knight and a member of castle staff are added to the body count.
Even Wat himself comes under attack as he works his way through the suspects within the walls of Rochester Castle. What part can the earl’s doe-eyed daughter, Lady Susanna, possibly have in these evil crimes? And where might the unflappable earl’s wife, the Lady Joan Ridley, fit into the equation? Can Wat trust the earl’s steward Ralph or his chaplain Father Anthony?
The Ravens’ Augury is a classic tale of intrigue and plotting at a time in England’s history when the stakes were sky-high and skulduggery the default position in their ruthless pursuit.
About the author…
LJ Shea resides in her native rural Australia with her two sons, where she teaches English and history. She spends her spare time studying history, reading historical fiction, and spoiling her dogs, cats and horses, whom she counts amongst her dearest friends.