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A country divided. A newly crowned, desperately vulnerable young queen. Can one man uncover the secret that will save her throne? It is 1560, and Elizabeth Tudor has been on the throne for a year. Dr. John Dee, at 32 already acclaimed throughout Europe, is her astrologer and consultant in the hidden arts... a controversial appointment in these days of superstition and religious strife. When dangerous questions of Elizabeth's legitimacy arise, the mild, bookish Dee finds himself summoned before William Cecil, who tasks him with an important mission. Along with Robert Dudley, Dee's daring friend and former student who is also rumored to be the Queen's secret lover, Dee must travel to the famously mystical town of Glastonbury to find the missing bones of King Arthur. Once these long-lost relics, the embodiment of a legacy vitally important to the Tudor line, are ensconced in London, doubts as to the Queen's supremacy as the rightful Tudor heir will be dispelled. But the quest quickly turns deadly—Dee and Dudley arrive in Glastonbury to discover the town mourning the gruesome execution of its abbot, and more death soon follows at the old abbey. Racing to uncover the secrets buried there, Dee finds himself caught in the tangled roots of English magic, unexpected violence, the breathless stirring of first love... and the cold heart of a complex plot against Elizabeth.
Tudor intrigue, murder and the dark arts - the second in an acclaimed historical series starring Dr John Dee All talk is of the End-time... and the dead are rising. At the end of the sunless summer of 1560, black rumour shrouds the death of the one woman who stands between Lord Robert Dudley and marriage to the young Queen Elizabeth. Did Dudley's wife, Amy, die from an accidental fall in a deserted house, or was it murder? Even Dr John Dee, astrologer royal, adviser on the Hidden and one of Dudley's oldest friends, is uncertain. Then a rash promise to the Queen sends him to his family's old home on the Welsh Border in pursuit of the Wigmore Shewstone, a crystal credited with supernatural properties. With Dee goes Robert Dudley, considered the most hated man in England. They travel with a London judge sent to try a sinister Welsh brigand with a legacy dating back to the Battle of Brynglas. After the battle, many of the English bodies were, according to legend, obscenely mutilated. Now, on the same haunted hill, another dead man has been found, similarly slashed. Devious politics, small-town corruption, twisted religion and a brooding superstition leave John Dee isolated in the land of his father.
The story of King Arthur and the quest for the Holy Grail is well known; less so is that of the coming of Christianity to Britain at around the time of the Roman invasion. It is generally assumed that both these legends revolve around town of Glastonbury, yet the paucity of evidence for this assumption has always been troubling to those who like their history to be founded on fact. In this extraordinary book, Adrian Gilbert reveals the location to be not just of the true 'Avalon' or 'Glastonbury' but of many other sites crucial to the Arthurian legend. He shows how the core teachings of Christianity were kept secret by a dynasty of Welsh kings and saints and later (after the Norman invasions) by their surviving descendants. For centuries this remnant of the Brittano-Welsh nobility, still living in 'Avalon', kept alive a hope: they prayed that one day a new Arthur, one with the holy blood of the family of Mary flowing in his veins, would sit once more on the throne of Britain. Extraordinary as it may seem, this hope may soon be realised - for through the late Diana, Princess of Wales, our own Prince William, whose middle name is indeed Arthur, is so descended.
For Bethan, a schoolteacher, the old superstitions woven into the social fabric of her West Wales village are primitive and distasteful, which is why she's pleased to welcome the sophisticated newcomers: London journalist Giles Freeman and his wife Claire. Surely they'll let in some fresh air? But the Freemans are keen to absorb this different culture, a whole new way of life, rejecting the advice of an old colleague who warns them of a hard and bitter land where they've always danced on the edge of the abyss. They soon learn that this community hides an ancient, bloody, and pagan secret - one that will haunt them forever. A PHIL RICKMAN STANDALONE NOVEL
A standalone supernatural thriller from the author of the chilling Merrily Watkins Mysteries Glastonbury, legendary resting place of the Holy Grail, is a mysterious and haunting town. But when plump, dizzy Diane Ffitch returns home, it's with a sense of deep unease - and not only about her aristocratic family's reaction to her broken engagement and her New Age companions. Plans for a new motorway have intensified the old bitterness between the local people and the 'pilgrims', so already the sacred air is soured. And, as the town becomes increasingly split by violence and death, Diane, local bookseller Juanita Carey and the writer Joe Powys must now face up to the worst of all possibilities: the existence of an anti-Grail - the dark chalice. A PHIL RICKMAN STANDALONE NOVEL
December has the shortest days, the darkest nights... In the ruins of a medieval abbey on the Welsh Border, four young musicians start work on an album influenced by the site's bloody history. It's December 1980 - the night John Lennon will be murdered in New York. And there'll be more horror before the sun rises and the session tapes are burned. Or are they? Years later, Moira, Dave, Tom and Simon are persuaded to return to the abbey to complete the recordings they thought had been destroyed. But the old tapes - and all the darkness they contain - have been restored. And it's December again. A PHIL RICKMAN STANDALONE NOVEL
Single mother and Diocesan Exorcist Merrily Watkins must keep the peace in rural Hereford, quelling a modern witch hunt, and a killer with an old tradition to guard... Ancient history, violent deaths, feuds, intrigues and murder. A most original sleuth. - The Times When a pagan couple buy a ruined church on the Welsh Border, there's an extreme reaction from the local fundamentalist priest. Is it a hate campaign or a nightmarish modern witch-hunt? Merrily Watkins is sent in to keep the lid on the cauldron and uncovers the sinister dynamics of the isolated village of Old Hindwell.

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