Perfect for fans of Charles Todd and Susanna Calkins, comes Nancy Herriman’s second bewitching tale of herbalist Bess Ellyott who uncovers the sinister underbelly of Elizabethan England.
The dark shadows of Elizabethan England envelop a bucolic village when a brutal murder reveals a viper’s nest of resentment, fear—and the haunting specter of black magic.
Autumn has fallen on Wiltshire, but as the air grows crisp and the trees turn a resplendent gold, a sinister presence arrives in the form of a horrifying murder. Bartholomew Reade, a player in a traveling troupe, has been found stabbed, sprawled on a low mound outside the village, a reed pen jabbed into his throat.
On the night of the murder, a bleeding woman collapses at the doorstep of herbalist Bess Ellyott desperately seeking help. Could she have a connection to the dead man? As Bess seeks answers, Constable Kit Harwoode is busy assembling his own lengthy list of suspects. Reade had many enemies, including the leader of the troupe, who resented his ambitions as a playwright, and his fellow players, who bristled at his arrogance—just to name a few.
As if the case weren’t thorny enough, the hill where the dead man was found is reputed to have once been the site of a Druid temple. And recent reports of diseased sheep and sick children, supposedly the work of a witch, have the townspeople terrified. As the shadows lengthen, Bess races to discover the truth before darkness descends in A Fall of Shadows.
About the Author
Nancy Herriman retired from an engineering career to take up the pen. She hasn’t looked back. Her work has won the RWA Daphne du Maurier award. When not writing, she enjoys singing, gabbing about writing, and eating dark chocolate. She currently lives in Central Ohio. This is her second Bess Ellyott mystery.
Praise for A Fall of Shadows:
"In it’s skillful storytelling—planting clues, introducing multiple suspects, executing sharp twists, and generating a sense of true menace—this novel takes its place as a standout historical mystery."
"With richly detailed settings and quickly moving dialogue…The second in the Bess Ellyott series mixes suspected witchcraft, actors, intrigue, and gossip aplenty in an involving historical mystery that reads like a Shakespearean comedy of errors. Perfect for fans of Elizabeth Peters and Amanda Quick."
Praise for Searcher of the Dead:
"Solid…Readers who relish details of daily life in a Tudor town and dialogue littered with "zounds" and "good morrow" will enjoy this story most; romance fans will savor the budding attraction between Bess and Kit. Herriman is off to a promising start with this Tudor historical."
"To my delight, on top of an intriguing mystery, the historical depth and the well-developed characters make this an extremely satisfying read…Fans of Ariana Franklin will devour this book! I eagerly await more Bess Ellyott mysteries. Highly recommended!"
—Historical Novels Review, Editor’s Choice
"Wonderfully atmospheric. Herriman transports us to Tudor England with the skill of a master. Historical mystery fans will rejoice!"
—Tasha Alexander, New York Times bestselling author of Death in St. Petersburg
"So rich in period detail you can almost smell the wormwood…A treat for fans of all things Tudor. This is the book Agatha Christie would have written if she had worn a farthingale."
—Deanna Raybourn, New York Times bestselling author of the Veronica Speedwell mysteries
"Nancy Herriman vividly recreates Elizabethan England in the first book of her new series. You’ll love her heroine."
—Victoria Thompson, national bestselling author of Murder in the Bowery
"An atmospheric and haunting mystery…Compelling…I couldn’t stop reading."
—Shelley Freydont, bestselling author of the Newport Gilded Age mysteries
"The colorful and exciting Elizabethan era seen in all its drama and treachery, with a delightful sleuth! A real treat for anyone who loves historical mysteries."
—Amanda Carmack, award-winning author of the Elizabethan mysteries
"Nancy Herriman’s vivid tale sets us smack in the middle of the period amid all its grandeur and grit…Exciting…Bess Ellyot is an intrepid sleuth and I’m looking forward to reading more (all) of this series!"
—Alyssa Maxwell, author of the Gilded Newport mysteries
"Well researched…The astonishing climax is a resourceful use of a little-known sixteenth century law."
—Fiona Buckley, author of the Ursula Blanchard Elizabethan mysteries