Christmas, 1218: Conisbrough is shrouded in deep snow and a stranger’s body is found frozen to death.
The cryptic letter it carries is from Joanna, an old friend of Edwin Weaver’s, who is in danger and pleading for his help. Edwin and his friend Martin undertake a perilous winter journey to discover that Joanna stands accused of a heinous crime; if convicted, she will be burned at the stake.
A furious Martin is determined to clear Joanna’s name even if it means resorting to violence. Edwin must control him while attempting to solve a puzzle he is only seeing at second hand; he knows nothing of any of the locals and can only work with the conflicting stories they tell him.
Their vicious accusations and unshakeable belief that Joanna is guilty might result in her being killed by gossip, so Edwin must find out what really happened before it is too late.
CB Hanley also writes about medieval history as Catherine Hanley. She’s contributed several Historia features connected to her research:
Matilda: The greatest king England never had
England’s First Great Naval Victory, about the Battle of Sandwich in 1217
The Battle That Saved England, which took place in Lincoln, also in 1217
England’s Forgotten King – he’s not who you might guess
And there’s a Historia interview with Catherine, too