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The Death of a King

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  179 ratings  ·  18 reviews
The fate of kings is not always glorious....
Indeed, England's Edward II so angered his wife, her lover, and his subjects when he flaunted his male favorites that they revolted, deposed him, and made him prisoner. History records Edward II was eventually murdered most foully in Berkeley Castle and buried most publicly in Gloucester cathedral. But was he? The heir, Edward I
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published January 1st 1986 by St. Martin's Press (first published December 1985)
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3.75  · 
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 ·  179 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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Dawn (& Ron)
A light, quick historical read that introduced me to the prolific P.C. Doherty. I don't know how he does it, but he is able to pack enough history to satisfy the historical fiction buff while making them accessible to those not accustomed to the genre. Don't let the size fool you, it is a light, quick read but not light on historical research, atmosphere and detail.
Bonnie Wilson
Jan 11, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book, even though I found some aspects of the plot improbable. The tale is interesting, it is well written, and the plot moves along at a good pace.

I found it particularly refreshing that the author does not romanticize the era. The ubiquitous filth and unremitting savagery of the time are made plain without any salacious lingering over details - the narrator simply mentions them in passing, as part of the landscape. It is also made plain that while no one was immune, it was the
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A well written and engaging fictional account of the death of King Edward the II of England. Doherty tells the tale through a series of letters written by the clerk Edmund to his friend Richard, a prior at Croyland Abbey. Edmund is hired by King Edward III to investigate his father's murder and uncover the truth. Or least that is how it appears but the task soon becomes more complicated. This was Doherty's first work of fiction. The action moved quickly once the setting and characters were intro ...more
Mar 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was so much better than I expected. I was hesitant to read this book mostly because it's description and cover looked so dates I was certain it would be snoozefest.

I was so wrong. I read the entire book in one sitting and then researched the characters online. Doherty really made an already intriguing subject (the murder of Edward II) even better by presenting it through such a unique lens. Having the murder investigated and then reported on through a series of letters made every discovery
Aug 22, 2010 rated it liked it
A historical quasi mystery set in 12th century England. Using historical information, the author turns the death of King Edward II into a mystery regarding how did he die and what actually happened. In this story, King Edward III commissions an Oxford clerk in 1345 to find out the truth regarding the supposed death of his father, Edward II, at Berkley Castle in 1327. The clerk, Edmund Beche, then embarks on an investigation that takes him around England, France and Italy to discover the truth pu ...more
Oct 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
A clever little mystery that attempts to solve the death of King Edward II in 14th Century England. An easy read, well written by Paul Doherty that moves the reader through a series of letters written by the investigator towards a somewhat devious and surprising ending. Based in large part on historical events, this little piece of historical fiction is extremely entertaining.
Jun 25, 2016 rated it liked it
I didn't like this as much as I hoped to, though the second half of the book was better than the first. I found the writing to be somewhat self-conscious: the language seemed forced, the characters were one dimensional, and the plot plodded (sorry). Still, it was an interesting gloss on the fate of Edward II.
May 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is definitely Historical Fiction. Very interesting. It is the story of the Plantagenets - particularly Edward II, Edward III and Queen Isabella. Edmund Beche is commissioned to find out the truth about the death of Edward II. What he finds may cost him his life.
Nov 18, 2015 rated it liked it
I liked how much I learned from this book, and from looking up the historical facts, on which it's quite firmly based. Of course there is a somewhat fantastical hypothesis set out regarding the topic of the title. The style is somewhat stilted, though, and the characters a little sketchy.
Jun 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, medieval, novels
Paul doherty took an already mysterious situation from history and wrote a whole mystery novel around it. I did only give it 4 stars because it took a bit to get into. once it got moving though I couldn't put it down.
Jun 10, 2013 rated it liked it
You can see the development that led to Hugh Corbett. Some unusual twists and turns.
Mar 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating read. Engrossing. Never saw that ending coming.
Susan Jo Grassi
Feb 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
I love historical mysteries that gives one pause for thought. Could this story really be true?
Victoria Mixon
Oct 06, 2010 rated it did not like it
I couldn't make it through the faux-fourteenth-century language. "I tried to hide my trembling breathlessness."

Yeah. Me too.
Oct 07, 2007 rated it liked it
Read this a while back. All I remember is that I was surprised by how easily I was drawn into the story.
Dec 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
A surprisingly good read.
Elizabeth White
Jun 26, 2013 rated it liked it
It took awhile for me to get into it, but by the end I was liking it a lot. Enjoyed the history aspect.
Anne Tudor
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Sheila Hall
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

He has been published under several pseudonyms: P.C. Doherty, Celia L. Grace, Paul Harding, Ann Dukthas, Vanessa Alexander, Michael Clynes and Anna Apostolou but now writes only under his own name.

Paul Doherty was born in Middlesbrough (North-Eastern England) in 1946. He had