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Dark Serpent

(Hugh Corbett #18)

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  392 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Paul Doherty's most popular series character returns. It is the Summer of 1311 and Hugh Corbett is about to take up a life of danger again in the eighteenth novel in his series, DARK SERPENT, the follow up to THE MYSTERIUM. If you love historical mysteries from Robin Hobb, Susanna Gregory, Michael Jecks, Peter Tremayne and Bernard Knight you will love this.

After his recent
Paperback, 379 pages
Published July 17th 2018 by Headline (first published August 25th 2016)
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Average rating 4.32  · 
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Geoff Boxell
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have all of the Hugh Corbett series and I think this is the best yet. I see others have already given details of the plot, so I won't bore you with another synopsis. If you have not read any of Paul Doherty's medieval mysteries I can highly recommend them.
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Fresh off the New Book shelf at the library, who could resist? I have previously proven to myself I do not care for the Hugh Corbett series while enjoying the Brother Athelstan series by this same author far more.
But it had such a nice cover! For whatever reason, I cannot favorably respond to the wooden characters reciting historical events/facts instead of behaving like humans. Each time I try one of these books, same reaction.
Maybe I will remember next time tempted. It's pretty bad when I wan
charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)
Galley provided by publisher

If there's any author I trust to write a historical mystery, it's Paul Doherty. Like the other Hugh Corbett books I've read, this was a well-built, intriguing mystery, that had me gripped from the start to the finish.

Unlike the previous books, this one pits Hugh Corbett against a more powerful foe, the King of France. A French privateer vessel, ostensibly funded by a French duke, but in fact under the command of the King himself, preys on English merchantships attempt
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of Sir Hugh Corbett & Paul Doherty.
Sir Hugh Corbett is back! He has returned to the king’s service, but the king is now Edward II, son of Edward I, ‘Longshanks’. Sir Hugh has reunited with Ranulf and Chanson, his henchmen, and am I ever thrilled! Paul Doherty’s Dark Serpent (Hugh Corbett Mysteries #18) opens with an major incident in The Narrow Sea (English Channel) followed by Sir Hugh having an important discussion with King Edward II and his favorite, Piers (Peter) Gaveston among the tombs in Westminster Abbey. Edward II and h ...more
Susan in NC
Jun 24, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-sure-shelf

I may return to this book at some point, but I enjoy the Brother Athelstan mysteries much more; the last couple Hugh Corbett novels have been DNFs or one star books for me. The writing just seems like a jumbled mess and I can’t quite follow what the mystery is even supposed to be! I read every book in the series for years, but just have not enjoyed the last few books.
In "Dark Serpent" Sir Hugh Corbett returns from retirement to work for Edward II.

I have to say that this book feels like one done for contractual obligation purposes rather than because the author really wanted to write it.

It's flat and dull compared to his most recent Brother Athelstan novel.

Readable, but very formulaic.

It was okay.

Deanne Wildsmith
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have enjoyed all the Hugh Corbett books and this is no exception. Paul Doherty brings the 13th century to life. I hope we do not have to wait too long for the next book in the series.
Bill Hobbs
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One would think that after 17 previous “cases,” Sir Huge Corbett, the Keeper of the Secret Seal for the king, would be ready for retirement. But not so, not if author and creator Paul Doherty has anything to do with it!
Sir Hugh Corbett admits that his appetite for adventure has once again been whetted and that he’s ready for any task! And in "Dark Serpent," he shows us he’s still in fine fettle!
All’s not well in the kingdom (it usually isn’t) and as this is a historical murder mystery, these
Clemens Schoonderwoert
This thrilling book is the 18th volume of the delightful and exciting "Medieval Hugh Corbett" series by Paul Doherty.
From all his other series and stand alone books, this series as well as the Brother Athelstan series are my favourite ones by this wonderful author.
At the beginning of the book you'll find a wonderful character list of people who're all featuring within this gripping tale as well
as a short historical note, while at the end you'll find a very well described author's note.
Rev. M. M. Walters
Paul Doherty is one of my favourite authors. It's been a while since I've read one of his Hugh Corbett mysteries, but I think I've read and enjoyed them all so far. This one took me a bit longer to read than I was expecting and it seemed that there was a need for more explanation at the end of the book than I remember in the others. Perhaps it was because there were too many threads to unravel. There is the murders of the former Templar knights hiding in the local leprosarium; the depredations o ...more
Andrew Doohan
Dec 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another tour de force from Paul Doherty in the continuing adventures of Hugh Corbett, Keeper of the Secret Seal, clerk to the King of England. The story has our eponymous hero drawn back into service to the new King of England, Edward II, and back into the City of London where intrigue, mystery and murder abound.

Accompanied by his always present companions, Ranulf and Chanson, Corbett has been tasked to uncover the political intrigue of King Philip of France has in store for England, and the con
Sarah Hearn
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I think I missed something in Sir Hugh Corbett’s life because I hadn’t know he’d retired. But here he is, back in the saddle with Ranulph-atte-Newgate and Chanson at his side to solve the mystery of how English ships are being consistently attacked and sunk by a French cog, The Black Hogge. In the meanwhile, he is also drawn into the mystery of why and how a few old Templar knights, living for safety at the lazar hospital, are being murdered with their swords and daggers right next to them.

Jo Hurst
This was my library’s book club choice this month and I wish I could actually give 3.5 stars because this is worth more than 3 but it is not a 4. Firstly there is very little wrong with this book but it is not overly gripping either. I am not a huge fan of historical fiction although am happy to revise this if done well. Doherty clearly knows his stuff and the descriptions were vivid and made the book come alive. However I felt Sir Hugh repeated himself too much with the constant recapping and I ...more
Robert Olson
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another good yarn

Paul Doherty weaves another intricate tale of intrigue, revenge and ruthless murder. Set once again in the time of Edward II, he uses a full cast of Templars, lepers, taverners, privateers, monks, beggars, Welsh archers, and prostitutes to bring alive the sights,sounds, and smells of 12th century England. His stories are rich in historical detail, and is not afraid to integrate historical events, giving them context, and some times an alternative twist. His stories are layered,
Sue Law
A bit slow and unsteady to start with, but a good second half.
A templar taking refuge in a lazar hospital is stabbed, and Edward II calls Hugh Corbett out of retirement because the dagger used is from the unrecovered part of the Royal treasure stolen years ago. What is the relationship, if any, between the templar and the robbers. Is it part of a plan by French envoy de Craon to entrap the young English monarch?
Page Greer
Dec 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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Hugh W Allen
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great tale

Excellent portrayal of times of olde and the wickedness that went on every day. Always look forward to reading on of Corbett mysteries. Although the author will need to find a new hero soon
J Pryor
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

A quick gallop through the trials and tribulations of a King's man in the reign of Edward the 2nd with a flock of mysteries ,murders, and intrigue
Rose Lambert
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic read

As usual the author did again weave a stir with so many twists and turns keeping one's interest till the end. Great book!
Zoe Radley
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow wow wow this gripped me from beginning to end an absolute masterpiece of mysteries and puzzles murder and plotting to fill hell itself. Love love love it 😍.
S Richardson
Jul 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I have just read this again. This is one of the better ones, it has story and pace and never runs on too long. Most satisfactory.
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting read, and part of this entertaining series. The historical setting is accurate, and the characters well rounded. I enjoyed it and will read more tales of Hugh Corbett.
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this historical mystery. I always have enjoy PD's writing. Another fantastic job but this one is a bit more difficult to follow. Can't wait to read the next one!
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well done. One of the best in this series.
ELzabeth Livingstone

Not sure how to congratulate the author, the twists and turns keep me engrossed. Still cannot guess the finale. Onto the next adventure.
Damien G
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have liked the Hugh Corbett since the start and it was a pleasant surprise to find this book in my library. Hugh has come out retirement and has to solve how and why Ex Templars have been murdered. This is a well written mystery and I was engrossed and found it difficult to put down.
Anne Szlachcic
Sep 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another cleverly written book in the Hugh Corbet series .
This author manages to bring the sights, smells and people in this era to life ,
I could almost feel as though I was present looking through his eyes .

The story starts with Hugh being brought out of retirement by King Edward II , to
investigate a number of murders , one of which was Ralph Grandison who was found with a dagger
, previously stolen from the Crown, in his heart.
From the start Hugh finds that there are several strands to his inves
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I read some of these books when they were first published and loved them but somehow lost track of them. It is therefore a great pleasure to read the previous ones again and continue right on up to date.
would love to read this 18th in the Hugh Corbett series but so far it's a UK publication. I probably need to catch up on a few of the past books. I read the earlier ones as they came. What a great character in a fine historical series.
Puzzle Doctor
Aug 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A triumphant return for Sir Hugh Corbett - a cracking mystery. Full review at
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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

Other books in the series

Hugh Corbett (1 - 10 of 21 books)
  • Satan in St Mary's (Hugh Corbett, #1)
  • The Crown in Darkness (Hugh Corbett, #2)
  • Spy in Chancery (Hugh Corbett, #3)
  • The Angel of Death (Hugh Corbett, #4)
  • The Prince of Darkness (Hugh Corbett, #5)
  • Murder Wears a Cowl (Hugh Corbett, #6)
  • The Assassin in the Greenwood (Hugh Corbett, #7)
  • The Song of a Dark Angel (Hugh Corbett, #8)
  • Satan's Fire (Hugh Corbett, #9)
  • The Devil's Hunt (Hugh Corbett, #10)

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