Death of a Fool (Kobo eBook)

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The village of South Mardian likes the old ways. The very old ways. This may be 1957, but South M. still features a blacksmith, a village idiot, and an elaborate fertility ritual performed at the winter solstice. There’s squabbling, of course, and things come to a head (nyuck, nyuck, nyuck) when one of the ritual’s main players is found be-headed, everything north of his neck having been neatly lopped off by a ritual sword. Alleyn does have to contain a certain incredulous amusement at South M.’s fetishistic embrace of the 18th century – he does not, for example, have what one might call a real passion for morris dancing – but he contains the giggles long enough to name the baddie and return all to the warm embrace of pre-Industrial Britain.