My Books

Book details

Publisher: Penguin
Publication date: January 31, 2008
ISBN: 9780141031910

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Company of Liars

1348 Plague has come to England. And the lies you tell will be the death of you.

A scarred trader in holy relics. A conjuror. A musician and his apprentice. A one-armed story teller. A young couple on the run. A midwife. And a rune-reading girl.

A group of misfits band together to escape the plague. But in their midst lurks a curse darker and more malign than the pestilence they flee…

Company of Liars was shortlisted in the US for a Sue Feder Memorial Award for best historical mystery of 2008, one of the Macavity Awards.

How Company of Liars came to be written

In 2002, I was commissioned by the National Rural Touring Company in Britain to travel for three months from Cumbria to Cornwall with a multicultural show which was performed in rural village halls. My role was to write a book about the tour.

We travelled in winter, often becoming lost in the dark country lanes. Many of the places on the tour were ancient medieval villages, and I wondered what it would have been like to earn your living on the road in the Middle Ages, cold, wet and hungry, never knowing what was waiting around the next bend…

Bad enough in normal times, but during the Black Death when any stranger coming to a village might be bringing the plague, travellers who were shunned by the community would find themselves fighting for their very lives. And so the novel Company of Liars was born…