(Review) The Canterbury Murders: A Stanton and Barling Mystery, Book 3 by E. M. Powell

Publisher and Publication Date: Crosshaven Press. November 12, 2020.
Genre: Historical fiction.
Pages: 318.
Format: Paperback.
Source: I received a complimentary paperback copy from Crosshaven Press. I am not required to write a positive review.
Audience: Readers of the Middle Ages in England. Readers who love murder mysteries.
Rating: Very good to good.

To read information about the history of the 12th Century in England: The History of England.

From The Guardian, a display at the British Museum.

Landing page for the book tour: The Canterbury Murders.

Link at Amazon .
If you are in the program, the Kindle Unlimited is free.

Link at Audible.

About the Author:

E.M. Powell’s historical thriller and medieval mystery Fifth Knight and Stanton & Barling novels have been #1 Amazon and Bild bestsellers.

The third Stanton & Barling mystery, THE CANTERBURY MURDERS, will be released in November 2020.

Born and raised in the Republic of Ireland into the family of Michael Collins (the legendary revolutionary and founder of the Irish Free State), she lives in northwest England with her husband, daughter and a Facebook-friendly dog.

E.M. Powell is represented by Josh Getzler at HG Literary.

Find out more by visiting www.empowell.com. You can also find him on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.


A fire-ravaged cathedral. An ungodly murder.

Easter, 1177. Canterbury Cathedral, home to the tomb of martyr Saint Thomas Becket, bears the wounds of a terrible fire. Benedict, prior of the great church, leads its rebuilding. But horror interrupts the work. One of the stonemasons is found viciously murdered, the dead man’s face disfigured by a shocking wound.

When King’s clerk Aelred Barling and his assistant, Hugo Stanton, arrive on pilgrimage to the tomb, the prior orders them to investigate the unholy crime.

But the killer soon claims another victim–and another. As turmoil embroils the congregation, the pair of sleuths face urgent pressure to find a connection between the killings.

With panic on the rise, can Barling and Stanton catch the culprit before evil prevails again—and stop it before it comes for them?

THE CANTERBURY MURDERS is the third book in E.M. Powell’s Stanton and Barling medieval murder mystery series. Combining intricate plots, shocking twists and a winning–if unlikely–pair of investigators, this series is perfect for fans of Ellis Peters’ Brother Cadfael or C. J. Sansom’s Shardlake.

My Thoughts:

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket, was murdered at the altar of Canterbury Cathedral on 29 December 1170. He was slain by four knights who had heard Henry II state, “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest.” Saint Becket was considered a martyr and canonized in 1173. The tomb where Saint Becket was buried became a shrine. Pilgrims visited the burial site. Relics were removed and taken.

In The Canterbury Murders, the Canterbury Cathedral where Saint Becket was murdered and lay entombed is the setting for another gruesome murder in 1177. A stonemason who had been working on the fire ruined cathedral lay slain. The stonemason has a pregnant wife who also works on the cathedral mixing mortar.

Aelred Barling, the king’s clerk and his assistant, Hugo Stanton, had worked on another murder case together at Yorkshire. The two men usually spend their days reading legal paperwork and delivering documents. The two men go on pilgrimage to Saint Becket’s tomb, and they work together to solve the new murder case.

All of I have mentioned in the above paragraphs under My Thoughts is the first reasons why I enjoyed this story. The time period, setting, historical background, Barling and Stanton, and the murder to solve. However, the middle of the story seemed to trudge along for a while. The ending held surprises and my interest.

The Canterbury Murders is a story that piqued my interest to read about Thomas Becket and 12th century England. I am a fan of books on the Middle Ages. I’ve read several books both fiction and nonfiction in this time period. I have not read a book about Thomas Becket.

This book is number three in the series, but it’s a solid stand-alone story.

I love the background stories in the book. For example, Stanton’s romantic entanglement with an infamous woman.

Themes in the story: betrayal, death, courage, revenge, love, murder, abuse, and the occult.


Enter to win a paperback copy of The Canterbury Murders by E.M. Powell! Two copies are up for grabs!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on February 5th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Direct link to the giveaway.


One thought on “(Review) The Canterbury Murders: A Stanton and Barling Mystery, Book 3 by E. M. Powell

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