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All of Simon Beaufort’s Books in Order!
Who is Simon Beaufort?
Simon Beaufort is the joint pen name of married couple Susanna Gregory and Beau Riffenburgh.
Susanna Gregory is also a pseudonym for Elizabeth Cruwys, who was for a short time a police officer in Yorkshire before earning her PhD at the University of Cambridge and becoming a Research Fellow at the Scott Polar Research Institute. She is the author of several medieval mysteries and murder mysteries set in Restoration London.
Beau Riffenburgh is a historian specializing in polar exploration, but he is also an American football coach and author of books on football history. He first earned a degree in psychology and a Master’s in journalism, before entering the world of professional sports (he contributed or wrote several books on the subject).
In the late 1980s, Beau moved to England, where he earned a PhD at the University of Cambridge’s Scott Polar Research Institute. He served as the editor of Polar Record and has written or edited numerous books on polar exploration. At Cambridge, he put his expertise in American football to use as the head coach of Cambridge’s team in the British Collegiate American Football League.
Together they wrote the Geoffrey Mappestone novels, the Alec Lonsdale Victorian mystery series, and other mystery books.
How to read Simon Beaufort’s Books in Order?
The Sir Geoffrey Mappestone series
- Murder in the Holy City (1998) — Jerusalem, 1100. On returning to the city following an exhausting desert patrol, Crusader knight Sir Geoffrey Mappestone hears screams coming from the house of a Greek baker and discovers that one of his closest friends, a fellow knight, has been murdered in the woman’s bedchamber. But this is not the first suspicious death in the city: other knights and priests have also been killed, all with the same type of curved dagger with a jewelled hilt. Ordered to investigate the deaths by his liege lord, Prince Tancred, it is not long before Sir Geoffrey finds himself drawn into dire straits involving some of the most dangerous men in the city–and learns that his closest friends could also be his deadliest enemies.
- A Head for Poisoning (1999) — In the year 1101, Sir Geoffrey Mappestone returns to his home at Goodrich Castle on the Welsh border. He is travelling in the company of a knight who claims to be carrying an urgent message for King Henry I. When the knight is killed during an ambush, Geoffrey feels obliged to deliver the message to the King himself, but quickly regrets his decision when the King orders him to spy on his own family in order to ferret out a dangerous traitor.
- The Bishop’s Brood (2003) — Sir Geoffrey Mappestone and his loyal friend Roger seek passage on one of the many ships due to sail to Normandy and then on to the Holy Land. The two knights have been away from the Crusade too long, and are itching to get back to the action. But peculiar things have been happening in the harbour town, and it soon becomes evident that someone is trying to keep Geoffrey and Roger from boarding one of the ships. When Geoffrey’s dim-witted servant is killed by a deadly arrow that was clearly meant for the knight himself, Sir Geoffrey’s fury is such that he would do anything to find the murderer.
- The King’s Spies (2003) — March 1102. Robert de Belleme, the Black Earl of Shrewsbury, is summoned to appear before King Henry’s Easter Court, to answer for siding with the King’s older brother, the Duke of Normandy. Meanwhile, Crusader Knights Sir Geoffrey Mappestone and the hearty Sir Roger of Durham witness a man murdered by hanging from the window of the Crusader’s Arms Inn. But this is not just any man, he is the illegitimate nephew of Robert de Belleme, and had apparently been holding a meeting with two mysterious men. In fact, it turns out the inn has been used for many meetings of the earl’s spies, and there are plans afoot to obtain a terrible weapon to use against the King, one that the Crusader Knights remember with a terrible fear from the Siege of Jerusalem Greek Fire. Solving the murder is only the first step in uncovering the plot against the King.
- The Coiners’ Quarrel (2004) — Once again about to depart for the Holy Land, Sir Geoffrey is furious to be summoned back by the King, trusting neither his methods of persuasion nor his motives. When he arrives at Court he finds two argumentative groups of Saxon moneyers, one accusing the other of devaluing the King’s currency. There may be more to it than mere greed, however, and, unappealing though the prospect is, Geoffrey has no choice but to accept the King’s commission to investigate whether this is part of a treasonous plot – especially as it is his only hope of saving his sister from the consequences of her own involvement.
- Deadly Inheritance (2009) — When Sir Geoffrey’s unpopular brother, Henry, is murdered, he unwillingly inherits Goodrich Castle in the Welsh Marches. Immediately, his sister pushes him towards a marriage that will provide an heir and stability for the family. But when Geoffrey survives attempts on his own life, he wonders whether they are linked to Henry’s death, to his potential brides, or even to the rumoured murder of the Duchess of Normandy, as a Welsh revolt against the English looms.
- The Bloodstained Throne (2010) — The new ‘Sir Geoffrey Mappestone’ mystery – When the former crusader knight Geoffrey Mappestone and his friend Roger of Durham try to slip out of England to the Holy Land, a ferocious storm destroys the ship they are on and casts them ashore. The two knights are unwillingly thrust into the company of other shipwrecked passengers, and while attempting to evade the unwelcome attention of the more dangerous members of the group, they become unwillingly drawn into a plot to overthrow the king and return England to Saxon rule.
- A Dead Man’s Secret (2011) — When the former crusader knight Geoffrey Mappestone is ordered by King Henry to deliver a series of mysterious letters to the restless western reaches of Wales, he agrees only reluctantly. His conviction that the simple mission hides something more sinister is strengthened when the letters’ scribe is murdered before the journey begins. Then one of Geoffrey’s travelling companions is killed, and he knows he must uncover the secret behind the letters before more victims are claimed.
The Alec Lonsdale Victorian mystery series
- Mind of A Killer (2017) — London, 1882. Alec Lonsdale, a young reporter on the Pall Mall Gazette, is working on a story about a fatal house fire. But the post-mortem on the victim produces shocking results: Patrick Donovan’s death was no accident. But why would someone murder a humble shop assistant and steal part of his brain? When a second body is discovered, its throat cut, and then a third, Lonsdale and his spirited female colleague, Hulda Friederichs, begin to uncover evidence of a conspiracy that reaches to the highest echelons of Victorian society.
- The Watchers of the Dead (2019) — December 1882. Attending the opening of the new Natural History Museum, reporter Alec Lonsdale and his colleague Hulda Friederichs are shocked to discover a body in the basement, hacked to death. Suspicion falls on three cannibals, brought from the Congo as museum exhibits, who have disappeared. But Alec discovers that three other men have been similarly murdered, and when he and Hulda discover a letter in the victim’s home warning of a catastrophic event planned for Christmas Eve, they find themselves in a race against time. Who are ‘The Watchers’, and can the duo stop them before they strike again?
Other mysteries by Simon Beaufort
- The Nimrod Murders (2011) — On 30 July 1907, members of the British Antarctic Expedition, led by Ernest Shackleton, sailed down the Thames on the tiny, refurbished sealer Nimrod. In the worldwide fame and glory that followed the return of Shackleton s party to civilization, little was ever said about a dark incident that almost halted the expedition before it ever sailed from London s East India Docks. On the eve of the departure of the Nimrod to the Antarctic, the body of the assistant biologist was found in the East India Docks. Without a doubt, he had been murdered. Raymond Priestly, just short of his 21st birthday, had been appointed expedition geologist and was one of the first on the scene and it fell to him to undertake an investigation, along with Inspector William Taylor, an old school friend of Shackleton s, into the events surrounding this dark deed. He had no knowledge of the danger into which he would soon be plunged.
- The Murder House (2013) — When PC Helen Anderson takes the files for a forthcoming court case to study over the weekend, she commits a cardinal error. For those files are not supposed to leave the police station – and the moment they fall into the wrong hands, Helen’s ordinary, uneventful life begins to spiral out of control. For one small lie will lead to another, then another – culminating in a rendezvous in an ordinary suburban house in an ordinary Bristol street … the scene of a gruesome and extraordinary murder.
- The Killing Ship (2016) — Having spent the summer conducting fieldwork on stark Livingston Island, marine biologist Andrew Berrister is looking forward to returning to civilization. But his final days in Antarctica take an unexpected turn when it becomes clear that he and his small group of scientists are not alone on the island. Deducing that the intruders are a crew of illegal whalers, the scientists face an increasingly desperate struggle for survival when two members of their shore party disappear and their supplies are deliberately sabotaged. As Berrister and his remaining companions flee across the treacherous, icy terrain, they are pursued unrelentingly by ruthless killers whose true reasons for being in the Antarctic are darker and more dangerous than the scientists could ever have imagined.
If you like Simon Beaufort’s books, you may also want to read the Kingsbridge series by Ken Follett, or The Grail Quest novels by Bernard Cornwell. Don’t hesitate to follow us on Twitter or Facebook to discover more book series.