We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

The Good Death

On sale

5th August 2021

Price: £18.99

Select a format

Selected: Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781473680203

Disclosure: If you buy products using the retailer buttons above, we may earn a commission from the retailers you visit.

‘The series gets better and better . . . a very credible medieval world . . . Oswald is such an appealing character, growing richer and deeper with every book’ – Andrew Taylor, author of Ashes of London

1370. Oswald de Lacy was not always Lord of the Manor, or even meant to be. The third son, he was sent off to become a novice monk. Now, with winter closing in on Somershill, his wife flirting with their houseguest, his sister sniping from the sidelines and his mother still ruling his life even from her deathbed, Oswald is forced to confront the secret that has haunted him ever since those days in the monastery.

1349. Sent to gather herbs in the forest by his tutor, Brother Peter, 18-year-old Oswald encounters a terrified girl, who runs into the swollen river and drowns. In her village, he discovers that she is only one of many poor young women who have disappeared, with no-one in authority caring enough to investigate.

Convinced the girls are dead, Oswald turns to the village women for help in finding the murderer – in particular to the beautiful Maud Woodstock, who provokes feelings in Oswald that no monk should entertain.

Soon, however, another killer stalks the land. Plague has come and the monastery is locked against it. Brother Peter insists that Oswald should forget his quest. But Oswald will not stop until he has discovered the shocking truth, which will echo down the years to a letter, clutched in his dying mother’s hand.


Andrew Taylor
A fascinating glimpse of an almost forgotten period of history
Tracy Borman
Chilling and evocative. This book will have you gripped from the first page to the last
Publisher's Weekly
This outing reinforces her place in the historical mystery genre's top ranks
The Times
The setting is fantastic [...] builds to a satisfyingly twisty climax
Antonia Hodgson
Utterly immersive, utterly gripping historical crime at its very, very best
Andrew Taylor, author of Ashes of London
The series gets better and better. It's building a very credible medieval world view while keeping the reader turning the pages at a gallop. And Oswald is such an appealing character, growing richer and deeper with every book, as the beastliness of his family becomes more and more evident. I loved the concept of a good death, too.
Publishers Weekly
The author's inventiveness and gift for description serves to deepen an already nuanced lead. Sykes solidifies her standing as a preeminent historical whodunit writer
Martine Bailey, author of An Appetite for Violets
S D Sykes' The Good Death is a twisting mystery written with intelligence and a striking mood of poignancy. I turned the final page with deep satisfaction and true admiration
Shots Magazine
Sykes has an easy, engaging writing style producing an entertaining and enthralling read
Tracy Borman
An utterly compelling, darkly atmospheric mystery set against a backdrop of plague, prejudice and passion. I could not put this book down
Catherine Hokin, Historia Magazine
It is a book to get lost in rather than rattle through and it feels like the right book to reflect, without being overwhelmed by that, on our newly limited world. I thoroughly recommend it
Kate Atherton, For Winter Nights blog
The Good Death is beautifully written and immersed in its time . . . I marvel at the way in which the author evokes this feudal age . . . a fabulous historical crime mystery

The Oswald de Lacy Medieval Murders