Doctor writes about medieval murder

ANOTHER chapter in the debate about Robin Hood's true stomping ground has been opened thanks to the penmanship of a Sandal doctor.

Keith Souter, who has written seven novels under the name of Keith Moray, has delved into historical Wakefield for his latest offering, The Pardoner’s Crime.

Set in medieval Wakefield and Sandal Castle, the text reclaims Robin Hood as a Wakefield character.

The Wakefield wordsmith said: “I live within arrow shot of Sandal Castle so it seemed particularly fitting for the location.

“I had the idea to write a historical novel in the back of my mind for some time, but did not know whether I could write about history believably.”

But after winning a prize for a short historical story in 2006, Dr Souter was confident enough to put pen to paper.

He said: “I won the Fish One-Page History Prize for A Villain’s Tale, which stimulated me to write The Pardoner’s Crime.”

The novel, which is the first to be published under the author’s real name, follows Sir Richard Lee, sergeant-at-law, who is sent to Sandal Castle in 1322 by King Edward II.

Within hours of arriving, Sir Richard and his assistant are forced to investigate a rape and a cold-blooded murder.

Many readers will recall Dr Souter’s previous crime novels featuring Inspector McKinnon.

He added: “Last September I was interviewed on Legal TV’s Crime Writers slot as a professional crime writer.

“I have just finished the first draft of the third instalment in the contemporary crime series, entitled Murder Solstice.”

Local bookwor-ms and history buffs ali-ke are being offered an exclusive ins-ight into The Pardoner’s Crime when Dr Souter gives a reading at 2pm on Thursday, January 24 at Sandal Library.

He will be reading extracts from his latest novel, which promises to be the first in a trilogy of Wakefield and Sandal Castle-based novels, as well as extracts from previous books.