Format Hardcover
Publication Date 04/04/16
ISBN 9781605989815
Trim Size / Pages 9.3 x 6.4 in / 336

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The Butcher Bird

A Somershill Manor Mystery

S. D. Sykes

In the sequel to the critically acclaimed Plague Land, we return to Somershill Manor, where an ominous legend takes hold of hearts and minds as children begin to disappear.

Oswald de Lacy is growing up fast in his new position as Lord of Somershill Manor. However, there is still the same amount of work to be done in the farms and fields, and the few people left to do it think they should be paid more—something the King himself has forbidden. Just as anger begins to spread, the story of the Butcher Bird takes flight. People claim to have witnessed a huge creature in the skies. A new-born baby is found impaled on a thorn bush. And then more children disappear. Convinced the bird is just a superstitious rumor, Oswald must discover what is really happening. He can expect no help from his snobbish mother and his scheming sister Clemence, who is determined to protect her own child, but happy to neglect her step-daughters. From the plague-ruined villages of Kent to the thief-infested streets of London and the luxurious bedchamber of a bewitching lady, Oswald's journey is full of danger, dark intrigue, and shocking revelations.

S. D. Sykes received an MA in Writing from Sheffield Hallam in England. She attended the novel writing course at Curtis Brown, where she was inspired to write Plague Land. She lives in England.

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Endorsements & Reviews

“Sykes offers an unusual perspective on this historical period. She also deals realistically with the troubles of the era’s women.” New York Times Book Review
“Ms. Sykes does a skillful job of making her forward-thinking but all-too-human protagonist both believable and likeable, and in bringing to life an epoch when “science” was often as dangerous as superstition.” The Wall Street Journal
“Sykes can be described as the 'medieval C. J. Sansom.' Off-the-charts imaginative and breathtaking.” New York Times bestselling author Jeffery Deaver
“The second in Sykes’ fine series is a puzzling mystery with a surprise at the end, filled with historical detail and, in Oswald, a slowly growing force to be reckoned with.” Kirkus Reviews
“From his small village in Kent to the seamy underbelly of London, Oswald’s mission to rid his land of the Butcher Bird is enthralling, chilling, and vastly entertaining.” Library Journal (starred review)
“British author Sykes establishes herself firmly as a major talent with this hard-edged sequel to 2015’s Plague Land. Sykes artfully integrates both puzzles with the politics of the time.” Publishers Weekly (starred)