The Medieval Murderers

The Medieval Murderers

The original Medieval Murderers: left to right, CJ Sansom, Bernard Knight, Susanna Gregory, Philip Gooden and Michael Jecks; the missing members are Ian Morson, who was sadly abroad at the time of the photograph, and Karen Maitland, the group's newest recruit.

Who are the Medieval Murderers?

The Medieval Murderers are a group of authors available for speaking events. The members are: Bernard Knight, Ian Morson, Michael Jecks, Karen Maitland, Susanna Gregory, Philip Gooden and CJ Sansom, and regularly attend literary events together or in smaller, more manageable groups.

Promising medieval mayhem, murder and magic, the Medieval Murderers are a very popular performance group whose aim is to leave the audience laughing. Sometimes not at the Murderers themselves. With a wealth of anecdotes and jokes about writers, writing, publishers and Merrie, Murderous England, the Medieval Murderers are now one of the top speaking groups of writers in the country.

Medieval Murderers now offer a range of talks, with two to four Murderers speaking together, or can provide a full workshop event to last a whole day for writing groups, creative writing courses and libraries.

to contact Medieval Murderers and find out more.

Michael Jecks adds:

It is many years now since I helped create The Medieval Murderers with Bernard Knight, Ian Morson, Susanna Gregory and Philip Gooden. Initially, it was purely a group who could go out and give talks at festivals and bookshop events up and down the country. We have been lucky enough to be in demand. So far we've travelled all over the place, from Portsmouth and Southampton, over to the wilds of Abergavenny, the flatlands of Norwich, and up to Manchester. Even more lucky, we still all get on very well, and I think that the events we give are mostly popular because of the amount of laughter we force out of even the most unwilling audiences.

You can get a flavour of our conversation from an interview with the Medieval Murderers - or at least, three of us - which was broadcast on Radio 4's Open Book programme on May 21st 2006, when Susanna Gregory, Philip Gooden and I talked to Mariella Frostrup. Listen to the whole programme by following the link from the BBC web page. Or this link should jump directly to our section of the programme, about 18 minutes in.

The Deadliest Sin - the tenth book by the Medieval Murderers

After a while, we decided we'd like to see whether or not we could write a book together.

Now, we knew that if we wrote a series of short stories, no publisher would want it. Anthologies rarely sell that well. And we didn't any of us particularly like the idea, because being novelists, we're all used to being allowed to spread ourselves on the page, and restrictions are hard to live with. So we hit on the idea of a set of five or six novellas, each of them 25,000 words, to build up to a coherent story. We were convinced that there had to be a consistent strand running through all the novellas to justify the book. For our first book we chose the common theme of a cursed relic, a piece of the True Cross which had been cursed when it was stolen from a church, and which has subsequently been passed on through time with disastrous results. This allowed us to write sections of the book for our main characters, all in their own centuries, as the relic passes from one hand to another.

It seems to have worked: the Medieval Murderers are now the authors of ten collaborative novels. Meeting my own deadlines has meant that I had to take a break from some of these, but that made space for new member Karen Maitland. And I have returned to contribute when I can - you'll find me in book ten, The Deadliest Sin.

Books by the Medieval Murderers

Click the cover or the title for more information.

The Tainted Relic Sword of Shame House of Shadows The Lost Prophecies King Arthur's Bones The Deadliest Sin
The Tainted Relic Sword of Shame House of Shadows The Lost Prophecies King Arthur's Bones The Deadliest Sin

"The various excellent crime writers each weave a clever and inventive tale around a central theme"

Good Book Guide

"Cleverly written and exuding an authentic atmosphere... an enchanting blend of medieval mystery and murder"

Renaissance Magazine