The Wounded Thorn

First in the West Country Mysteries series

Severn House 978 0 7278 8485 5
978 1 8475 1 589 6

Hilary and Veronica make a shocking discovery at the Chalice Well in Glastonbury.
The peace of the ancient pilgrimage site is shattered by the violent events that follow. Does the threat come from the prancing pagan, the burka-clad student or the angry local?

“mysteries which are a little out of the ordinary”
“The style of writing is elegant and convincing.”
“this strong first in a new series.”
“this cleverly crafted mystery thriller.”




Why I Wrote The Wounded Thorn.

I have always been fascinated by sacred sites. There can be few more sacred sites in England than Glastonbury. Legends take it back to the earliest days of Christianity, and Glastonbury Tor was a sacred place before that. The town today is vibrant with celebration of both Christianity and paganism.
   It is magical to sit at the top of the Tor and see the sunset reflected in all the channels of the Somerset Levels. And to walk through the ruined Abbey whose foundation goes back to Saxon times and where King Arthur is reputed to be buried.
It is hard not to be enchanted by the Chalice Gardens, with its red chalybeate spring promising healing.
It seems, perhaps, pernicious to inflict fictional violence on such a well-loved place. But Glastonbury has seen its share of real-life violence. Soldiers of the first Norman abbot killed Saxon monks at the high altar. At the Reformation, the last abbot was hanged on Glastonbury Tor.
We live in a world where the sacred and the sinful are inextricably woven together. The Wounded Thorn reflects something of this reality.


It was only when she allowed her gaze to drop again to the circular enclosure around the well that she saw it. From here, she was behind the well cover, which was thrown back to display its decoration. It was propped against a tall stone shaft.
Between the lid and this pillar was something that she had not seen before. A canvas strap with a buckle. She moved down a few steps to see further. It was attached to a small black knapsack, which had been pushed out of sight into the shadows. She stared at it idly for a moment before a lump rose in her throat, threatening to choke her.
‘Veronica! Get back! Now!’