Cover image for The inquisitor
The inquisitor
Jinks, Catherine.
Personal Author:
First St. Martin's Minotaur edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Minotaur, 2002.

Physical Description:
393 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


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"I hereby record those events which took place in and around the city of Lazet relating to the assassination of our venerable Brother Augustin Duese in the year of the Incarnate Word, 1318."
So writes Brother Bernard, an Inquisitor of Heretical Depravity, following the discovery of his superior's dismembered corpse. At a time when heresy is a heinous offence, routed out with ruthless determination, Brother Bernard is accustomed to dispensing harsh justice. But as he attempts to make sense of this shocking crime, he himself becomes an object of persecution-thanks to his passionate involvement with a mysterious suspect and her beautiful daughter.
Pursued as a heretic, implicated as a murderer, Bernard must now face his accusers. To fail such a task, in fourteenth century France, means certain death.
In the tradition of "The Name of the Rose," Catherine Jinks has crafted a magnificent tale of murder, forbidden lust and betrayal.

Author Notes

Catherine Jinks was born November 17, 1963 in Brisbane, Queensland. She received a degree in medieval history from the University of Sydney in 1986. After college, she worked as a journalist and editor before becoming a full-time writer. She has written more than 30 books for both children and adults including Pagan's Vows, Eye to Eye, Piggy in the Middle, The Reformed Vampire Support Group, and The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group. She is also the author of the Pagan Chronicles and Allie's Ghost Hunters series. She has won numerous awards including the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Award three times, the Victorian Premier's Literary Award, the Aurealis Award for Science Fiction, the Australian Ibby Award, and the Davitt Award for Crime Fiction.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The narrator of this absorbing historical mystery, set in fourteenth-century France, is accustomed to looking for answers. Brother Bernard is an "Inquisitor of Heretical Depravity," responsible for finding and meting out punishment to those who flout the rules of the Catholic Church. When his new supervisor, Father Augustin, is brutally murdered, Bernard is faced with the inquisition of a lifetime. Augustin was investigating allegations that his predecessor had accepted bribes from suspected heretics. Would someone resort to murder to keep these dealings a secret? Moreover, was Augustin as devout as he seemed? Why was he so concerned with the fate of a particular young woman in the neighboring village? As Bernard moves closer to the truth, he is torn between following his heart and carrying out the wishes of the church, which is regarding him with ever-increasing suspicion. Deserving of comparisons to Eco's Name of the Rose, this is a smart page-turner that paints a convincing portrait of the struggle to live in the shadow of an institution corrupted by power. --Carrie Bissey

Publisher's Weekly Review

In her American debut, Australian Jinks provides a fast-moving and entertaining look at medieval France under strict church rule. Writing in the form of an extended confessional, overworked "Inquisitor of Heretical Depravity" Father Bernard Peyre complains that he's kept off balance by the Holy Office, which is continually sending high-ranking clergy to his priory at Lazet to oversee his work rooting out and punishing local heretics. One of these superiors, Father Augustin, is brutally murdered and his corpse dismembered, suggesting fiendish agents at work. Bernard's own investigation uncovers instead a forbidden affair between the victim and the beautiful, wild Johanna de Caussade. In this often satirical tale of corrupt ecclesiastical machinations in the Middle Ages, we encounter sorcerers and necromancers, mostly imagined, and witness an auto-da-f staged by a church tyrant intent on frightening the population and establishing his power. Self-indulgent Bishop Anselm, more interested in horseflesh than piety, has hands so bejeweled that "One must search very hard... to find the episcopal ring to kiss." With Latin prayers and Biblical injunctions aptly placed throughout the story, Bernard becomes a sympathetic and engaging narrator, especially when he too succumbs to the pleasures of the flesh only to be haunted by guilt afterward. A gripping escape sequence concludes this timely expos of church scandals in a bygone era. (Oct. 14) Forecast: The dull, brown cover art doesn't do justice to the lively tale within, but the publisher's efforts to market this as a more accessible Name of the Rose, a resemblance invoked in blurbs from Australian reviews, could pay off in extra sales. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved