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Canticle Liz McSkeane


ISBN: 978-0-9957916-3-3

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Canticle is a historical detective novel that delves into a 400-year-old tale of power struggles, political manoeuvring and misinformation. Fray Martín de Sepúlveda, Dominican friar and former professor at the University of Salamanca, is living in obscurity after a scandal that cost him his job. Three years later, he is summoned to Madrid where he receives a secret commission: to investigate the life and work of the long-dead Fray Juan de la Cruz, and to find the manuscript of his most famous poem, the Spiritual Canticle (Cántico Espiritual). As Fray Martín grapples with his investigation and the attentions of the Inquisition, he becomes embroiled in a quest to separate fact from fiction, reality from propaganda.

“A formidable feat of imagination underpins this marvellous detective novel set in late 16th/early 17th century Spain...Canticle is a tale for our time, rife with insitutionalised power struggles, truth and misinformation, manipulated in the interests of the elite – same as it always was and is.” 

Anthony Glavin, The Independent

Cover image by Jordi Forniés




Editor’s Pick, Historical Novel Review, February 2019

historical detective novel“…stunning! The characters, every one of them, have depth and life. The scenery and descriptions jump off the page and create a synthesis of Renaissance life that is so vivid that coming back to 21st-century life is jarring. The central theme of what truth is, both in politics and within the Church, remains so relevant today that this is a difficult novel to put down…The complexity of the politics involved, the careful layering of the plot and the unfolding events, make this a novel that you will want to savor Very highly recommended. ” Kristen McQuinn for the Historical Novel Society, Historical Novel Review Issue 87

Additional information

Weight 411 g
Dimensions 27.0 × 20.0 × 2.5 cm


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