Dr John Dee is astrologer to Queen Elizabeth I and, in most people’s eyes, a conjuror. Not because of his magical ability (as he has none) but because…well, mostly because the general population back then wasn’t exactly known for its reasonability, and seemed to really enjoy watching people get executed (and accusing someone of witchcraft virtually guaranteed getting them killed). Menaced by apparent portents of doom, Queen Liz sends Dr Dee on a secret mission to help protect her – recovering the bones of King Arthur, known to have lain at Avalon but having disappeared following the dissolution of Glastonbury Abbey. He’s accompanied on said mission by her probable lover, Sir Robert Dudley, who’s almost immediately out of action thanks to a bout of illness, leaving Dr Dee alone to rub shoulders with the eccentrics that now people the town that remains. Only to have it turn out that the location of Arthur’s bones isn’t the only secret in town, nor is it the only which people are prepared to kill over.
Normally, The Bones of Avalon is the sort of book that I’d revel in, set as it is in one of my favourite historical periods as well as promising a touch of mysticism and magic. For some reason though, I found myself struggling to get into this, bored by the narrator and mostly spending my time checking how much was left before it would end. I couldn’t say that the writing or the plotting was particularly bad, although the pacing was an issue for me at times, but I can’t say I’ll be bothering with the rest of this series either.