Val Gyrth, son of a nobleman, is down on his luck when he is rather mysteriously invited to meet Albert Campion, escaping abduction on the way. Campion reveals a plan to steal the chalice from Val’s ancestral home and proposes that they both go down there, Val to make peace with his father and Campion to prevent the theft, ultimately by killing the thief.

Soon after they arrive, Val’s slightly batty aunt is found dead in the woods and the chalice stolen. With the help of some gypsies camped nearby, Campion recovers the chalice (which is a fake) and just prevents the real one from being stolen.

What makes this book so readable is the unexpectedness of most things; even when you think you now know everything there is to know, there’s another surprise around the corner.

Tim Golden is a computer programmer in London.  He is also the editor of the Good-to-Read website.