Domesday Books

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“Domesday Series” by Edward Marston is a series of novels featuring lawyer Gervase Bret and soldier Ralph Delchard who are amateur detectives working in 11th century England. The first novel of the Domesday series of novels was “The Wolves of Savernake” that was first published in 1993 and went on to spawn ten more titles culminating in “The Elephants of Norwich”, the tenth novel published in the year 2000.

Order of Domesday Series

1The Wolves of Savernake1993Description / Buy
2The Ravens of Blackwater1994Description / Buy
3The Dragons of Archenfield1995Description / Buy
4The Lions of the North1996Description / Buy
5The Serpents Of Harbledown1996Description / Buy
6The Stallions of Woodstock1997Description / Buy
7The Hawks of Delamere1998Description / Buy
8The Wildcats of Exeter1998Description / Buy
9The Foxes of Warwick1999Description / Buy
10The Owls of Gloucester2000Description / Buy
11The Elephants of Norwich2000Description / Buy
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Gervase Bret and Ralph Delchard are two subjects of William the Conqueror otherwise known as William I of England who have been charged with looking into discrepancies found in the Domesday Book compilation. They combine their legal and soldiery skills to investigate legal and criminal questions involving the Kings subjects.

The first novel of the “Domesday” series is set in 1086 where William the Conqueror has decided to map the people of England and the resources of the country through a census. The royal agents are welcomed in some quarters and hated in others, even as they always portent excitement wherever they go. The Kings men face one of their hardest quandaries in Bedwyn when they learn of a wealthy miller that had been killed by a wolf in Savernake Forest.

What follows is an investigation into questionable land claims and the circumstances of the miller’s death. Gervase Bret and Ralph Delchard believe that the well-fed monks of the town could have had a hand in how the man died. Other angles could involve betrayal by his beautiful wife, and mythical hound of heaven or the Savernake wolf that may just be the town witch. It is a great historical novel that showcases Marston’s skills as one of the best historical mystery writers.


The Stallions of Woodstock: The sixth novel of the series is undoubtedly one of the best novels of the Domesday series of novels. Gervase Bret and Ralph Delchard have gone to Oxford where they hope to resolve a complicated land dispute. But upon arriving in Oxford a mysterious death of a prominent villager changes their whole assignment.

It was a bizarre death as the man is stabbed while riding hard on the way to winning a high stakes horse race. Thrown from his horse the man falls to his death from his injuries. There are a lot of people that would be advantaged from the death and Gervase and Ralph now need to investigate the truth behind the mysterious death in a town that will not give up its secrets that easily.

The Owls of Gloucester: The 10th novel of the Domesday series is definitely one of its most popular. Gloucester Abbey is shocked when one of its resident monks goes missing only to be found dead in the Bell Tower. Brother Nicholas had his throat slit and the discovery has everyone in the Abbey shaking in their boots. The Abbot does not have the resources or investigative capacity to find out who could be responsible.

Gervase and Ralph commissioners of Domesday who had been sent to settle a land dispute take over the case and soon find out that there are dark forces in the town threatening the entire community. They need to track it down and eliminate it before it does any more damage.

The Wildcats of Exeter: Another excellent novel of the series is the eighth novel. Nicholas Picard is allegedly attacked by a wild cat while riding home on a tranquil Devonshire evening. But a closer look at the body and it is clear that his throat had been slit, which means that somebody was responsible for his death.

Gervase and Ralph who had been sent to resolve a land dispute in town find themselves in a difficult situation as Picard had been a vocal protagonist in the dispute. The conflict is now between the deed holder, his mother, his mistress and his widow all of whom could have had a reason to kill Picard.


Many fans of the Domesday novels also like the “Sir Richard Straccan” series of novels by Sylvian Hamilton. The novels are historical thrillers following the adventures of Sir Richard Straccan, a dealer in relics and ex-Crusader who often finds himself in perilous situations with Kings, monks, mountebanks, and witches.

Domesday series fans also love the “Kathryn Swinbrooke” Series by Celia L. Grace. Swinbrooke is a pharmacist and physician who also works as an amateur sleuth in fifteenth century England.

What Is The Next Book in The Domesday Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Domesday Series. The newest book is The Elephants of Norwich and was released on December, 7th 2000.

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