published in the U.K. as Off with His Head
A ritual dance becomes a murderous mambo...
At the winter solstice, South Mardian's swordsmen weave their blades in an ancient ritual dance. But for one of them, the excitement proves too heady, and his decapitiation turns the fertility rite into a pageant of death. Now Inspector Roderick Alleyn must penetrate not only the mysteries of folklore, but the secrets and sins of an eccentric group who include a surly blacksmith, a domineering dowager, and a not-so-simple village idiot.
Original title: Death of a Fool
Genre: Fiction→ Crime and Mystery→ Detective Story and Detectives