© 2006 Godsend Publications Limited


Novels set in the Holy Land during the time of Christ are nothing new: Ben Hur, Quo Vadis, The Robe – all subsequently made into Hollywood Blockbusters and still receiving regular airings on TV. What’s different about The Herodian Stones, the first novel by Gaynor Lynn Taylor (and member of St Thomas’ Brampton!) is the idea of a detective story set against the New Testament backdrop of Christ’s death and resurrection. The sleuth and hero of the tale is one Commander Marc Tiro, a high ranking Roman called in to investigate the disappearance of some priceless jewellery once owned by Cleopatra. The unique stones should be held alongside Emperor Tiberius’s other treasures in the securely guarded vaults of Herodium, but much to the embarrassment of Pontius Pilate, when they are needed to fund some building works, the Herodian Stones have gone. As Marc Tiro embarks upon his investigation we encounter brutal assassinations, decayed corpses, an ancient map with coded clues, dreadful family secrets and a strange religious sect. Interwoven into the tale are familiar names from the New Testament brought to life – Pilate, Mary Magdelene, Lydia, even a brief encounter with a pre-conversion Saul, the tentmaker. It’s clear that the author has meticulously researched the geography and history of the era, so as well as being educational, it all makes for a cracking good read. And who knows… is Russell Crowe available?

Peter Cooney

One great strength of the book is the plot construction. I found myself gripped, wanting to read on to discover what happens - there is a genuine sense of intrigue, with cliff-hangers at all the right places.

John Grayston
Director of Theology

Scripture Union



Jackie Stead, Editor, WomanAlive