An excellent entry into this series, which is easily one of the top historical ecclesiastical series around. Intelligent, well plotted, beautifully researched and presented, always with an interesting cast of characters and a new facet of the times presented. Sister Frevisse and the prioress travel to conduct priory business only to arrive at St. Mary's nunnery in time to discover a much disliked local bureaucrat has been murdered and no one, including his wife and his clerk, seems particularly upset by his demise.
I really liked Dame Frevisse, with her sharp observations and very human failings. And I liked the author's careful descriptions of medieval life and society; the details about clothing and food were fascinating. The plot, however, was murky at times, with so many characters coming and going, and so many false leads, that it was often impossible to follow. Based on the strength of the main characters, I'll try another title in the series, and hope for a stronger story line.
This book was VERY good! A hated character is murdered and we meet the twist and turns of this case eagerly!
This is the second of the Sister Frevisse medieval mysteries that I've
read, but it is actually the eleventh in the series. Conveniently, the
murder victim in this installment was the 'bad guy' in the first book,
the crowner Montfort, so I felt up-to-date with the goings-on. In this
case, Monfort had been assigned to deal with an inheritance dispute,
which he was dealing with when he is found dead in a convent garden.
As he was never a sympathetic character, there is no shortage of
people who disliked him. Frevisse herself did not like the man - but
she finds it her duty to discover who might have been responsible for
his murder. In her investigations, she finds an ally in Montfort's
clerk, a likable man whose future is now uncertain.
As in the first volume, I found this to be a fairly typical mystery
genre novel, but brought well above the average by the author's
attention to period detail and entertaining characterizations.