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Book Review of The Difficult Saint (Catherine LeVendeur, Bk 6)

The Difficult Saint (Catherine LeVendeur, Bk 6)
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This book is one of a series of historical mysteries featuring Catherine LeVendeur, a twelfth century French nun. Catherine, wife of one-handed Edgar, mother of two small children and daughter of a Jewish merchant, Hubert, is a Christian convert. When her estranged sister, Agnes, unable to accept her father\'s Jewish origins, contracts a marriage with a German wine grower, Lord Gerhardt of Trier, the family schism threatens to become both wider and more permanent. But Gerhardt\'s death, under circumstances that strongly implicate his new bride as either murderess or witch, sends Catherine and her family on an arduous trek to Germany to win Agnes\'s freedom by proving her innocence or another\'s guilt. The mystery develops slowly, which allows the reader to savor the customs, practices and beliefs that inform the lives of the French, German and English; of no bles, merchants and knights; of Jews, Christians and schismatics. If Newman doesn\'t deliver a particularly suspenseful plot, she compensates with her command of the period and her ability to translate her knowledge into an absorbing and entertaining narrative

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