Friday, August 13, 2010

Shroud of Dishonor-Maureen Ash

Shroud of Dishonor
Maureen Ash
Berkley, Oct 5 2010, $14.00
ISBN: 9780425237908

Two years ago in the year 1200, Templar Sir Bascot de Marins returned to England after escaping the Saracens who held him prisoner in the Holy Land for eight years. Unable to return to active duties as a Templar due to a crisis of faith and battle fatigue, he entered into the service of Nicolaa de la Haye. Now he looks forward to his deployment to Portugal to fight the Moors.

In the Lincoln Preceptory, the Templars house where Bascot is assigned, the entire group is shocked when the body of a dead prostitute is found in a larger wooden chest. Next to the corpse is thirty pieces of silver. The preceptor Everard D’Arderon refuses to let the men leave for Portugal until it can be proven no Templar is a murderer. Everard assigns Bascot to investigate the Templars as a starting point. His inquiries lead to two separate families and if he can figure out what links them he will learn out who the murderer is and what he has against prostitutes and Templars.

Readers obtain a rare and fascinating look into the workings of the Templar Knights Chapter House; this provides insight into their community and how they live. Bascot is bone marrow weary and a doubter, but adheres strictly to his oaths. Readers who enjoy the medieval works of Sharon Kay Penman and Roberta Gillis will appreciate Maureen Ash’s skilful rendition of life in the year 1202.

Harriet Klausner

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