Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Valley of Dry Bones-Priscilla Royal

Valley of Dry Bones
Priscilla Royal
Poisoned Pen, Nov 2 2010, $24.95
ISBN 9781590587638

In 1274 Queen Eleanor is coming to the Tyndal Priory on a pilgrimage. Ahead of her Highness’ visit, an advanced party of courtiers arrives to set up her visit including places for the monarch to stop.

Tyndal Prioress Eleanor struggles with the royal invasion even before the Queen comes. Besides dealing with the pompous members of court demanding all sorts of inane things, she must deal with the overbearing odious Baron Otes bartering land for salvation. However, Eleanor handles everyone and everything with aplomb and prayers until someone murders the pompous Baron. Suspicion is cast on his traveling companions and those who live at or near Tyndal. Eleanor sets out to find the killer so that her place of worship is not misconstrued as a sinful place even as she firmly believes God knows the truth.

The latest Prioress Eleanor’s medieval mystery (see Forsaken Soul and Chambers of Death) is a fabulous whodunit with a nod to The Pardoner’s Tale in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. The story line starts off by insuring the readers know the key cast members so when murder occurs on the eve of the royal visit, suspects abound as motives are plentiful. Readers will relish this strong entry as pure capitalist ventures (then and now) include the selling of salvation.

Harriet Klausner

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