In the Spring of 1277, Prioress Eleanor goes on a pilgrimage to a famous East Anglian shrine.
There are rumors that King Edward may also visit the shrine soon to seek God's blessing for his invasion of Wales.
Lurking in this sacred place, however, is an assassin hoping to murder a king.
Soon after Prioress Eleanor and Brother Thomas arrive, a nun falls to her death from the priory bell tower. Brother Thomas finds the body, and the pair quickly grasp that this nun's death was not a simple tragedy. The circumstances point to murder, but this slaying is further tainted with treason. Among the pilgrims, merchants, and religious, too many betray an interest in this death - including a canny street child. At least one of them is most certainly a killer.
Can Prioress Eleanor and Brother Thomas succeed in exposing the assassin or will they also fall victim to one who has made a covenant with hell?
"Starred Review. Royal's 10th whodunit featuring Brother Thomas and Prioress Eleanor (after 2012's Sanctity of Hate) perfectly mixes an accessible portrait of 1277 England - its culture and politics - with sympathetic characters and a suspenseful plot." - Publishers Weekly
"The wealth of historical information and the minutiae of daily life often upstage relatively weak mysteries in Eleanor's adventures (The Sanctity of Hate, 2012, etc.), but this one pulls in enough red herrings to keep even non medievalists interested." - Kirkus
"Royal does her usual superb job of dovetailing both the religious and the political subtext bolstering her tautly strung narrative. This historically authentic series is definitely on a par with the best of Peter Tremayne and Ellis Peters." - Booklist
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Priscilla Royal has a degree in World Literature from San Francisco State University, where she discovered the beauty of medieval literature. She is a theater fan as well as reader of history, mysteries, and fiction of lesser violence. She lives in Northern California and belongs to the California Writers Club and Sisters in Crime.
Priscilla grew up in British Columbia and until 2000, she worked for the Federal government in a variety of positions, all of which provided a wonderful education in the complexity of human experience and motivation.
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