The Dragon of Handale: Book summary and reviews of The Dragon of Handale by Cassandra Clark

The Dragon of Handale

An Abbess Hildegard of Meaux Mystery

by Cassandra Clark

The Dragon of Handale by Cassandra Clark X
The Dragon of Handale by Cassandra Clark
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2015
    352 pages
    Genre: Mysteries

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Book Summary

Hildegard, no longer a member of the Cistercian order of nuns, has returned to the priory after more than a year from her pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Still unsure whether she will rejoin the Order, the Prioress suggests that a visit to Handale Priory might help provide some clarity. Used as a house of correction for sinning nuns, it lies in the north of the county in the middle of a vast wood and is run by the ambiguous Abbess Basilda and her close group of hard-faced acolytes.

While walking about the grounds, Hildegard discovers the corpse of a young man in the morgue. His body bears deep gashes from neck to groin. His wounds appear to be the ravages of claws, but larger than any animal Hildegard knows of.  Is it possible that the young man was killed by a dragon, as Hildegard's been told? Of course, Hildegard does not believe in dragons, and despite being warned against it, she goes for a walk in the woods. There she discovers a secret tower, locked and barred, with armed men on guard.

What is so valuable that it needs such protection? Has it anything to do with the mystery of the young man's death? And why have assassins been pursuing the King's courier across the savage moor land only to murder him at a lonely wayside tavern? Hildegard risks all dangers to seek out the truth.

The Dragon of Handale is the fourth novel in Cassandra Clark's acclaimed mystery series set in the 14th century.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Clark pulls everything together neatly in a moody, atmospheric whodunit while sustaining a high level of tension throughout." - Publishers Weekly

"A dramatic mystery lavishly studded with period details: Clark's best to date." - Kirkus

"Clark's fifth historical installment (after A Parliament of Spies) can be read as part ofthe series or as a stand-alone. However, this latest addition is likely to disappoint readers, as the wise nun foolishly places herself in dangerous positions one after the other...Still, Clark's fans and medieval mystery aficionados may enjoy." - Library Journal

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Author Information

Cassandra Clark Author Biography

Cassandra Clark was awarded an M.A. from the University of East Anglia, and went on to teach for the Open University on the Humanities Foundation course. Since then she has written full time as a playwright and has been the author of many contemporary romances as well as the libretti for several chamber operas. She lives and works in London, and explains that her childhood in the East Riding of Yorkshire was her inspiration for the stories.

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