The summer of 1273 is peaceful for most of England - except in the village of Tyndal where Martin the cooper has been poisoned at the local inn.
Could the murderer be his usual whore who is about to be tossed aside for another woman? Or the innkeeper's niece with secret reasons for fearing him? Perhaps the blacksmith did it, a man whose temper might have exploded when he was mocked once too often. Martin had enough enemies. The killer could be anyone.
This crime has naught to do with the priory, but Prioress Eleanor grieves for her friend - the newly bereaved Crowner Ralf - and offers what help she and former apothecary Sister Anne can.
When her own problems multiply, Eleanor has good reason to regret her kindness. Her new anchoress terrifies her servants and welcomes visitors to her window at night. One of those visitors has been Brother Thomas, a man the prioress secretly loves and whose loyalty to her as head of Tyndal Priory is now suspect.
Bodies multiply. Suspects disappear. No one likes the direction the evidence points, but God's justice must be rendered - even for the forsaken soul.
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"Starred Review. Against an authentic backdrop of medieval life and lore, Royal once again brings alive characters who are true to their period yet exhibit emotions and feelings that 21st-century readers will recognize as their own." - Publishers Weekly.
"Historical exposition and theological musings overwhelm the mystery in Royal's latest slice of life from 13th-century England." - Kirkus Reviews.
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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.
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.
Her works include Chambers of Death, Covenant with Hell, Favas Can Be Fatal, The Killing Season, Sanctity of Hate, Tyrant Of The Mind, Valley of Dry Bones and Wine of Violence.
When not hiding in the thirteenth century, she lives in Northern California and is a member of California Writers Club, Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime.
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