From the book jacket: It is late summer in the year 1270 and England is as weary as its
aging king, Henry III. Although the Simon de Montfort rebellion is over, the
smell of death still hangs like smoke over the land. Even in the small priory of
Tyndal on the remote East Anglian coast, the monks and nuns of the Order of
Fontevraud long for a return to tranquil routine. Their hopes are dashed,
however, when the young and inexperienced Eleanor of Wynethorpe is appointed
their new prioress over someone of their own choosing. Nor are Eleanor's own
prayers for a peaceful transition answered. Only a day after her arrival, a
brutally murdered monk is found in the cloister gardens, and Brother Thomas, a
young priest with a troubled past, arrives to bring her a more personal grief.
Now she must not only struggle to gain the respect of her terrified and
resentful flock but also cope with violence, lust and greed in a place dedicated
to love and peace.
Comment: I thoroughly enjoyed this 'country house' mystery set in the 13th century and also the follow up, Tyrant of the Mind, which was published last December. As Publishers Weekly says, 'with its intriguing plot, chilling conclusion and characters who exhibit universal and timeless feelings, this fresh first has all the potential to evolve into a series as enduring as Ellis Peters's Brother Cadfael books.'
This review is from the March 2, 2005 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.
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