In the Great Wealden Forest, power has fallen into the wrong hands. It is Midsummer 1195. A ruthlessly ambitious man has fallen deeply into debt, his desperate situation made even more difficult by the contribution he has had to pay towards King Richard's ransom. To make matters worse the beautiful wife he tricked into marriage has tired of him and her mother hates his guts. But then he makes an extraordinary discovery that dramatically changes his fortunes ...until his lifeless body is found hidden in the undergrowth. Which of his many enemies loathed him enough to resort to murder? Josse d'Acquin, driven by his love for the Abbess Helewise and for the other mysterious woman whom he holds in his heart, knows that he has no choice but to investigate. But the personal cost will be high ...
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(180mm x 114mm x 23mm)
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
A knight, a nun and a mysterious forest dweller combine their talents to solve mysteries. Abbess Helewise of Hawkenlye is deeply troubled when Florian of Southfrith claims to have found the bones of Merlin in a mystical forest. Because his discovery has diverted pilgrims from Hawkenlye, Helewise asks Sir Josse d'Acquin to prove that it is a hoax. The Domina of the forest people (the forest people consider the shrine an abomination) sends Josse's former lover Joanna and their daughter Meggie to guide him on a trip to France, where Merlin's actual grave is reputed to lie deep within the Broceliande forest. The journey proves difficult and dangerous. Josse and Joanna, resuming their love affair, are stalked by a man who plots their deaths. Back in England, the discovery of Florian's body, presumed murdered for the money he was carrying, ends Helewise's immediate problem. Unable to ignore the murder, however, she sets her mind to solving it while consoling his beautiful, demanding widow. Josse finds his Christian faith shaken by the real power he feels from the sites of the old religion. In the course of helping Helewise solve the crime, he discovers some disturbing facts about his own background.Clare's latest fantasy set in the England of the 1100s (Heart of Ice, 2006, etc.) is better enjoyed as mystical history than detective fare. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Alys Clare
Alys Clare is a history enthusiast who has written many novels under a different name. Alys Clare lives in Kent, where the Hawkenlye mysteries are set. You can reach her on her website www.alysclare.com