Poisoned Pen, 2008 (2008)
Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth
ealousy, swyving, bawds, anchoresses. a crowner, an abbess, nuns, medicinal herbs – all this and more are the focus of the fifth of the
series by Priscilla Royal.
he tale takes place in the summer of 1273 at Tyndal Priory in England. Prioress Eleanor is troubled. Many things have happened, the worst of which is having Martin the Cooper poisoned at the local inn. Also the feelings the Prioress has for Brother Thomas must be dealt with. And the question of homosexuality hangs in the air.
have thoroughly enjoyed this series. I must say, though, that the beginning of this one had me baffled at first. Not enough of the back story to catch me up on who's who and why. Getting past that point brought me up to snuff and I again enjoyed this unusual series reminiscent of the Brother Cadfael series, albeit with a Prioress rather than the male head of the monastery.
t was very easy to place myself in that period of time and in that place. The author has a good take on everything from clothes to bedding – even the smells that would be in the air. I've always loved history and this more than satisfies my yen for learning of a time with which I am unfamiliar. Good characterizations and the plot isn't shabby either. A good read. Take it to the beach with you and indulge yourself.
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