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The Proud Sinner: A Medieval Mystery    by Priscilla Royal order for
Proud Sinner
by Priscilla Royal
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2017 (2017)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

With this thirteenth novel in her Medieval mystery series, author Priscilla Royal reacquaints her readers with Prioress Eleanor. As usual, poor Eleanor is presented with problems.

A group of seven Abbots arrive at Tyndal Priory seeking lodging for the night. No sooner do they arrive and demand rooms and meals than one of their group dies a very painful death. As Eleanor works hard to accommodate extra mouths to feed, another abbot dies. And then one more succumbs.

Eleanor seeks medical advice from Sister Anne who handles the ills of the Priory. Together they cannot seem to put a finger on the cause of death of these men. And with a winter storm raging, Eleanor cannot seek outside help. Between them, they conclude murder is being committed. The remaining abbots are the suspects. All of them are determined that they should step into bishopric shoes that just became empty.

The Proud Sinner is another jewel in Royal's crown. She presents her readers with a strong mystery while also teaching us about life in 1282 England. I'm sure the culinary offerings wouldn't suit any of us today. But they kept the body upright and the herbs and spices of the day managed to make the food tasty. Cold must have been a torment. Faith was a constant. Housing left a lot to be desired. Royal gives readers a very pleasant history lesson without any pop quizzes.

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