Sunday, September 02, 2007

THE ALEHOUSE MURDERS by Maureen Ash (Berkley)

I thought I was burned out on Templar Knight mysteries, but Ash proved me wrong. This book isn't about far-fetched conspiracies; rather, it's a good, old-fashioned mystery featuring Bascot de Marins, a Templar Knight who is recovering from wounds suffered during and escape from imprisonment by the Saracens. Just before a midsummer fair is to begin, an woman discovers four bodies in the alehouse. Lady Nicolaa de la Haye, wife of the sheriff and owner of Lincoln Castle charges de Marins with solving the crime. Before he can finish his initial inquiries, a priest is stabbed. Then, nearly every time new evidence is uncovered, a new murder complicates the puzzle.

The gentle history lessons about life in thirteenth century England are skillfully wrapped in an excellent mystery. I look forward to more from Maureen Ash!

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