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Alys Clare's novels are like a breath of fresh air. I love medieval murder mysteries and there are certainly a lot of them about (thank goodness), but the author's books breathe new life into the period and her will they won't they situation with Helewise and Sir Josse, holds the reader's attention as well. Don't be swayed into thinking that these books are written with the female reader in mind. They are for everybody, young and old, male or female.

It is difficult to believe that this is the eleventh book in the Hawkenlye series. Fortune Like the Moon (Book 1, 1999) It does not seem that long ago that the first book in the series appeared in print. That book was Fortune Like the Moon and was first published in 1999 and introduced us to the characters of Sir Josse d'Aquin, an old colleague of none other than King Richard himself and amateur sleuth Abbess Helewise, of Hawkenlye Abbey. There alliance is somewhat of a strange one, with undercurrents that lull the reader into thinking something more permanent, may well happen, but until now never has, although each in their own way is devoted to the other.

It is autumn in the year 1196 and a secretive stranger has come to the attention of Sir Josse, who is convinced that the man has returned from the Crusades. The man has a haunted look about him, the look of a man plagued with a terrible secret. Something so serious that it is tearing him apart, both body and soul.

Ever mindful of the safety of Abbess Helewise and all those under her wing at the Abbey, nevertheless Sir Josse asks if the man's injuries can be treated in the infirmary that belongs to the Abbey, where Josse can also keep a watchful eye on him. But it is not long before Sir Josse realises that the man is being hunted by others and that his actions have put both the Abbess and Hawkenlye in grave danger . . .
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on 11 January 2009
Once again a book which is difficult to put down. I love this author and the period she has chosen to write about. The need to ration oneself in order to make the book last longer is a must for me.
The characters compliment each other extremely well and as usual Sir Josse and the Abbess finally reach the truth despite putting themselves in danger. The stranger who mysteriously arrives with an obvious need of help and who also carries a secret which many are seeking, jeopardises the abbey residents plus the abbess and the young knight.
If you are already a fan of this author then you know you are in for another great read.
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on 15 June 2012
The last couple of books by Alys Clare are a ridiculous price for just 250 pages. I'd rather buy 2 books, each twice the size, by other authors for the same money.
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on 6 February 2012
1196, and Sir Josse D'Aquin gets his longed-for excuse to visit Hawkenlye Abbey and the smart, serene and engaging Abbess Helewise when a mysterious man in ill health seeks shelter at his manor of Winnowlands. It's not long before the man disappears into the night, leaving one of Josse's servants believing she's encountered a demon spirit. Josse takes her and her husband to the abbey to see if they can help her. Whilst there, a body is discovered brutally murdered in the nearby mystical Great Forest, and it's up to Josse and Helewise to solve the crime before any more ill luck befalls the area.
But it quickly becomes apparent that there is a lot more going on here than just one murder of a man who was quite obviously of foreign blood. Josse knows there's a link with the strange man he harboured, then they hear shards of a tale so fantastical, it sounds like fiction - of deserts, Knights Hospitallers, ransoms, Saracens and runaway monks. Could one of these be Josse's mysterious pilgrim? And if so, was he involved in the terrible murder of either someone who was chasing him, or running from him...?

'Paths of the Air' kept me gripped from beginning to end, going straight into the action and introducing the mysterious John Damianos as well as a longing from Josse to be back at Hawkenlye Abbey, and the indomitable Helewise. Although at one point, the oblique references to all these people who are hunting/chasing or following others all the way from Outremer to England was a little confusing, it all sorts itself out in the end to give a satisfying medieval tale of love, loyalty and treachery that leads to murder.
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on 15 December 2013
I liked this book, as I like all Alys Clare's books and would certainly recommend it to anyone who likes medieval mysteries.
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on 28 May 2015
Definitely up to Alys Clare's standard.
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on 7 January 2015
love these books
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on 1 December 2012
Very good quality and at a reasonable price. Waited to find one in paperback with this quality and price. Arrived quickly.
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on 29 June 2015
Excellant
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on 15 September 2014
excellent
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