This is the third book in the series that began in 2003 Wine of Violence (Medieval Mystery, Book 1), and features Prioress Eleanor at the Tyndal Priory. The author continues to add more flesh to the bones of her characters, so to speak and the tension between Eleanor and Brother Thomas continues. A tension that is exacerbated by the Eleanor's tender feeling for Thomas.
One could I suppose draw parallels between the two leading characters of Priscilla Royal's books and those of Abbess Helewise and Sir Josse d'Aquin in the Alys Clare medieval mysteries or even with Sister Fidelma and Brother Eadulf in Peter Tremayne's Irish medieval mysteries. All of these characters are portrayed as real, honest to goodness human beings who have their frailties, i.e. sinful thoughts and sinful deeds and are far removed from the whiter than white, celibate characters that many of the clergy are portrayed as in books by other author's.
The story revolves around the discovery of the corpse of a brutally murdered soldier near Tyndale Priory. There is a dagger in the man's chest and the knife is covered in strange designs and the body is wrapped in the cloak of a crusader. Crowner Ralf decides to take the body to the priory, but he may yet live to regret this decision. It is not long before Brother Thomas becomes a suspect in the murder and Ralf's loyalties begin to tear him apart. Who does he side with, his brother the sheriff, or loyalty to an old friend . . .
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