Top critical review
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3.5 Stars - Murder at Christmas time
on 4 January 2010
First Sentence: The stone quarry lay still and silent under the maelstrom of wind and raging clouds scudding in the skies above.
A body of a clerk for the local mint is found having been dumped in a mine. The only clue is a pristine coin from the reign of King Stephen. Castellan Nicolla de la Haye and her husband Sheriff Gerard Camville have asked templar Bascot de Marins, who has had prior success in uncovering murderers, solve this crime.
I do enjoy this series. Ash creates a very strong sense of time and place. With each book, I learn a bit more history both of England and the Templars. It is that level of detail I appreciate and find fascinating.
Ash's characters are very strong and I appreciate the back-story she provides on them. Marins seemed less conflicted in this book and it also made me wonder whether this is the end of the series, which I would find sad.
Although the story lacked suspense, it was very well plotted. I appreciate when I never quite know where it is going next. There was an excellent, unforeseen twist at the end I particularly enjoyed.
The books may not have the complexity or depth of Susanna Gregory, but for those who enjoy mysteries set in the Middle Ages, this was a better-than-good book in a very good series.
MURDER FOR CHRIST'S MASS (Hist. Mys- Bascot de Marins-England-Middle Ages/1201/02) - G+
Ash, Maureen - 4th in series
Berkeley, 2009, US Papaback, - ISBN: 9780425231579