3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Okay, But Not the Best in the Series,
This review is from: The Winter King (A Hawkenlye Mystery) (Hardcover)
Having read all of the books in the series that began in 1999 with Fortune Like the Moon (Hawkenlye Mystery 1) I was looking forward to this one with anticipation. However having read it I felt a little let down. The books that come before it have always been well written and are what I would describe as light reading. The main characters in the previous books were Sir Josse d'Acquin and the Abbess Helewise of Hawkenlye Abbey and there was always an unspoken bond between them that intimated feelings that were stronger than mere friendship, but falling short of carnal lust. This was an interesting side line to the main story and to me added considerably to the enjoyment of the books.
In the later books this attraction has come to fruition. Helewise is no longer Abbess and is now living with Sir Josse, although the storylines still centre around the Abbey of Hawkenlye but with a new Abbess. Neither Sir Josse or Helewise take centre stage anymore and I personally think the book suffer because of this.
In this novel a village woman has visions about the Winter King and when these become generally known it is felt that she may well be in danger from those loyal to King John and she eventually seeks asylum within the Abbey. At the same time one of King John's senior tax collector suffers a sudden death at his own banquet. Initially it is thought that he has died of a massive heart attack, but closer inspection of the body by Meggie, the daughter of Sir Josse casts doubt on the diagnosis of natural causes. There are a number of twists and turns in the plot which involve Sabin de Gifford, the wife of the sheriff of Tonbridge and an old reclusive knight who is suddenly attracting a lot of attention after years of isolation.
I really liked the other books in the series and this one was enjoyable too. The plot is certainly complex and well thought through, but for me it just lacked that certain something to lift it above the norm.