Covenant with Hell: A Medieval Mystery-Priscilla Royal

Covenant with Hell: A Medieval Mystery
Priscilla Royal
Poisoned Pen, Dec 3 2013, $24.95
ISBN 9781464201950

In 1277 Prioress Eleanor and Brother Thomas leave Tyndal on a pilgrimage to the shrines of Walsingham Priory. Just after they arrive in East Anglia, Thomas finds the corpse of the prioress of Ryehill Sister Roysia. She obviously fell from the priory’s bell tower but in her hand is a piece of torn cloth.

As word spreads that a nun committed suicide and with rumors of King Edward I coming to pray for God to declare his pending invasion of Wales as holy, Prioress Ursell wants to avoid scandal so she quickly states Sister Roysia’s death as an accident. However that cloth Roysia grasped leads Thomas and Eleanor to conclude it came from the person who pushed the prioress from the tower as she grabbed on to it to keep from falling. As they investigate, the two pilgrims soon find evidence that an assassin plots to kill the monarch.

The latest Brother Thomas and Prioress Eleanor medieval mystery (see A Killing Season and Sanctity of Hate) is a great historical investigative thriller as late thirteenth century royal (secular) and religious England comes alive. The super inquiry by the protagonists and taut suspense make Covenant with Hell one of the best entries in this strong series.

Harriet Klausner

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