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Sorrow Without End : A Medieval Mystery
As the autumn storms of 1271 ravage the East Anglian coast, Crowner Ralf finds the corpse of a brutally murdered soldier in the woods near Tyndal Priory. The dagger in the mans chest is engraved with a strange, cursive design, and the body is wrapped in a crusaders cloak. Was the murder the act of a member of the Assassin sect, or was the weapon meant to mislead him in finding the killer? Ralfs decision to take the corpse to the priory for advice may be reasonable, but he is soon caught up in a maelstrom of conflict, both personal and political. The priory is deeply divided over whether to purchase a relic. The decision could endanger both Prioress Eleanors leadership and the future of the hospital. Brother Thomas becomes a suspect in the murder itself, and Ralf must choose between the demands of his brother, the sheriff, and loyalty to a friend. Meanwhile, the murderer watches and waits. Priscilla Royal grew up in British Columbia and has a degree in world literature from San Francisco State University. She now lives and writes in Northern California. Sorrow Without End is third in her Medieval Mystery series, following Wine of Violence and Tyrant of the Mind. www.priscillaroyal.com.
Terror grips a remote North Sea priory in Royal's superior medieval thriller, her third to feature Eleanor, prioress of Tyndal (after 2004's Tyrant of the Mind). In 1271, tough-minded Ralf the Crowner, who's trying to bring a brutal serial killer to justice, prevails upon Eleanor to allow the mangled corpse of a lowly foot soldier to be laid in the chapel during his investigation. The "rule of Eve" prevails in Tyndal, where pious Eleanor resists the demands of rival monks who complicate Ralf's work with their own competing agendas for the priory's future. Eleanor faces further challenges when a knight is slain and an infirmarian (or hospital) nun is beaten and raped before the altar. Suspense builds amid a vivid backdrop of lepers wearing "clappers," a madman who chatters warnings, venal relic sellers and the shadowy "man from Acre," haunted by guilt for his wife's death at the hands of a sadistic crusader. Eleanor's steadfast faith in a merciful God must contend with the vicious nature of man in a compelling resolution.
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Poisoned Pen Press
June 14, 2007
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