From Library Journal
Uprooted from their Paris home by threat of disease and the economic side effects of the latest Crusade, Catherine LeVendeur and her family take shelter in the convent headed by her friend Heloise. Traveling with them in disguise is Heloise and Abelard's son, Astrolabe, who has been wrongfully accused of raping and murdering a well-born woman abducted from another convent. Catherine's search for whoever is trying to discredit Heloise via Astrolabe threatens to expose her own dangerous secret-that her father is Jewish. In Newman's eighth LeVendeur mystery (following To Wear the White Cloak), readers will love the total immersion into medieval history through character, surroundings, turbulent events, and culture. Strongly recommended for fans of historical mysteries.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Newman's extensive historical research, apparent in the myriad details and a hefty list of acknowledgments, lends a strongly authentic tone to her story of twelfth-century France, and her skillful writing ensures that these details serve to bring the period alive. The eighth entry in the series finds a pregnant Catherine Le Vendeur preparing to leave home on a potentially dangerous journey. With the economy suffering in France, Catherine's merchant husband, Edgar, and her cousin Solomon are forced to go to Spain to find and buy luxury goods to sell. To ensure their safety, Catherine and her two children must stay at a convent run by her close friend Heloise, the abbess. Newman expertly weaves together numerous subplots, the main one involving the murder of Cecile, who had been living with a band of heretics in order to escape a cruel lord who stole her from a convent. Falsely accused of her murder is Astrolabe, Heloise's son, and Catherine soon gets involved in helping to clear his name. A fascinating and suspenseful story made even more riveting by its historical bent. Jenny McLarinCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved