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Posted December 9, 2008
superb, but more history than mystery
In 1204 the Fool¿s Guild leadership is very concerned that Pope Inncentius (Innocent III) is outraged by their secular interference in what he deems church business. To reduce the papal hostility, Theophilos the Fool and his wife Claudia, also of the Fool's Guild, travel to Le Thoronet Abbey to see former member Cistercian Abbot Folc, who performed as the legendary Folquet. He welcomes his friends, but is hesitant to get caught between his former and present life as that has no future. --- That night, someone slashes the throat of a monk leaving a note on the wall written in the dead man¿s blood addressed to the abbot when he was a troubadour: ¿FOLQUET: COLD IS THE HAND THAT CRUSHES THE LARK'. Upset Folc offers his visitors a deal his intervention with the papal enemies in exchange for Theo and Claudia uncovering the identity of the killer threatening him. The married Fools agree and look into Folc¿s past as Folquet for clues. They visit his wife and learn that the abbot was a womanizer and that the bloody message comes from a song. As they travel to France, a killer seems one step ahead of them leaving corpses for them to find and only being talented Fools have the married duet stayed alive so far. --- More history than mystery although the whodunit is clever and used as the device that enables the lead couple to escort readers on a tour of the early thirteenth century Fool¿s Guild and the Church in France. The story line is fast-paced, but it is the appeal of the Fool¿s Family (Theo, Claudia, and to a degree their children Portia and Helga) that make the tale fun to follow as their performances provide insight and comedic relief. Readers who appreciate a fine medieval tale with a mystery enhancing the period piece will enjoy the sixth performance of Alan Gordon¿s fabulous Fool¿s Guild. --- Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.