Priscilla Royal is the author of the medieval mysteries Tyrant of the Mind and Wine of Violence. She was born in Seattle, grew up in British Columbia, and now resides in Northern California. She is a member of the California Writers Club and Sisters in Crime.
Forsaken Soulby Priscilla Royal
The summer of 1273 is peaceful for most of England, except in the village of Tyndal, where Martin the cooper has been poisoned. Martin had plenty of enemies; the killer could be anyone. Prioress Eleanor grieves for her friend, the newly bereaved Crowner Ralf, and offers what help she can. But when her own problems multiply, she has good reason to regret her
The summer of 1273 is peaceful for most of England, except in the village of Tyndal, where Martin the cooper has been poisoned. Martin had plenty of enemies; the killer could be anyone. Prioress Eleanor grieves for her friend, the newly bereaved Crowner Ralf, and offers what help she can. But when her own problems multiply, she has good reason to regret her kindness. Her new anchoress terrifies her servants and welcomes visitors to her window at night. One of those visitors is Brother Thomas, a man the prioress secretly loves and whose loyalty to her as head of Tyndal Priory is now suspect. Bodies multiply. Suspects disappear. Justice must be served.
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I am thoroughly enjoying these midieval mysteries. The simple spirituality of the main characters may be a bit forward from the actual time, but there are just enough Pharasees to make it realistic. It presents also an interesting conundrum for a prioress who is attracted to a monk, without so far any actual comprimises and this is a rather refreshing portrayal of platonic love. The mysteries are not terribly highbrow, nor completely unpridictable, but a few twists and turns will keep you wondering. Start with #1 in the series...they do build on themselves.
In 1273, Prioress Eleanor of Tyndal struggles with issues. First the nearby villagers openly disapprove of the nightly visits that her new obstinate anchoress Sister Juliana is doing Eleanor has failed to get her to understand that perceptions are everything to the locals even if the woman is not committing any sins. Second the spouse of her close friend Crowner died giving birth to a daughter. Finally she fears she may be breaking her vows as she is attracted to Brother Thomas.------------ However, that all seems trite when abusive Martin the Cooper, loathed by all, dies while lying with a prostitute at an inn. Eleanor and Ralf believe the bully was sent to hell via poison. Soon others also die by poisoning as Eleanor and Ralf investigate serial murders that lack a tying motive.------------ The latest Priscilla Royal medieval mystery (see JUSTICE FOR THE DAMNED) is a clever historical whodunit that uses a vivid background to enhance an engaging investigation. Eleanor is terrific as she realizes her personal problems seem mundane and insignificant when the homicides begin. Readers will appreciate her efforts along with those of Ralf to solve the homicides before others prematurely meet the creator.---------- Harriet Klausner