<P>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.
Justice for the Damned (Medieval Mystery Series #4)by Priscilla Royal
A ghost now haunts Amesbury. Is it
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It is May of 1272, and Prioress Eleanor of Tyndale, recovering from a near-fatal winter fever, journeys to Amesbury Priory to visit her aunt in time for the Feast of Saint Melor. Although Eleanor hopes to regain her strength in the midst of pleasant childhood memories, Death reveals a most troublesome fondness for her company.
A ghost now haunts Amesbury. Is it perhaps the spirit of a pregnant woman who drowned herself in the River Avon? But soon the specter turns murderous. A man is decapitated near the river where the grim figure walks, yet Sister Beatrice, Eleanor’s aunt and acting prioress of Amesbury, shows an uncharacteristic hesitancy about taking charge of any investigation.
As others apparently fall victim to the vengeful ghost, Eleanor struggles to put a human face on the restless spirit, and Brother Thomas, pursuing a secret mission for the Church connected with the Priory’s famoous Psaltery, finds that his own demons have unexpectedly taken on a very human form.
Corpses grow in number. Death dances with glee. All hope of sweet Spring begins to die, and even love takes on a somber hue….
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In the winter of 1271 Prioress Eleanor was ill and almost died by the spring. She returns to Amesbury Priory where she took her vows. Deep dark gloomy thoughts drown her and it is hoped that a change of scenery will bring her back to life. Accompanying her is Brother Thomas but he is on a secret mission from his spy master.-------------- Thomas¿s job is go find the manuscript thief who would steal the priceless Psalter. Both become involved in the lives of the people who depend on the abbey for their livelihood. On her way to visit a widow, Eleanor comes across the headless body of Eulfalow. It is said the abbey and the surrounding area is haunted by the ghost of Queen Elfrida who died at the abbey in the tenth century or the ghost of Eda, a woman who drowned in the river and was buried in unconsecrated ground because the verdict of her death was suicide. A monk guarding the Psalter is killed by the supposed ¿ghost¿. These new deaths are linked and it is up to Thomas and Eleanor to find and discover who and why.------------ Priscilla Royal writes some of the best medieval mysteries on the market today. Readers of Judith Tarr and Sharon Kay Penman will enjoy this medieval mystery that brings to life a bygone era when the church was all powerful and denizens from hell are believed to be walking the earth. The audience gets a glimpse as well of the merchant class and how the leaders of the abbeys live. However, as vivid as all that is, the investigation by Thomas and Eleanor make for exciting thirteenth century whodunit worthy of an Agatha Award nomination.----------- Harriet Klausner