The Avalon Chanter

Overview


Archaeologist Maggie Lauder has personal reasons for proving Farnaby Island is the Avalon of Arthurian legend. But when she opens a tomb in a medieval chantry chapel, her plans go awry.
The story Jean Fairbairn planned to write is shadowed by a contemporary investigation. Her husband, ex-cop Alasdair Cameron, has a history with the investigating detective, if not as long a history as Maggie does.
They are stranded on Farnaby, caught in the ...
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Overview


Archaeologist Maggie Lauder has personal reasons for proving Farnaby Island is the Avalon of Arthurian legend. But when she opens a tomb in a medieval chantry chapel, her plans go awry.
The story Jean Fairbairn planned to write is shadowed by a contemporary investigation. Her husband, ex-cop Alasdair Cameron, has a history with the investigating detective, if not as long a history as Maggie does.
They are stranded on Farnaby, caught in the conflicting loyalties of its inhabitants, trusting only each other--until they find themselves on opposite sides of a cold case turned scorching hot.
Northumbria, between England and Scotland, the uncertain shore where this world fades into the next, bagpipers play laments on their chanters, and ghostly plainchant echoes in the fog.
It's April in Avalon.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
11/18/2013
Could tiny Farnaby Island off the Northumberland coast be the Avalon of Arthurian legend? Archeologist Maggie Lauder tries to prove it is, in Carl’s suspenseful, atmospheric sixth mystery featuring historian and journalist Jean Fairbairn and her husband, retired police detective Alasdair Cameron (after 2010’s The Blue Hackle). Jean and Alasdair are headed for the island, where Maggie recently canceled an event to celebrate the opening of a medieval tomb in the chantry chapel of ruined Farnaby Priory. Maggie was hoping to discover evidence of her Avalon theory in the tomb, but instead she found, as she later shows Jean and Alasdair, the skeletal remains of a mid- to late-20th-century man, who could be her father. A storm strands the couple on Farnaby, where they meet a host of distinctive locals, one of whom may be a murderer prepared to strike again. Cozy fans with an interest in British history will be satisfied. (Jan.)
Library Journal
12/01/2013
Pursuing a story for her travel magazine, Jean and her husband, retired cop Alasdair, cross just over the Scottish-English border into Northumbria to visit a remote little island steeped in Arthurian legend. Jean is intrigued by Prof. Maggie Lauder's archaeological dig results while Alasdair looks forward to a Scottish music get-together on the island. All plans are on hold, however, when a corpse is found—with his musical instrument—in a tomb that should have held only ancient treasures. The emotional drama runs thick on the fogbound island as speculation mounts about the victim. But it's not until the lead police investigator is killed that Jean and Alasdair realize that they could have a real problem in the here and now. VERDICT The sixth entry in the cozy series (after The Blue Hackle), though full of fascinating Arthurian connections, stalls in the middle, suffering from too many convoluted plot twists. Still, Carl's fondness for the mythology of the British Isles, a dash of ghost sighting, and the region will work for armchair travel enthusiasts.
Kirkus Reviews
2013-11-17
Could Farnaby Island be the Avalon of Arthurian legend? Farnaby lies off the coast of Northumberland, near the better-known holy isle of Lindisfarne. First Elaine Lauder and now her daughter Maggie, inhabitants of Farnaby, have tried to prove that it is Avalon. Maggie has announced the opening of a tomb she's convinced will cause a sensation. It does but not the one she had imagined. The tomb contains the body of a man who, although long dead, is certainly not a contemporary of Arthur's. Maggie thinks that it may be her father, since she's never been convinced that Elaine's husband, Wat, is her real father. George Grinsell, the rude and obnoxious inspector sent to investigate, already thinks Maggie is a murderer even though she was cleared of killing a lover years ago. Grinsell quickly alienates just about everyone on the small island, and there's a long list of suspects when he's attacked and later dies. Elaine, who suffers from dementia and often wanders the island, may hold the key to the mystery, but it's not clear that she knows she does or can share her knowledge. Fortunately, American historian Jean Fairbairn and her husband, Alasdair Cameron, a retired Scottish police detective who is now head of Edinburgh's Protect and Survive, are on hand, she to write a story for Great Scot, both of them to enjoy the music at the Gallowglass music school. Alasdair is asked to supervise the local constable and Grinsell's assistant until the fog abates enough to send in a new officer. Jean and Alasdair (The Charm Stone, 2009, etc.) approach the problem from different viewpoints but arrive at the same conclusion. The historical detail slows the progress of the story, but it's still full of enjoyable twists.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781432828042
  • Publisher: Gale Group
  • Publication date: 1/22/2014
  • Pages: 332
  • Sales rank: 388,628
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.20 (d)

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