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In 1204 A.D., Theophilos, jester and agent for the Fools’ Guild, is sent to Toulouse with his jester wife, infant daughter and young apprentice with one simple mission – get the current Bishop to quietly retire so that the position can be filled with one more sympathetic to the Guild's goals. Arriving just before Christmas, they quickly learn that the Bishop is in some hot water with a man widely known as the local money lender. A man who, a day after pressing the Bishop particularly hard, is found floating face down in a tanner’s vat.
Now, with time running out for him to accomplish their mission and thus protect the Guild, Theophilos has but one option left: find out what actually happened the night that the Moneylender of Toulouse ended up so spectacularly dead.
About the Author
Alan Gordon is the author of six previous novels in the Fools’ Guild series. His short fiction and essays have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, and he has composed the libretto and lyrics for various musicals. He lives and works in New York City.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In 1204 The Fools¿ Guild knows that some of the Church¿s more fanatical leaders want the Pope to disband them under the threat of declaring its members heretic. Especially vocal is the Bishop of Toulouse Bishop Raimon de Rabastens. The Guild whose mission is to prevent war send one of their top agents jester Theophilos and his family to blackmail the Bishop into retiring so that they can replace this adversary with a friendlier person. ---- Upon arrival in Toulouse Theophilos has no plan except to find a transgression he can use to force Raimon de Rabastens to resign. However, a scheme surfaces when the murdered corpse of moneylender Milon Borsella is found in a tanner¿s pit the victim and the Bishop engaged in a loud public argument just yesterday. Theophilos plots how to use the homicide when another murder occurs and Jordan the fool is arrested for the crime. Theophilos and his wife Claudia believe both murders lead back to the Bishop, but to prove it remains difficult. ---- The latest Fools¿ Guild medieval mystery (see THE LARK¿S LAMENT) is a terrific whodunit that uses a vivid look at early thirteenth century France to enhance the plot. The story line is fast-paced as the husband and wife team switch gear from their devious plot to force the Biship into resigning to proving their local compatriot is innocent. Filled with humor and a great whodunit, only a fool would pass on Alan Gordon¿s excellent historical investigative tale. ---- Harriet Klausner