A Prioress Eleanor of Tyndal Mystery by Priscilla Royal
Review: Prioress Eleanor, administrator of the Tyndal Priory on the East Anglican coast of England, investigates the gruesome murder of a local cooper in Forsaken Soul, the 5th mystery in this series by Priscilla Royal.
In the summer of 1273, Prioress Eleanor is training a new Prioress, Sister Ruth, and a new anchoress, Sister Juliana. An anchoress lives in a single, small room and listens to visitors who need counsel. Her only duty is to listen and give advice during daylight hours. Sister Juliana, however, insists on only night-time visitors — for reasons known only to her. This causes dissention inside the Priory, especially for Sister Ruth. The Priory serves both the spiritual and worldly needs of the village. Between her duties at the Priory, her work with the monks and the police, Prioress Eleanor is kept busy trying to keep peace and bring the unbelievers to God.
It is during one of her outside visits to the village when she learns that Martin, the cooper, has been found poisoned to death. His murder isn't all that unexpected as he was a crude, nasty man. Suspicion, however, immediately falls upon his pregnant whore, Ivetta. But when she's poisoned, Eleanor, together with Thomas the monk, is forced to look elsewhere. Thomas believes it highly improbable that two people, so well known to each other, died by the same method within such a short period of time. Before any solution to the crimes can be found, Will, the blacksmith is poisoned. Is this the act of one person? If so, why, kill a cooper, his whore, and a blacksmith? What is the common thread?
Forsaken Soul is a fascinating story both in the historical sense and for its fictional plot. With generous attention to detail, readers may readily imagine the dingy bar with the foul odors and dingy tables, and the upstairs room where Martin took Ivetta, mostly for himself but sometimes with the other men who visited. The dark, windy streets teem with evil shady men and women. Nefarious schemes abound. One doesn't need to be a fan of historical mysteries to enjoy this wonderfully atmospheric medieval tale of murder.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Forsaken Soul.
Acknowledgment: Poisoned Pen Press provided an ARC of Forsaken Soul for this review.
Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Justice for the Damned
Poisoned Pen Press (Hardcover), June 2007
ISBN-13: 9781590583302; ISBN-10: 1590583302
Chambers of Death
Poisoned Pen Press (Hardcover), August 2009
ISBN-13: 9781590586402; ISBN-10: 1590586409
Location(s) referenced in Forsaken Soul: England
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Forsaken Soul by Priscilla Royal — A Prioress Eleanor of Tyndal Mystery
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: August 2008
List Price: $24.95