Murder by the Book discussion group meeting: Knights and Dark

Murder by the Book discussion group meeting: Knights and Dark Ladies Murder Mysteries Set in the Renaissance
Here is a list of the books reviewed at the April meeting of the Murder by the Book
mystery discussion group at Central library. Star ratings (out of 5) are assigned by the
person who read that particular book; plot descriptions are usually based on Novelist
Most of the books are from the Knights and Dark Ladies
book list (or Click here for a printable version).
Ann Benson: Thief of Souls (2002) ****
(The life and crimes of serial killer Gilles de Rais, a French
aristocrat and contemporary of Joan of Arc, are set against the backdrop of a parallel
story of a modern-day criminal mastermind stalking the streets of Los Angeles; the group
member who read this book found she enjoyed it much more after she stopped reading
the modern-day Los Angeles chapters and read only the ones set in 1430s France.)
Michael Clynes: The White Rose Murders (1991) *½
(Sir Roger Shallot, now in his nineties, tells the stories of various murders he investigated
as a secret emissary of Henry VIII. Book #1)
Elizabeth Eyre: Death of the Duchess (1992)
(Venetian detective and soldier of fortune Sigismondo investigates,
along with his loyal but not too bright sidekick, Benno; the MBTB
member read the entire series and gave the books a near-perfect
****½ overall.)
Margaret Frazer: The Reeve’s Tale (2000) **** (Dame Frevisse
series Book # 9)
Margaret Frazer: The Squire’s Tale (2000) *** (Dame Frevisse series Book #10)
(Dame Frevisse is a cloistered nun and a reluctant but talented sleuth; the series provides
a fascinating ground-level portrait of Medieval English village life. Two different group
members read The Reeve's Tale and both gave it high marks.)
Related post:
Review of Margaret Frazer's The Traitor's Tale (2007)
C. L. Grace: Feast of Poisons (2004) **½
(Canterbury physician Kathryn Swinbrooke, on her honeymoon in a small
English village, is called in to investigate the poisoning of a blacksmith and
his wife. Book #7)
Karen Harper: The Poyson Garden (1999) ***
(Elizabeth Tudor, who would become Queen Elizabeth I, is still a princess in this series
opener; Elizabeth, aided by her motley band of servants, sets out to discover the identity
of the poisoner who is trying to wipe out her entire family and anyone connected with
them. Book #1)
Cora Harrison: My Lady Judge (2007) ***
(Mara is a teacher of law and a judge, by royal appointment, in medieval Ireland; she uses
her powers of observation to solve crimes including the murder of one of her assistants
and the theft of a neighbour's cow. Burren series Book #1)
C.J. Sansom: Dissolution (2003) ****½
(Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII's feared vicar-general, who is in the process of dissolving
all of the large monastic houses, enlists lawyer Matthew Shardlake to investigate a
commissioner's murder at the monastery in Scarnsea) (Matthew Shardlake series, Book
C.J. Sansom: Dark Fire (2004) ****½
(When a friend's niece is charged with murder and threatened with torture
for her refusal to speak, lawyer Matthew Shardlake is granted a reprieve to
investigate the case if he will also accept a dangerous assignment to find a
legendary weapon. Matthew Shardlake series, Book #1)
C.J. Sansom: Sovereign (2006) *****
(Henry VIII sets out on a Royal Progress to the north to settle legal disputes. Lawyer
Matthew Shardlake, along to help prepare cases, finds himself investigating the murder of
a glazier in York with unsettling ties to the royal family.Matthew Shardlake series, Book
Related post:
Review of C.J. Sansom's Sovereign (2006)
Kate Sedley: Death and the Chapman (1992) ***½
(Roger the Chapman leaves a Benedictine monastery to become a travelling peddler, and
discovers a talent for detective work; set in England in the 1470s. Roger the Chapman
series, Book #1)
Leslie Silbert: The Intelligencer (2004) ****
(Present day private investigator Kate Morgan teams up with a European
financier who is investigating a centuries-old manuscript that documents the
final days of an Elizabethan-era murder victim; set in London, 1593.)
Betsy Tobin: Bone House (2001) ****½
(When Dora, the village prostitute, is found dead at the bottom of a ravine, a
young chambermaid serving the mistress of the local manor embarks on a journey to
unravel the mystery surrounding Dora's death. The story takes place in England in 1603.)