I found this to be a very well written story that kept me turning pages throughout. The book is told in a close third person narrative and set in the the Yorkshire countryside during the reign of King Henry II. The king is only a side character which I enjoyed. Most of the scenes are of ordinary people in ordinary places. There are very few set within a court.
This book conveys a feeling for the time without getting bogged down with confusing and archaic references. I especially enjoyed the reasoning behind Adelia Aguilar, explaining how her education and expertise in post-mortem examination came from her training at a famous school in Sicily.
My only issue with this book was the romantic sub plot. I felt it let the example of a strong female lead down at first, but Adelia’s choices in the final chapters mollified my disappointment enough I’m happy to give this book a five coffee bean rating.
I enjoyed the feeling of camaraderie the three Sicilians begin the story with. This theme of friendship subtly colours all the chapters and eventually merged into a larger group by the end of the novel.
I think this book would appeal to readers looking for an engaging mystery novel set in medieval England.
Five out of five coffee beans.
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