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Consolation for an Exile
Chronicles of Isaac of Girona series, No. 8

By Caroline Roe

    Caroline Roe, the pseudonym of medieval scholar Medora Sale, has crafted a multi-layered mystery against the backdrop of 14th century Spain and the intrigue of the Spanish and Moorish courts. Consolation for an Exile is the eighth in the Chronicles of Isaac of Girona series. Isaac, a blind Jewish physician, is a highly educated sleuth who must use his wits and his other faculties to solve the medical mysteries that are set before him.

    In this latest installment, Isaac finds himself at the center of several mysteries. The immediate one concerns the fatal poisoning of a local landholder whose background is shrouded in as much mystery. Complicating this is yet another mystery of the beautiful young relation who has come to live with another of the prominent citizens of Girona.

     These local intrigues are mirrored by Isaac's young assistant's own discovery of his roots and the Moorish court intrigues of the Alahambra in Granada. Having been thought to be dead, Yusuf's whereabouts have been discovered by the present emir, his cousin, and he receives a command to return to his home. What he discovers there is not only troublesome, but nearly fatal.

    Roe is able to fashion characters of the period that leap off the page, fully crafted and easily understood today. The mores and customs of the medieval era are explained without being pedantic and offer readers a rare glimpse into the daily life of people they wouldn't normally know much about when reading histories of the period.

      These books are priceless, especially for fans of Ellis Peters'Brother Cadfael (12th century England), Peter Tremayne's Sister Fidelma (7th century Ireland), and Mary Reed and Eric Mayer's John the Eunich (6th century Rome) series.

The Book

Berkley Prime Crime
October 31, 2004
Historical Mystery
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NOTE: Caroline Roe, the pseudonym of medieval scholar Medora Sale, has twice been nominated for an Anthony Award.

The Reviewer

Janie Franz
Reviewed 2005
© 2005