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A Play of Dux Moraud

by Margaret Frazer

      Joliffe and the rest of his group can now proudly call themselves Lord Lovell's Men, following their adventures in the first in this series A Play of Isaac. No longer mere lordless wanderers, they are paid and have a place to go to as long as they perform some plays for their master and some other tasks. This time, Lord Lovell wants Joliffe and Basset to play at the wedding of Sir Edmund Deneby's daughter, Mariena. Last time a wedding was planned for Mariena, her intended died under mysterious circumstances, and the players are to find out what happened and prevent anything untoward happening again. When they arrive at Deneby they soon find that they have really got their work cut out for them.

Joliffe and his players were first introduced in one of the Dame Frevisse novels, and now have a series of their own. As with the other books, you can expect a high standard of research and plotting. Life at the manor of Deneby is shown to us in all its fascinating detail, as is the work of the players, and the period is brought to vivid life. This is not one of her more political novels with information about the wider sphere; instead she concentrates on telling a tale that is confined just in one place. but which is absorbing and surprising by turn. Well paced, with in-depth studies of the main characters who continue to grow and change with their circumstances, this is a series that I am determined to read every word of. History was seldom so accessible and entertaining. Highly recommended.

The Book

Berkley Prime Crime (Penguin Group)
August 2005
Historical Mystery [1434 Oxfordshire, UK]
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The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2005
© 2005