Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Chaucer & The Legend of Good Women

by Philippa Morgan

      Three years after his adventures in Chaucer and the House of Fame (also reviewed on this site) poet and secret agent Geoffrey Chaucer is back on another mission for his master, Edward III. This time he has to travel to Florence to negotiate a loan from wily banker Antonio Lipari. Although this seems an outwardly simple exchange of documents, some people are opposed to the loan (including Antonio's blind brother Lorenzo). Others still have reason to want Antonio dead, and when he is discovered murdered, Chaucer is determined to find out whodunit, and not have to travel home empty-handed. But there are so many suspects, and somebody is trying to have him killed, too.

Philippa Morgan has come up with another amiable and readable novel in this entertaining series. Once again, this is a whodunit on the surface, but scratch it and an adventure story lies underneath. This is replete with descriptions of sunny Florence, and assassins. Relationships both comic and tragic abound, making it the sort of tale Chaucer would probably have enjoyed himself. Some work still needs to be done on the character of Chaucer, who takes rather a back seat most of the time and is certainly not the most memorable character. He comes across as being rather bland instead of good-humored and not really quite up to being a secret agent. Read this for the many intertwining subplots, and a good sketch of 14th century Florence.

The Book

Constable (Constable & Robinson)
August 2005
Historical Crime [1373, Florence, Italy]
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The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2006
© 2006