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The Alehouse Murders
First in the Templar Knight Mystery Series

by Maureen Ash

      Knight Templar Bascot de Marins had been held captive in the Holy Land for eight long years, first in a dungeon and then as a slave. Small wonder he is questioning his faith, and whether or not he wishes to remain a Templar. While he stays at Lincoln Castle, as part of the household of the sheriff and his lady, four baffling murders take place in a local alehouse, prior to the fair. The alewife’s husband and a money-lending Jew are easily identified, but who were the other two, and why have they been slain? While Bascot recuperates, this is just the sort of problem he can pit his wits against.

How pleasant to crack open a book starting a brand new historical mystery series! Especially when, like this book, it whets the appetite for more. Combining a well-drawn portrait of Lincoln in 1200 with a puzzling plot and interesting characters I wish to get to know better, this is an impressive debut. Ms. Ash takes a good look at the many roles of women and their options, as well as showing that you didn’t have to be a villain to take the part of Prince John against King Richard. Long overdue! In short, there is a lot packed into a modest-length novel, and the right sort of ends hanging at the finish that made me wish I had book two at hand. More page turners like this one, please, which can easily be praised with only a few words, but which stay in the mind long afterward and in the best possible manner.

The Book

Berkley Prime Crime (Penguin Group USA)
4 September 2007
Historical Crime [1200 Lincoln, UK]
More at US|| UK

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2007
© 2006