New English Library (Hodder & Stoughton) - 2000
ISBN 0340739347 - Paperback

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde, MyShelf.Com
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This is the second of the Hawkenlye mysteries featuring Abbess Helewise and Sir Josse d'Acquin (the first was Fortune Like the Moon).  It is 1191 and
King Richard has just married Berengaria and as the book opens the Queen Mother Eleanor is confiding some of her concerns to her old friend Helewise.

But soon the Abbess has problems of her own for a body has just been found in the nearby Wealden Forest, shot with a flint arrowhead.  This is surely

the work of the Forest People who are feared by the locals as semi-supernatural beings capable of fearsome acts.  Soon another death follows and even if the sheriff isn't interested Helewise and Josse certainly are, especially as two convent girls seem to be mysteriously involved.  What lurks in the forest that seems to be capable of terrifying even a tough old campaigner like Josse?

If you are a fan of Brother Cadfael and Sister Frevisse then you will surely enjoy this latest foray into monastic murders.  Clare has a nice light touch with the facts of mediaeval life that rings true but does not swamp the story.  I felt that this tale could stand some editing in the middle but otherwise the atmosphere is there, the characters interesting (but could do with a little more fleshing out in places) and the story teasing enough without being as baffling as it might have been given a bit more plotting on the author's part.  A good, entertaining read without being outstanding.

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