Saturday, September 11, 2021

Murder at Beaulieu Abbey (Abbess of Meaux #11)


Murder at Beaulieu Abbey is the 11th Hildegard of Meaux medieval mystery by Cassandra Clark. Released 1st June 2021 by Severn House, it's 256 pages and is available in hardcover and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

This is a beautifully written historical mystery. The story revolves around a background historical framework so seamlessly, it's not always apparent where real history shades over into fiction. The author writes authoritatively and accurately about the time period and includes characters who are three dimensional and believable. Although it's the 11th book in the series, it works quite well as a standalone.

I really enjoyed Hildegard's practicality, intelligence, and wit. She works well with her 'team' and they complement one another's strengths. The book reminds me in a lot of ways of Brother Cadfael, although Ellis Peters' superlative series was set a couple of centuries earlier.

I was a bit let down about 2/3rds of the way through, being sure that I knew precisely what was going on. I was therefore delighted to find that I was more or less completely wrong. Well played, Ms. Clark, well played. The denouement is well written and satisfying. It's a solid period murder mystery and a good addition to the series.

Four stars. I really enjoyed it.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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