Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Gabriel Taverner Mystery #4 Magic in the Weave

Magic in the Weave is the 4th Gabriel Taverner historical mystery by Alys Clare. Released 1st Feb 2022 by Severn House, it's 256 pages and is available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. (Paperback format due out in 1st quarter 2023). 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.

Set during the reign of James I, a band of performers has fled London ostensibly to escape the plague. Dr. Gabriel Taverner and his household and friends become involved with the players, whose performances are compelling and Gabe is worried that his sister Celia has become uncomfortably close to some of them who had other reasons for escaping London.

The plot is well paced and constructed and I was engaged from the beginning. There is a significant supernatural element which I admittedly found somewhat surplus to requirements in a murder mystery, especially a historical mystery without the access to forensic tests which modern settings possess. That being said, the characterizations are top notch, and the supernatural aspects weren't *too* overpowering. The dialogue is accessible and the author manages to suffuse the speech with verisimilitude without sacrificing clarity. 

Since it's the 4th book in a continuing series, some of the interrelationships and character backgrounds will be spoiled by being read out of order, but the mystery and denoument are (mostly) self contained in this volume and could be read as a standalone. 

Four stars. A well crafted mystery.

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

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