Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Alys Clare's Hawkenlye series

Alys Clare writes historically accurate mysteries set in 12th century England. Centered around Hawkenlye Abbey, the action always involves the brilliant abbess, Helewise, and a king's knight, Josse d'Acquin. The first title in the series, Fortune Like the Moon, is a great introduction to the period and the entire series. A young nun is found murdered just outside the abbey walls. The queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, has just released felons from prison to gain acceptance for her son, the new king Richard Plantagenet, so the local people think one of them is the murderer -- but Abbess Helewise and Josse d'Acquin find many clues that lead them to believe otherwise. The English countryside is vividly described, and Josse and Helewise are fresh, charming, and appealing detectives. For a look at 1186 England, I highly recommend Alys Clare's Hawkenlye mystery series.

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