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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Plague of Poison by Maureen Ash

Genre: Historical Mystery

Setting: In and around the English city of Lincoln, Spring 1201 AD.

First sentence: With the celebration of Eastertide at the end of March, a warm spring radiance had descended on Lincoln.

This novel is the third in Ash's Templar Knight series.  This series currently has seven titles.

There is unrest and fear in Lincoln.  In short order, several seemingly unrelated people have been murdered by poison.

Our main character, Bascot de Marins is asked by the lady of the castle to investigate.  It seems that all of the clues point to a local potter.  Although he swears his innocence, the potter is sentenced to death.  The sentence will be carried out in a few weeks when the king's officials affirm the potter's conviction.

Bascot is a Templar knight.  He has recently returned from several horrible years in the Holy Land.  Bascot is serving at Lincoln in order to rest both body and soul.  Traveling with Bascot is his young ward Gianni.  Although he is young, and mute, Gianni is intelligent and observant.

There is something about the potter's conviction which does not seem right to Bascot.  Then Gianni makes several observations which point Bascot in the right direction.  Soon, Bascot is convinced that the potter is not guilty.  But now he needs to find the evidence needed to overturn the potter's conviction and reveal the identity of the true poisoner.

This novel was a pleasant read.  Bascot is an interesting and believable character.  The novel was an intriguing and tangled mystery.  I did not know "who done it" until the reveal at the end.

I'll be looking for more of Ash's Templar Knight novels to read.


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