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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Alehouse Murders by Maureen Ash

Genre: Historical Mystery

Setting: Lincoln, England, 1200AD

First Sentence: Heat hung like a sodden blanket over Lincoln town and the surrounding countryside.

This novel is the first in Ash's Templar Knight mystery series.  This series currently runs to seven books.

Our main character, Bascot de Marins, is a Templar knight recently returned from the Holy Land.  During his years spent on crusade Bascot has experienced the horror of battle.  He was captured by the Saracens and spent years as a slave.

Now, Bascot is spending time at the castle at Lincoln recuperating in both body and soul.  With him is his young companion Gianni.  When Bascot found him, Gianni was poor malnourished orphan struggling to survive on the wharves of Palermo.  Together they form a unique family unit.

There has been a horrible murder in Lincoln.  Four persons, three men and a woman, have been found dead in an alehouse.  The lady of the castle asks Bascot to investigate.  Since Bascot is relatively new to Lincoln, she believes that he will conduct an honest and thorough investigation.

While he is making inquiries there are two more deaths - a priest and a whore monger.  Could it be that all six murders were committed by the same killer?    When Bascot feels that he has unraveled the mystery, he still needs to find a way to prove the identity of the killer.

Can Bascot find a way to solve the mystery, or will the killer go free?

Because this novel is the first in Ash's Templar knight series, there is a lot of exposition.  In Bascot de Marins, Ash has created a complete, well rounded, and interesting character.  The author does a good job of weaving Bascot's story into the plot of the novel.  In the end we have read a great mystery novel, and we have a character that we like.

I am looking forward to future visits with Bascot.


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