THE BASTARD'S TALE
The undercover nun, Sister Frevisse, returns in another medieval mystery. Frevisse is sent by the bishop to report on intrigue in the House of Suffolk against the House of Gloucester.
After several years in exile in King Henry V's disfavor, it seems as if luck might change for the Duke of Gloucester. He's invited to attend Parliament, as his wife (who is accused of using sorcery against the king), would be pardoned and released from her imprisonment. Once he arrives, however, attended by his illegitimate son, Arteys, Gloucester is arrested for treason.
Conveniently, Dame Frevisse arrives to attend her cousin Alice, wife of the Duke of Suffolk; she's suspicious of Suffolk and his motives behind the arrest of Gloucester.
The author has skillfully blended the people and the events of the time into a fictitious account of what may have happened to Gloucester and to his son. History certainly comes alive in Frazer's hands. The book is a complicated story of love, loyalty and betrayal. (Jan., 308 pp., $22.95)