It is 1146 and Catherine le Vendeur, her husband Edgar and their children are back home in France. It has been a tumultuous time for Catherine as her father Hubert has finally come to terms with his Jewish heritage. Although Catherine is accepting of Hubert, her sister Agnes estranges herself from both her father and Catherine.

Catherine and Hubert learn that Agnes is to travel to Germany to marry a man she has never met. Theyre shocked, but eventually Hubert sends Agnes off with her dowry and two knights to guard her.

All is not bliss for the newlyweds, and when the popular groom dies under mysterious circumstances, Agnes is held captive and her execution ordered. In spite of the fact that its a dangerous time for Jews, Catherine, Edgar, and Hubert travel to Germany to unearth the mystery.

Rich in detail and description, THE DIFFICULT SAINT is a sumptuous read for all those who love historical novels.As always, Newman does an excellent job of researching her materialthe reader feels as if shes with Catherine during this exciting and tumultuous era. (Nov., 352pp., $6.99—Hardcover published November 1999)

Reviewed by: 
Toby Bromberg