Master Mainard Saddler is grossly deformed of face and married to a shrew. However, to Sabina, blind whore of the Old Priory Guesthouse, he represents a haven, for he has asked her to live with him. It is assumed that his wife Bertrild is pleased to have no more dealings with him.

The assumption is wrong for Bertrild is enraged and wants Sabina sent back immediately, yet Mainard and Sabina have found happiness together. Before anything can be done, Bertrild is murdered and Mainard is held responsible.

Sabina turns to her former Madame, Magdalena la Bartarde, for help. Magdalena, in spite of the problems she is having on a personal level with him, asks her would-be lover, Sir Bellamy of Itchen, for assistance. Bell and Magdalena make a dynamic combination and it is through their determined efforts that the web of intrigue surrounding Bertrilds murder is exposed.

A PERSONAL DEVIL is an excellent blend of historical romance and mystery with both sides equally balanced. The character of Magdalena is exceptionally strong and vivid, bound to please those who love both genres of fiction. (Mar. 320 pp., $23.95)

Reviewed by: 
Toby Bromberg