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THE RED VELVET TURNSHOE
Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Mystery, Historical
This second wonderful mystery starring nun Abbess Hildegard is as strong as Clark's first. She combines interesting historical research with a compelling plot for an exciting mystery you won't want to put down. The twists never stop, and there's a romance that has the potential to ruin lives and bring only sadness. Clark is adept at bringing out the psychological factors of the 14th century as well as those universal to any era. Characters are so real you feel you know them.
In the midst of winter, Sister Hildegard is sent by her prioress to find and, if necessary, buy a religious artifact in Rome -- the cross of Constantine. At the best of times this would be a terribly hard journey from England over the Alps on foot. But these are the worst of times. Two popes sit on two different thrones, dividing the Christian alliances. The crown of England is at stake. Flooding has brought famine, disease and the Black Death throughout Europe. There are powers in England who want Hildegard to fail, and she seldom knows who she can trust and who might wish to kill her. (MINOTAUR, Dec., 288 pp., $24.99)
Reviewed By: Page Traynor
Published: December 2009