The Lark’s Lament
The Lark’s Lament is the sixth of Alan Gordon’s Fools’ Guild mysteries. Theophilus the Fool now shares the stage with his fool wife, Claudia, their baby, Portia, and Helga, apprentice fool and adopted daughter.
In 1204 Pope Innocent III threatens to disband the Fools’ Guild. The Guild needs Folquet of Marseille, erstwhile minstrel, now abbot of the Cistercian Abbey of Le Thoronet, to dissuade the pope. But Folquet has been threatened. Scrawled on the librarium wall, in the blood of a murdered monk, is the cryptic message: “FOLQUET: COLD IS THE HAND THAT CRUSHES THE LARK.” The price of Folquet’s diplomacy is the killer’s capture. Murders compound as Theophilus’ troupe follows the trail through the taverns and manors of Marseille andMontpellier. It all comes back to Le Thoronet in a decidedly non-contemplative climax.
The Lark’s Lament deserves Academy Awards for best acting, best writing, and best fooling in the Medieval Mysteries category. In scenes worthy of Monty Python, and with dialogue of nonstop shtick, the author jests his way through a very sad story of tragic love, betrayal, and revenge. It is the stuff of minstrels and troubadours: a performance not to be missed!