A Deadly Penance: A Templar Knight Mystery

Written by Maureen Ash
Review by Justin M. Lindsay

When Aubrey Tercel is found murdered on the grounds of Lincoln Castle – slain with a crossbow from the castle’s armory – Templar Bascot de Marins is brought in to lead the investigation. He has a long list of potential suspects, including those who had attended the party the night of the murder, along with members of the furrier and winemaker guilds. But as de Marins uncovers more about the enigmatic Tercel, he must cast his net even wider. Could Tercel, a cofferer and known adulterer, be a bastard son of Richard Lionheart? Could this have motivated his murderer?

Maureen Ash does a masterful job of drawing the reader into 12th-century England. She flavors her narrative with just enough detail about things like candle-making, the furrier trade, and Lincoln’s legal system to flesh the world out without slowing down the pace. This is the sixth installment in her Templar Knight mystery series, but this novel works just fine as a standalone. This reads as a cozy, good for cleansing the palate of heavier or darker content.