A Shadowed Evil

Written by Alys Clare
Review by Elizabeth Knowles

England, 1212. In this 16th Hawkenlye mystery, Josse and Helewise are visiting his mother’s ancestral home, Southfire Hall. Uncle Hugh is dying, and the house, always a place of warmth and welcome, now has a tense, unhappy atmosphere. Cousin Herbert has married an unpleasant woman, Cyrille de Pices, who is unkind to her little son, Olivar, and is heartily disliked by all. A young, handsome stranger is injured just outside the gates, and is succoured by Helewise and the female relatives. Josse’s favorite cousin is missing and is not discussed. He and Helewise struggle to make sense of these threads, deal with the deaths that occur, and find out what happened to Aeleis—all in a frosty wintertime under Interdict and with looming evil at the Hall.

This novel stands alone as far as the mystery, and fans of the series will enjoy revisiting Josse, Helewise, Hawkenlye Abbey, and Wealden Forest. Readers new to this fictional world would enjoy it more if they went back to the early books and read them in order. The long, satisfying story of Sir Josse D’Acquin and Abbess Helewise would make more sense, as would the Plantagenet timeline. This series is highly recommended.