A Trust Betrayed

Written by Candace Robb
Review by Suzanne Crane

This first book of a new mystery series by veteran author Robb (of the Owen Archer series set in fourteenth century England) introduces Dame Margaret Kerr of thirteenth century Scotland. Dame Kerr has not heard from her merchant husband, Roger, since he left Edinburgh on undisclosed business months before.  Roger’s friend and cousin, Jack, goes looking for Roger but is brutally murdered.  Margaret, strong-willed and stubborn, takes it upon herself to find Jack’s murderer.

When Margaret arrives in Edinburgh, she confronts a city occupied by the English enemy.  The flavor of the people, the language, and the source of the tensions between the English and Scots are palpable.  Robb is superbly skilled at communicating the devastation that the war between the two neighbors has brought to Scotland.  In the character of Dame Margaret, Robb has found the perfect vehicle for conveying the Scottish beliefs in love, faith and loyalty while having some fun unraveling a murder.

One caveat:  readers unfamiliar with Scottish vernacular may find themselves a bit overwhelmed at first.  However, Robb provides a glossary to help us out.  Robb’s writing is so rich and historically true that this is a must for all lovers of historical mysteries.