Covenant with Hell
The editor for this medieval series, of which this is the tenth volume, writes that “This is a series not to be missed by readers who yearn for one more medieval mystery from Ellis Peters,” and this reader agrees.
The atmosphere is thick with our expectations of medieval society and culture: wayward priests, greedy merchants, starving orphans, religiosity – often of a hypocritical bent, and politics, politics, politics. It is 1277, and Prioress Eleanor and Brother Thomas make a pilgrimage to the East Anglian shrine of Walsingham, only to discover that King Edward may also be visiting there soon. Within the first few pages, a nun falls to her death from a tower in the cloister; soon there are other victims. Eleanor and Thomas realize that there is a plot to assassinate Edward when he arrives at the shrine and the assassin is, one by one, eliminating those who might interfere with his plans.
This is a satisfying mystery following in the footsteps of Peters, where religious people are not devout clichés but individuals with histories of their own. Historical detail is thick and accurate. A marvelous read.