Murder at the Leopard (Vespers Trilogy, Book One)

Written by Lucia Olivia Lampe RM Vassari
Review by Teresa Devine

Despite the spiritual atmosphere of Holy Week festivities in 1281 Palermo, an angry tension simmering among the native populace rides uneasily just below the surface calm. Still, most residents go about their daily lives as the political intrigue plays out in Naples, the site of Charles’ royal court. Charles’ justice system becomes reality, however, when a drunken wealthy merchant is murdered in Palermo’s streets after leaving The Leopard, a neighborhood tavern. The owner, Amodeus de Rogerio, takes the murder personally. Unfortunately, he’s also the prime suspect and is incarcerated within hours of the murder.”

The turbulent world of the thirteenth and fourteenth century Sicily forms the backdrop for Lucia Olivia Lampe’s first volume in her “Vespers” series, Murder at the Leopard centering in part on the eponymous tavern, the Leopard. The owner, Amodeus de Rogerio, finds himself as the primary suspect in the death of one of his patrons – leading his strong-willed and resourceful wife, Ysabella, to take up the case of proving his innocence and dealing with subsequent murders.

A lively and fast-paced series, and future volumes are eagerly anticipated