The Traitor’s Tale

Written by Margaret Frazer
Review by Lucille Cormier

In 1450, England had been warring with France for almost a century. But the English were now on the losing side. There is evidence that the Duke of Suffolk and others close to the king decided to end the war by breaking the truce and surrendering shamelessly. Suffolk left a list of their names; a list of traitors.

And so The Traitor’s Tale begins. In her trademark style of even-paced, character-driven storytelling, Frazer weaves a tale of assassination and political intrigue. Dame Frevisse, confidante and cousin to Suffolk’s widow, combines forces with Joliffe, once a jongleur and now one of Richard of York’s most trusted men. Together they unravel the plot to assassinate the men who have seen the list. There is action aplenty as Joliffe crosses swords in street battles and against hired assassins, and intrigue in abundance as Frevisse navigates the court of Margaret of Anjou.

The story closes – prophetically – at St. Albans, where Frevisse and Joliffe present York with the list of traitors. Who among them ordered the assassinations? The Traitor’s Tale is another fine read, a must-have volume in the collection of Dame Frevisse mysteries.