The Twice-Hanged Man (Medieval Mysteries)

Written by Priscilla Royal
Review by Elizabeth Knowles

This is Royal’s fifteenth medieval mystery featuring Prioress Eleanor of Norfolk’s Tyndal Priory.

It is autumn, 1282. Eleanor is in the Welsh marches visiting her brother Robert and his pregnant wife. They flee, along with Brother Thomas and sub-infirmarian Sister Anne, from Robert’s war-torn lands to a safer manor just inside the English border. Baby Alienor is born undisturbed by the conflict raging between Edward I of England and the Welsh.

A priest is found dead with the ghost of a recently hanged man standing over him. The local abbot asks for Eleanor’s help. She, Thomas, and Anne try to detangle a complex puzzle that apparently involves the supernatural. They all battle fatigue and family apprehensions. Brother Thomas is dealing with much sadness and self-doubt, resulting in a startling revelation to Prioress Eleanor.

Fans of Royal’s earlier, well-received mysteries will probably enjoy this somber, haunting tale. New readers will flounder a bit in the social dynamics between Eleanor, Thomas, and Sister Anne, and may want to start reading earlier in the series.