Priscilla Royal,
Satan's Lullaby
(Poisoned Pen Press, 2015)

Satan's Lullaby is the 11th book in a medieval mystery series set in an English priory. Despite coming to the series late, it was easy to grasp at least some of the gist of the previous 10 novels, and so understand what's going on.

The overall plot seems rather arbitrary to me; I can think of several other resolutions that would have worked. (To me, the brilliance of a mystery is to throw out red herrings BUT make the final resolution seem inevitable.) Not that it is bad -- things got figured out, and justice prevailed -- but the resolution just didn't strike me as inevitable.

The characterizations, though, are excellent. Both the ongoing characters in the series and the new ones are individual and well-realized.

Priscilla Royal clearly did a lot of research in various aspects of her story, and she shares it with us in a very comfortable way. The historical aspects seem to be well drawn (although I am not an expert), and it gave me some perspective on life in the UK in 1200 CE ... although I suspect the "Crowner" position is anachronistic.

I very much enjoyed this novel, and will be reading more in the series.

book review by
Amanda Fisher

11 April 2015

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