About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hangman Blind by Cassandra Clark

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50. – 513.) Hangman Blind by Cassandra Clark – In 1382 Abbess Hildegard sets forth from her abbey in Yorkshire to deliver a secret missive to the archbishop at York. It is a time of great intrigue. There are competiting popes in Avignon and Rome. King Richard is uneasily on the throne with the country still unsettled over the brutal suppression of Wat Tyler and his peasant supporters. Hildegard, the widow of English knight, is well aware of the politics of the time but her ambition is more modest - to establish a small Cistercian abbey of 7 nuns using the inheritance she has received. Abbott Hubert of Meaux is unenthusiastic. She moves on to her childhood home at Castle Hutton to discuss a location with Sir Rodger. On the way she finds 5 young men executed by hanging and a 6th slain by the sword. Rodger’s steward, Ulf, is her childhood friend. At a massive banquet Rodger is felled by poison. Hildegard sets out to identify the poisoner. She is uniquely worldly and spiritual. In a savage and violent era she skillfully makes her investigation. It is a good book but it never grabbed me. The story is well told and Hildegard is a very interesting character. Her relationships with Hubert and Ulf hint at worldly depth but remain proper. The mysteries Adelia, Mistress of Death, a century earlier grabbed me. Hildegard and Adelia are fiercely independent women in a time where women had little public role. I am not sure if I would buy another in the series. Paperback. (Dec. 27/09)
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