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The widow's tale
Margaret Frazer
Adult Fiction FRAZER

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Don't be discouraged by a confusing hawk-hunting scene introducing numerous characters at the start of Frazer's 14th Dame Frevisse mystery (after 2004's The Hunter's Tale), because what follows is a smooth and absorbing saga of conspiracy and treachery in 15th-century England. In 1449, landowner Edward Helyngton lies on his deathbed while his jealous cousin Laurence waits raptor-like to swoop down and seize his estate. Soon after Edward's demise, his widow, Cristiana, is banished to St. Frideswide's nunnery, where she's forced to do penance face down on the cold chapel floor for unspecified sins alleged by Laurence's agents. Living on bread and water, the embittered Cristiana eventually tells her sad tale to Dame Frevisse, who is at first only a sympathetic listener, but later takes a more active sleuthing role. A tantalizing secret confided to Cristiana by her dying husband turns out to have stunning political implications. The suspense builds steadily toward a visit from King Henry VI in this well-wrought tale involving murder, treason and "layers of ambition and betrayal." Agent, Nancy Yost. (Jan. 5) FYI: A two-time Edgar nominee, Frazer is also the author of A Play of Isaac (2004), the first in a new medieval mystery series. "Margaret Frazer" is the pseudonym of Gail Frazer, who collaborated with Mary Pulver Kuhfeld on the first six books in the series. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


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main characters Sister Frevisse
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Great-niece of Geoffrey Chaucer.
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