A dramatic mystery lavishly studded with period details: Clark’s best to date.


Sister Hildegard has a momentous decision to make as soon as she solves some murders.

Newly returned from a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela after the death of her lover, the spy Rivera (A Parliament of Spies, 2012), Hildegard is wondering whether she should remain a nun. While she ponders her decision, her prioress sends her to Handale Priory, a remote Benedictine outpost in the north of England, where rumor has it that a dragon has taken up residence in the nearby woods. Upon her arrival, she finds an atmosphere filled with suspicion, a number of badly treated penitents suffering for their sins, and a dead man, one of the masons working on a new addition for the prioress, said to be killed by the dragon. Prioress Basilda lives in luxury along with a few special cronies while the rest of the community suffers deprivations. Hildegard, tasked with keeping up the paperwork, has plenty of time to investigate both the murder and an underhanded scheme concocted by Master Fulke, a benefactor of the priory. The remaining masons are willing to help Hildegard, who soon has the fatal poisoning of the priory’s young priest to add to her list. Along the way, she discovers that Fulke is hiding illegal goods on the priory grounds, feathers destined for the arrows of King Richard II’s enemies, who include many powerful earls. Fulke is also selling women, one of them an orphaned heiress destined to be a pawn in a powerful game. Even after finding the answers to some of her problems in manuscripts in the scriptorium, Hildegard realizes she’s playing a dangerous game against powerful enemies.

A dramatic mystery lavishly studded with period details: Clark’s best to date.

Pub Date: March 17, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-05886-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Minotaur

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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One of her best. Poirot, again on vacation, falls foul of a murder on board a Nile river steamer, followed by two successive murders, obviously connected. A sophisticated group, an ingenious plot, clever deduction, swift-paced narrative. A little romance on the side lends glamour. First rate entertainment.

Pub Date: Feb. 8, 1938

ISBN: 0062073559

Page Count: 354

Publisher: Dodd, Mead

Review Posted Online: Sept. 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1938

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Proficient but eminently predictable. Amid all the time shifts and embedded backstories, the most surprising feature is how...

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A convicted killer’s list of five people he wants dead runs the gamut from the wife he’s already had murdered to franchise heroine Ali Reynolds.

Back in the day, women came from all over to consult Santa Clarita fertility specialist Dr. Edward Gilchrist. Many of them left his care happily pregnant, never dreaming that the father of the babies they carried was none other than the physician himself, who donated his own sperm rather than that of the handsome, athletic, disease-free men pictured in his scrapbook. When Alexandra Munsey’s son, Evan, is laid low by the kidney disease he’s inherited from his biological father and she returns to Gilchrist in search of the donor’s medical records, the roof begins to fall in on him. By the time it’s done falling, he’s serving a life sentence in Folsom Prison for commissioning the death of his wife, Dawn, the former nurse and sometime egg donor who’d turned on him. With nothing left to lose, Gilchrist tattoos himself with the initials of five people he blames for his fall: Dawn; Leo Manuel Aurelio, the hit man he’d hired to dispose of her; Kaitlyn Todd, the nurse/receptionist who took Dawn’s place; Alex Munsey, whose search for records upset his apple cart; and Ali Reynolds, the TV reporter who’d helped put Alex in touch with the dozen other women who formed the Progeny Project because their children looked just like hers. No matter that Ali’s been out of both California and the news business for years; Gilchrist and his enablers know that revenge can’t possibly be served too cold. Wonder how far down that list they’ll get before Ali, aided once more by Frigg, the methodical but loose-cannon AI first introduced in Duel to the Death (2018), turns on them?

Proficient but eminently predictable. Amid all the time shifts and embedded backstories, the most surprising feature is how little the boundary-challenged AI, who gets into the case more or less inadvertently, differs from your standard human sidekick with issues.

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-5101-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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