Sister Hildegard has had many a foreign adventure, but her latest escapade in 14th-century England is more dangerous than most.
Childless monarchs are always vulnerable, so it’s no surprise that many schemers are plotting to remove Richard II and his wife Anne of Bohemia from the English throne. Meanwhile, Hildegard (The Law of Angels, 2011, etc.) is accompanying Alexander Neville, Bishop of York, to London, where he wants her to spy on the Parliament being assembled as they await a French invasion. Before they leave Yorkshire, a servant is found murdered, but his death is the least of their concerns. On the journey they are attacked, and at a stop in Lincoln they run into Katharine Swynford, mistress of the king’s enemy the Duke of Lancaster, and her obnoxious bastard son Sir Thomas Swynford. Once in London, Hildegard is horrified to discover her husband, long thought dead, is alive and wants to claim both her and his estate. When he tries to rape her, she is rescued at the last minute by a foreign friar. Later she learns that her savior is Rivera, a spy working for the King’s enemies. After he rescues her from death a second time, they become lovers. Hildegard’s world is in shambles as she awaits word on her status as a nun, fights her love for Rivera and attempts to unravel the complicated plots against the king.
Mystery takes a back seat to copious historical detail in Hildegard’s pleasing fourth adventure.