Thursday 2 March 2017

A Discovering Diamonds Review of: A TASTE OF EVIL by Lindsay Townsend


Mystery / Family Saga

Alyson Weaver is Chaucer’s Wife of Bath given flesh and depth.  She is a weaver, a wealthy widow several times over, and a frequent pilgrim.  She is to be examined for witchcraft, heresy and the murder of her fifth husband, Peter.  He was poisoned, and all evidence conveniently leads to her door.

It is known that she and her husband were at war, and that he had a mistress, in whose house he died.  Peter had made enemies at different levels of society, some of whom stand to gain financially if Alyson is convicted and burned as a witch. With the aid of lawyer Solomon, and Pardoner Christopher, with whom she enjoys a close, if casual, relationship, she fights the church and secular powers on their own terms.

She faces attacks from all sides, both physical and more subtle, in the form of malicious gossip and family disloyalty; but she must stand firm, with the aid of her friends, to ensure that the truth is discovered.

Alyson is a lusty woman, and intelligent – more than her accusers, whom she fights with such weapons as she has available. Others are less fortunate, and their treatment is harrowing; but with her understanding of love in all its many shades, she determines to make all right for them.

It must be said is that this is not a stand-alone book; it follows immediately from a previous novel, An Older Evil, and feels as though it starts halfway through the story. However, the author has that rare knack of taking the reader seamlessly into the world of Medieval Bath. The sense of power and corruption, the miserable and vicious lives of the underclasses, the prevalence of dirt and disease, are all there without being pointed out, just as they would be to a person walking those streets at that time: accepted, because they were part of life.

True to its era, with a good twisting plot and a mystery to the end, this is recommended; but I suggest, read the other book first.

© Lorraine Swoboda 
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1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this review!
    One tiny point - the title is £1.99
    Best Lindsay Townsend


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