Friday, January 27, 2012

Book 4: D is for Darkly

A Darkly Hidden Truth (The Monastery Murders)A Darkly Hidden Truth by Fletcher Donna

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The series title "Monastery Murders" and the promise of dashes of medieval history and iconography intrigued me, although I am not generally a murder mystery enthusiast - I enjoy them occasionally, but it is not a genre I read often. The bargain price in Amazon's post-Christmas Kindle sale made me decide this book was worth a try. It turned out to be an easy and reasonably entertaining read, but I'm afraid I found the heroine Felicity rather irritating and the plot required me to suspend disbelief too far and too frequently. I was also bugged by both major and minor inaccuracies - a female ordinand in an Anglo-Catholic Anglican seminary? Sounds odd given that opposition to women priests is a defining characteristic of most Anglo-Catholics. American Felicity lectured by a policeman fo failing to carry her passport and visa while in the UK? Um, no, there is no requirement for anyone in the UK to carry any sort of ID. This is the second book in a series and not knowing what came before made it harder both to get into the book and to identify with the characters (how did the previously non-religious Felicity end up at theological college, I wonder?). There were aapects I enjoyed - the ways she brought in the anchoress Julian of Norwich and eccentric medieval pilgrim Margery Kempe, for example - but I didn't enjoy the book enough to want to go back and read the first one.

Next time I want a monastery murder with a medieval flavour I think I'll stick to Ellis Peters' Cadfael books.

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