Friday, 13 March 2015

Kim's review : The Good Knight (Gareth & Gwen Medieval Mystery)

The Good Knight by Sarah Woodbury is part of her Gareth & Gwen Medieval Mystery series. This was the first time I was reading a tale set in Wales, added to that was the fact that it was Historical Fiction and a mystery to boot. Quite a potent combination.

The story is set in the court of Owain, the King of North Wales in 1143AD with a bit of the action spilling over into Ireland. Its not easy to find fiction set in Wales (or maybe I just haven't been looking in the right places), so it was an absolute pleasure to discover this book.

The kingdom is preparing for the marriage of the daughter of King Owain with an allied King Anarawd. But the groom is murdered on the way to his wedding. Gareth - a knight, and Gwen - the daughter of the exiled court bard — are tasked by the brides brother with bringing the killer to justice.

Behind-the-scene political machinations, intrigue, rivalry and suspicion run amok and suddenly the blame for the murder falls on Gareth himself, leaving Gwen to continue her search alone, until Gwen finds herself kidnapped and held to ransom.

There is a hint of a romance in this book, but its not too integral to the story. Think early seasons of Castle or Bones.

There are some mysteries hinted at in this book, which are covered in the prequel - The Bard's Daughter - the setting of that book is how Gwen turns into a spy / sleuth.

The pronunciation guide and the historical map of Wales are a good bonus at the start of the book.

I read that Ellis Peters is the author to read for believable medieval detective work and his "The Summer of the Danes" is set in the same time period. So I'm going to have to pick that one up next now.

Rating : 3.75 / 5

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