Friday, August 15, 2008

Woo hoo, $10.50 so far this summer!

Though I loves me my medieval mysteries, sometimes I accidentally stash them underneath old Atlantic Monthly magazines, and leave them to fester. (This can cause momentarily delight upon re-discovery of the books, followed by severe panic and heart palpitations at the thought of the overdue fines incurred.)

The fifth book in the Catherine LeVendeur series has our heroine travelling to Scotland and northern England with her four-month-old baby, to help investigate gruesome murders in her husband's family. The book is filled with the typical detective work, mysterious goings-on, and dramatic end-of-tale confessions.

A major theme for the series is Jewish life in medieval Europe. Obviously, said life was not the happiest, though some areas were less anti-Semitic than others. Cursed in the Blood compared Jewish history in various French cities (the previous four books) to the diaspora's English contingent. In this fifth book, though, Newman adds another new element: the gays! There's a minor subplot involving a nobleman and a man of the cloth.

Newman had a shocker for an ending, too. Whereas the previous four books have ended on relatively happy notes, this one was both shocking and heartbreaking. I did not expect the violent ending with the dismembering of a major character! It'll be interesting to see how Newman develops this in the next few books...

... which I will make sure are not overdue at the library.

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