The Counterfeit Madam: A Gil Cunningham Murder Mystery

Pat McIntosh, Author
Pat McIntosh. Soho Constable, $25 (304p) ISBN 978-1-56947-949-0
Reviewed on: 04/11/2011
Release date: 06/01/2011
The provost of Glasgow asks Gil Cunningham, the archbishop's quaester, to track down the source of counterfeit coins flooding the area in McIntosh's suspenseful eighth mystery set in 15th-century Scotland (after 2010's A Pig of Cold Vision). Gil's workload is doubled when Dame Isabella Torrance, a crusty old woman, is murdered by someone who inserted a nail in her ear. Isabella re-entered Gil's life after many years a short time before to propose a land transaction that would have exchanged two plots for the abandonment of Gil's foster-son's inheritance claim. The investigator suspects that the death may be connected with the presence of a brothel on one of the properties Isabella was seeking to barter. Gil and his wife, Alys, make a winning pair, and McIntosh deftly balances plot and period detail, though some might lament the lack of a glossary for archaic words like sasine. (June)
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