In the Presence of Evil

Tania Bayard. Severn, $28.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8788-7
Set in 1393 Paris, Bayard’s impressive first novel and series launch introduces Christine de Pizan, a widow who struggles to support her family as a freelance scribe. When Queen Isabeau retains her to copy a book as a wedding gift for a favored lady-in-waiting, Christine heads to the palace, only to have a frightening encounter with a man in a black cloak who’s not wearing shoes, despite the bitterly cold weather. She’s even more unnerved when she finds the same man stabbed through the heart in the palace itself, and learns that he was in the employ of the Duke of Orléans, King Charles’s brother. The motive for the murder seems clear, as a book the dead man was bringing to the duke has vanished. After a second murder claims the life of another person connected to the court, Christine turns detective to exonerate the woman suspected of that crime. Bayard (A Medieval Home Companion: Housekeeping in the Fourteenth Century) excels at describing people and places and puts her knowledge of the period to good use in crafting an engrossing whodunit. Agent: Josh Getzler, HSG Agency. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/18/2018
Release date: 08/01/2018
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-78010-967-1
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