cover image Falconer's Judgement

Falconer's Judgement

Ian Morson / Author St. Martin's Press $20.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-

In 1261, England's King Henry III faces nobles and commoners disaffected with his foreign advisers, while factions in Europe vie for control of the papacy as Alexander IV lies dying in Rome. Into this turbulent stew falls William Falconer, Regent Master of the University of Oxford (first encountered in Falconer's Crusade), who attempts to save some students accused of killing Sinibaldo, the master of cooks and brother of the much-unloved Bishop Otho, Papal Legate to England and a candidate for the Holy See. After the chief suspect is murdered, Falconer applies Aristotle's deductive logic, which he has learned from his friend Roger Bacon, to sift though ecclesiastic and worldly plots. He is aided by Knight Templar Guillaume de Beaujeu, sent from Rome to pursue his own order's ends, and Ann Segrim, the unhappy wife of one of the local plotters. Based on a true incident, this lively tale of medieval Oxford offers period detail along with a first-rate mystery in which the coerced aid of a doom-preaching Dominican friar becomes part of the solution. (Feb.)