cover image The Way Between the Worlds

The Way Between the Worlds

Alys Clare. Severn, $28.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8097-0

Set in 1092, Clare’s enjoyable fourth whodunit featuring apprentice healer Lassair (after 2010’s Music of the Distant Stars) finds Lassair living in Cambridge with a wizard, Gurdyman, from whom she hopes to learn the secrets of alchemy. Plagued by disturbing dreams, she interprets these as an effort on the part of a loved one to alert her that he or she is in distress. Her worst fears are realized when word reaches her family that a nun at the abbey where her sister, Elfritha, serves has been murdered in a manner suggesting the victim was intended as a ritual sacrifice. Clare does a nice job of weaving the real-life political concerns of the time—King Malcolm of Scotland has designs on the English crown—into the story line, though readers should be prepared for a world in which magic is real. (Feb.)