cover image The Devil’s Cup: A Hawkenlye Mystery

The Devil’s Cup: A Hawkenlye Mystery

Alys Clare. Severn, $28.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8710-8

Set in 1216, Clare’s meandering 17th Hawkenlye mystery (after 2015’s A Shadowed Evil) finds King John, the Donald Trump of his day, battling the French and other splinter factions for control of England. Former knight Josse d’Acquin’s family is divided into those who back King John and those who consider him a lecherous traitor and tyrant. Josse, a supporter, is summoned by the king and gallops off to join him. Meanwhile, Josse’s herbalist and healer daughter, Meggie, has been called to Hawkenlye Abbey to treat a seemingly hysterical woman who has been brought there by her son, Faruq. Soon, Faruq and Meggie are on a quest to find the Devil’s Cup, an ancient treasure that leaves death and sorrow in its wake. The story pauses every now and then to slide in little shards of backstory, which the reader requires to understand the lives of Josse and his large and complicated clan. Newcomers would be well advised to start at the beginning of the series. (Aug.)