The Lammas Wild

Alys Clare. Severn, $28.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-7278-9009-2

Set in 1100, Clare’s strong 10th and final Aelf Fen mystery (after 2019’s City of Pearl) finds the talented healer Lassair, who can also read minds, back home in the Fenland of East Anglia after a seven-year absence in Spain. The tension rises with the murder of one of the first people she speaks to, wealthy widow Eleanor de Lacey. Even more ominous, an enemy from Spain is trailing Lassair, with violence clearly the intent. The investigation into Eleanor’s murder and others that follow by the man Lassair loves, Cambridge lawman Jack Chevestrier, leads to the exposure of a network of spies. Meanwhile, Lassair dares not reveal herself to Jack for fear that she’ll bring death to his door. The political strife tearing apart England during this time, with royal rivals lashing out at one another, makes an effective background, and the fantasy element never dilutes the power of the mystery. At the novel’s center is the affecting romance between Lassair and Jack, which Clare smoothly integrates into the suspenseful narrative. Readers will be sorry to see the last of Lassair. [em]Agent: Sophie Gorell Barnes, MBA Literary (U.K.). (July) [/em]