cover image The Tapestry Shop

The Tapestry Shop

Joyce Elson Moore, Five Star, $25.95 (328p) ISBN 978-1-59414-899-6

Adam de la Halle, the real-life 13th century author of the first rendition of Robin Hood, is in love with Catherine Durant, who is briefly engaged to a vicious man, in Moore's rudimentary second historical. As a man of honor, Adam stays away from Catherine, but he can't forget her. When Catherine is suddenly widowed, the two seek each other out, but fate keeps blocking their path. Racked with guilt over her perceived complicity in her husband's death, Catherine vows to join the crusades. Adam is skeptical of the crusaders and fearful that he will lose his love forever. His fears seem to come true when he receives word of her death at sea; he wants to join her, but fate is not yet done with these lovers, nor is Moore interested in unhappy endings. Though the author demonstrates a great deal of research and attention to historical detail, the plot and character development necessary for satisfying historical fiction is largely missing. De La Halle and Durant are mildly engaging protagonists who face almost no meaningful obstacles to their romance in a tale drained of dramatic tension. (Nov.)