cover image The Lady Agnès Mystery, Vol. 1

The Lady Agnès Mystery, Vol. 1

Andrea Japp, trans. from the French by Lorenza Garcia. Gallic (, $18.95 trade paper (670p) ISBN 978-1-910477-16-8

Agnès de Souarcy, the widowed French noblewoman who’s the heroine of Japp’s suspenseful medieval whodunit, has had to contend from her youth with her lustful half-brother, Eudes, the Baron of Larnay. Her husband afforded her some protection during his lifetime, but Agnès is once again subject to Eudes’s lecherous advances, which have begun extending to her 11-year-old daughter, Mathilde. Agnès’s travails play out against a complicated political background, as the Catholic Church and even the pope, Benoit XI, are enmeshed in murderous intrigue. Meanwhile, someone is killing friars and slashing their faces postmortem, possibly in an attempt to make their deaths seem the work of a wild animal. Japp does a fine job conveying the state of forensic science of the age. For example, the level of development of maggots on a corpse is used as a method of identifying the time of death. Readers will eagerly look forward to the next installment in this historical series. (Nov.)