"Gellis's series of medieval mysteries are some of the best ever written."
Once she was a wife to a minor lord and mistress of her own
manor until her husband, in a fit of jealousy, tried to
kill her and she defended herself by killing him first.
She ran away and thanks to her beauty became a courtesan
but even then two men were killed because of her beauty.
Now, Magdalene la Batarde is determined to be her own
woman. She is the whore mistress of the Old Priory
Guesthouse and her patron is William of Ypres, King
Stephen's chief enforcer.
William asks Magdalene to meet him in Oxford where the king
is conducting a council. He needs a place to go where he
can hold meetings that will be kept secret and nobody can
arrange things like that better than Magdalene. She is
accompanied by her lover Sir Bellamy, the Bishop of
Winchester's chief knight and together they find a place to
serve William's need as well as their own. While in
Oxford, a series of murders occur and to protect William's
interests (and her own sense of justice) Magdalene conducts
an investigation in hopes of flushing out a murderer.
She is the grand mistress of medieval works of fiction and
her series of medieval mysteries are some of the best ever
written. One gets a sense of the era as well as learning
how the different classes acted and thought. Although this
is a work of fiction, the historical events are very true
and make for a fascinating reading experiences. BONE OF
CONTENTION will be sought after by those who like the
Brother Cadfael mysteries and those written by Peter
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted August 27, 2002