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  • An engrossing medieval mystery

    What a wonderful discovery River of Sins was! I hadn't previously come across Sarah Hawkswood's Bradecote and Catchpoll series, but can attest that this book read well as a standalone and I now intend catching up on the earlier instalments. As a big fan of medieval mysteries, I was keen to try a series that was new to me. And I was impressed! Hugh Bradecote, Lord Undersheriff of Worcester, Serjeant Catchpoll and Serjeant's Apprentice Walkelin are alerted to the discovery of a violently murdered woman, who the men quickly identify as Ricolde, widely regarded as "the finest wh0re in Worcester". She was no common street pro$titute however, but an astute businesswoman, who built independent wealth, could choose her clients and contributed generously, albeit discretely, to charitable causes in her local parish. Violent marriages, crooked businessmen and the deceased's own murky personal history throw up plenty of suspects, but this proves a very perplexing case indeed. The stakes are further raised when a second pro$titute is found murdered in an alleyway within the town. I found the plot of River of Sins engrossing, with its deft intertwining of a police procedural with immersive historical detail. The character development is also solid, particularly of the central trio and the victim. There's a varied cast of supporting characters and suspects, some inevitably more three-dimensional than others. Hawkswood explores many intriguing themes around social mobility, the role of women in the family and in society, and the importance of family networks in medieval times. An entertaining and stimulating read. Highly recommended to those who enjoy well-crafted mysteries, well-researched historical fiction or (like me) both! Trigger warnings for domestic violence and references to child sexual abuse. My thanks to the author, Sarah Hawkswood, publisher Allison & Busby and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this title in advance of its publication on 19 November 2020.

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  • Enjoyable Mystery

    1144 Reeve Heribert of Bevere discovers a body on Bevere Island in the River Severn. He travels to Worcester to inform Under sheriff the Lord Bradecote and Serjeant Catchpole. It would seem that the body is of Ricolde. But why was she killed and by whom needs to be discovered. An entertaining well-written historical mystery with a group of likeable characters. A good addition to the series which can be read as a standalone story.

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  • River of sins

    Wonderful story very well told the characters are great especially walkilin I look forward to reading more

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  • Cadfael has competition

    Cracking Mediaeval whodunnit set in same period as Brother Cadfael books.

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