Berkley, Nov 2002, 24.95, 321 pp.
In 1354, a group of investors led by Don Aranu Marca of Perpignan chartered a ship loaded with high quality goods to sell along various ports in the Mediterranean. Some of the investors wanted to sell arms to Aragon's enemies, but Don Marea refused so the conspirators arranged for it to look like he was committing treason. He was sent to jail and was all but convicted when his clever wife arranged his escape.
During the confusion that followed the escape Don Marca was badly injured and brought to physician Jacob Bonjuhes who lives in the Jewish section of town. Isaac, a physician of Girona, is also staying at Jacob's house to attend the wedding of Jacob's brother to a woman from the visitor's hometown. Isaac heals Don Marea and sets out to prove that the man is an innocent dupe, the victim of other men's greed, men who kill anyone who gets in their way.
Although Isaac is blind, his other senses are heightened which enables him to successfully perform as an amateur sleuth. He is a credible and likable character that is so skilled readers will forget for long periods of time that he is sightless because he doesn't let his lack of seeing stop from being an excellent healer, sleuth, husband and father. Caroline Roe has written an excellent historical mystery that gives readers insight into an era long gone but not forgotten due to works like this.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner