Berkley, Jan 2003, 22.95, 320 pp.
In 1447 England, King Henry VI sits upon the throne but is unduly influenced by his closest councilor the Marquis of Suffolk. The Marquis has seen to it that the king's heir, his uncle the Duke of Gloucester, is looked upon with distrust and suspicion. At Bury St. Edmonds, the king, his lords and the parliament attend a council meeting. An invitation is sent to Gloucester hinting that if he attends his wife will be released from prison.
Suffolk's wife Alice is a cousin and close friend to Dame Frevisse who is very happy to live in St. Frideswide's Nunnery away from the worldly cares of corrupt men. When Frevisse is asked to go to Bury St. Edmonds to spy for Bishop Beaufort of Winchester she accepts because she wants the priory to have the property the Bishop is willing to give in return for her services. When she arrives at the site of the gathering, she becomes so involved in political affairs of the realm that she lies and perjures herself to save the live of Gloucester's illegitimate son and four of his trusted companions.
The heroine of THE BASTARD'S TALE makes a life long enemy of her cousin's husband the Marquis of Suffolk and risks an estrangement with her cousin Alice in order to prevent the death of innocents. It is obvious that Margaret Frazer has done meticulous research on the events that take place in this book so that the readers have a feel the era and an understanding of how such injustices can occur. Fans of medieval mysteries will relish the latest entry in this Edgar nominated series.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner