Berkley, Jan 2004, 23.95, 336 pp.
Sir Ralph of Woodrim, owner of a manor house in Oxfordshire, England of 1458, is despised by his wife, his grown sons, his grandson and his young daughters. The only concern this vile man has is in the hounds and the hunt which his neighbor and friend Sir William is also interested in. One day when he goes into the woods to look for a missing hound, he doesn't come out.
Family and Sir William find him dead, his face smashed to a bloody pulp. After the funeral services are over, his wife Lady Anneys goes to St Frideswide's nunnery to regain her emotional equilibrium. Not long after she arrives, she is called home again because her stepson was accidentally killed by Sir William. Dame Frevisse escorts her home and stays to give comfort to the family, but once she arrives there she finds secrets to uncover and killers to be identified.
Readers who are interested in the Middle Ages will gain an interesting look into the lives of the minor gentry. Dame Frevisse can't stand to see a mystery stay unsolved so she does her best to learn who killed Sir Ralph, why Sir William is so interested in his deceased friend's family, and what is the secret that nobody wants to talk about or even think about. Margaret Frazer delivers another outstanding historical amateur sleuth tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner