St. Martin's, June 2002, 22.95, 200 pp.
Richard I honors his loyal knight Josse d'Acquin by giving him the house New Winnowlands. The Queen Mother Eleanor confirms the gift, which included no rent for his new home located near Tonbridge. However, with Richard overseas, John demands Josse pay rent on the property.
While struggling with his ire and what to do, Josse becomes diverted when somebody dies at the nearby inn. The knight makes it his business to clear the owner by establishing that the intended target was somebody else. When Josse tries to track that person down, he is knocked unconscious. He wakes up to see that he is being taken care of by a seven year old boy, whose mother is a lady in hiding wanted by her second cousin. Joss, who is very taken with the lady and her son, vows to protect them, even if it means sacrificing himself in the process.
Readers will get a picture of what life was like for the different classes of people in medieval England after reading THE TAVERN IN THE MORNING. The hero of this tale is a chivalrous knight, a man who takes care of those less fortunate even when it becomes dangerous and definitely inconvenient. Alys Clare knows how to spin a great historically accurate tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner