A Personal Devil
by Roberta Gellis
Category: Fiction / Mystery
350 pages; ISBN: 0312869983
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
The Old Priory Guesthouse is definitely a misnomer because it is a whorehouse run by Madame Magdalena La Batarde. She has powerful patrons including her landlord the Bishop of Winchester and the king’s man to protect the popular Madame. Magdalena treats her employees as valued family members so when Sabrina leaves to become a mistress to Mainard Saddler, Magdalena gives her blessing.
When Sabina returns ”home” upset because someone murdered Mainard’s wife, Magdalena tries to calm down her former girl. Magdalena enlists her wannabe lover Sir Bellamy of Itchen to help clear Mainard’s name not yet realizing how many people with motives rejoice in Lady Saddler’s death.
As usual, Roberta Gellis combines her love for medieval times with her storytelling talent to write a novel with appeal to romance, mystery, and historical fiction lovers. The period tidbits are accurate as a result of meticulous research that augments a strong plot with depth that provides a colorful picture of the twelfth century’s merchant’s class during the reign of King Stephen. The audience will want to learn more about Magadalena’s story in future novels in this exciting series.
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