Sharan Newman’s reputation as a critically acclaimed writer of medieval mysteries continues with this collection of short stories, all previously published and collected here for the first time in Death Before Compline. The stories take us into 12th century Europe and show with sympathy and humor, the astounding variety of good intentions gone wrong and the corruption of human desires. Many of the stories feature Catherine LeVendeur, the beloved protagonist of ten of Newman’s novels, and Solomon, Catherine’s Jewish merchant cousin. These stories takes us into the day to day reality of medieval religious and family life, as it is lived by a variety of people: from nuns, noble people, scholars, courtiers, merchants, hermetic spinsters and children.
Fans of the novels will find this collection delightful as the author explains the origins of these stories and the evolution of her protagonists in the novels; these tales also serve as a great introduction to her work for newcomers.
“Readers looking for quality historical fiction ought to add Newman’s name to their lists of must-read authors. In addition to providing readers with a vivid look at life in France in the twelfth century, Newman also offers absorbing stories with well-drawn sympathetic characters.” —Mystery Scene
“Reading a Sharan Newman novel is like journeying back to medieval times. The sights and sounds of Paris are so vividly described that they mesmerize the reader as they enjoy a fine tale of mystery.” —Romantic Times
“Extremely intelligent, highly suspenseful, and richly textured historical fiction.” —Booklist