Sunday, July 24, 2011

Book Review: The Falconer's Knot, Mary Hoffman

The Plot: Silvano has it all. He’s young, rich, and handsome. He’s also suspected of a murder he didn’t commit. His father sends him to a friary to seek sanctuary until the real murderer can be caught and his name cleared. But what Silvano thinks of as a boring exile quickly becomes complicated. He finds himself falling I love with Chiara, the beautiful novice from a neighboring convent. Chiara, however, will soon become a Bride of Christ, and be out of reach for mortal men. And that isn’t his only problem. Shortly after his arrival in the friary, the Brothers experience a string of murders. Naturally, they are suspicious of the newcomer who has taken sanctuary with them. Can Silvano discover the real killer before he becomes the next victim?

I love a good historical fiction, and Mary Hoffman has done her homework. The culture of medieval Italy really comes alive in The Falconer’s Knot. The historical notes in the back of the book are a nice touch for those who don’t study medieval Europe for fun. J I do wish that Hoffman spent a little more time developing the murder mystery theme. At times, it seems like the mystery fades into the background while a series of love stories take center stage. The plot does have a few interesting twists, but I figured out the whodunit early on, and spent the rest of the book waiting to find out that I was wrong. However, it was quite fun to read, and I was attached to several of the characters. And, referring back to my post about titles, the subtitle of this book is A Story of Friars, Flirtation, and Foul Play. How can you not read a title like that?

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