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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Untimely and strange deaths!




Another complex sixteenth century murder mystery with alchemist Bianca Goddard at the forefront.
A pregnant woman flings herself from a church steeple, a wealthy widow suddenly becomes contorted and unable to control her limbs. The church at St. Verdast seems to have a malignant miasma surrounding it.
Bianca's husband John has moved up in the world and needs to reside in London near St. Verdast John's friend, silversmith Boisvert who is to marry Odile, the wealthy widow of a prominent London goldsmith. When Odile dies at her wedding feast Boisvert is accused of poisoning her and Bianca and John race against time to find evidence of Boisvert's innocence.
Bianca moves her alchemy equipment with some trepidation, but is never truly comfortable, frightened that the various smells and odours will lead to discovery by a less than forgiving population. 
However very little time passes before Bianca is caught up in a web of untimely deaths presenting possessed type symptoms, possible poisonings and a war between the bakery guilds, not to mention the goldsmith guild.
Who knew the meaning for the childhood rhyme of 'Goosey, goosey, gander'? That rhyme forms an interesting part of the intrigue.
Another excellent Goddard mystery with the 'wraith' of the Thames the Rat Man lurking as always. He needs Bianca back in her previous lodgings.

A NetGalley ARC

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