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By Sharon Kay Penman

April 1193. England’s King Richard Lionheart languishes in a German legal, and treason scents the air. Richard’s more youthful brother, John, seizes Windsor citadel, and Dowager Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine summons her depended on own “queen’s man,” Justin de Quincy, to do the most unlikely– mediate a truce together with her insurgent son. Amid such fateful occasions, the homicide of a Welsh peddler’s daughter turns out small. however the merciless loss of life of the attractive Melangell so problems Justin that now not even a threatened French invasion can preserve him from investigating her dying. but can he convey Melangell’s craven killer to justice?

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The queen was once no longer within the nice corridor, and to Justin’s reduction, neither was once Claudine. He didn't have to search Eleanor out, notwithstanding, for Will Longsword used to be to be had, and he admitted glumly that their scouts had now not said again. John’s whereabouts have been nonetheless a secret. by the point Justin and Luke have been on their method back, a tender April nightfall used to be settling over town. Justin had borrowed a lantern from considered one of Will’s males, they usually all started up Tower road. Luke was once complaining that they must have taken their stallions; like such a lot horsemen, he not often walked wherever if he might aid it. yet Justin’s sojourn in London had taught him that horses have been usually an inconvenience within the urban. For all that it held over twenty-five thousand humans, London’s partitions enclosed a bit greater than a sq. mile. Justin had came upon that he might stroll from the Tower to Ludgate in part an hour, while on horseback, that journey may possibly take for much longer, based upon the time of day and the circulate of site visitors. “Anyway,” he mentioned while Luke persisted to grouse, “you need to discover a position to join the pony at any time when you dismount. examine all of the stops we needed to make in our hunt for Jonas. If we’d been on horseback, we’d have had to... ” while his phrases ebbed away, Luke glanced interestingly in his path. “What? ” Justin was once learning the road in the back of them. The day’s crowds have been thinning because the sky darkened. An occasional bobbing mild used to be proof of a pedestrian’s lantern. A cart’s wheel had damaged, and the motive force was once cursing loudly as he inspected the wear and tear. The church bells of All Hallows Barking have been chiming for Vespers and some tardy parishioners have been straggling in for the Mass. a lady who appeared none too sober had accosted a guy passing through, and they’d all started to dicker over phrases. Shadow had halted to recognize one other puppy. the road scene seemed completely basic, not anything amiss. nonetheless, Justin hesitated, heeding intuition instead of cause. “What is it? ” Luke used to be deciding upon up now on his unease. “You see whatever? ” “I wager not... ” Justin took a last look over his shoulder, then shrugged. “I received a unexpected prickling in the back of my neck,” he confessed. “I feel i'm overly wary, due to the Fleming. For a second, I had this feeling of risk, the best way I did within the Durngate mill. ” there has been no use to intricate; Luke were with him whilst they’d cornered the Fleming over the physique of his most modern sufferer. The deputy nodded, for he, too, had discovered to belief the internal voice that whispered of unseen enemies, unknown perils. “Never express regret for warning, de Quincy. with no it, no guy can desire to make previous bones. Now... what lets do approximately supper? cease on the cookshop or see if we will coax Nell into feeding us back? ” “The alehouse,” Justin stated, including emphatically, “Nell owes me a meal. The extra I find out about this killing, the fewer hopeful i believe. Jonas makes a persuasive case for his suspicions. So what do I inform Agnes? ” “Well, examine it this fashion: by means of implicating one nephew, you’ll be clearing the opposite.

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