Lake, Deryn - 'The Moonlit Door'
Church of England clergyman, Reverend Nick Lawrence has settled into the daily hurly burly business of his parish in rural England. He discusses with his various parishioners the holding of a May Medieval Fayre for the purpose of raising money to pay off the church spire repairs fund. The first day of the Fayre is very successful with lots of jolly entertainment and interesting purchases of books, furnishings etc, for those who attended. Unfortunately, the very next day a small child is discovered dead and tied to the Maypole by the ribbons used by the Morris dancers the previous day. There is a bloody arrow in his heart.
Called to take charge of the police investigation is Detective Inspector Dominic Tenant and he is as mystified as anyone by the callousness of the killer. Several of the parishioners suspect the leader of the Morris Men of being involved but he has an alibi for the night it occurred.
The ultimate solution is much worse than anyone could imagine but I found that this short book was very imaginatively written and a real page turner. I was transfixed until the final paragraph. The story was, I suppose, in the crime fiction genre of "cosy", which means that there is little violence, bad language or heavy sex but all in all it was a really interesting, well plotted and atmospheric mystery. The author really provides interesting and vivid characters in a truly gripping story and I look forward to reading more modern stories by the author as good as the historical mysteries I know she writes as well. In 2008, I wrote a review for her DEATH IN HELLFIRE mystery set in the eighteenth century which I also enjoyed tremendously. Well recommended.
Terry Halligan, England