Janice Durante's Reviews > Sacrilege

Sacrilege by S.J. Parris
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's review
Jul 23, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction, mystery, arc

S.J. Parris's third novel in her historical mystery series delineates a fascinating and memorable protagonist. The year is 1584, and Giordano Bruno, an Italian former monk and "heretic," ostensibly serves the French ambassador, but is actually an agent of Queen Elizabeth I's spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham. An old flame, Sophia Underhill, tracks him down in London and begs him to clear her name, as she is accused of killing her husband, a powerful magistrate in Canterbury.

With Sophia disguised as a boy, they head to the once-prominent cathedral town with Walsingham's blessing; after all, this will give Bruno the opportunity to investigate a rumored plot against the Queen, which might be connected to a cult devoted to Saint Thomas A. Becket (also murdered, centuries before, in Canterbury Cathedral).

Ignoring the risks, Bruno becomes more involved with Sophia, and must decipher a maze of murky intentions, hypocrisy, blind devotion, and brutality. Soon, it is obvious one murder will lead to another ... and another ... .
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