The New Title Tuesday pick this week is a mystery that involves medieval medicine, family secrets, and the historical conflict between the Catholic Church and the Protestant movement.  Throw in stained glass artistry and man’s inhumanity to man and voila!  The Angel in the Glass a Gabriel Taverner Mystery by Alys Clare.

Angel in GlassPublisher’s Summary: 1604. When the emaciated body of a vagrant is found on the edge of the moor, it’s the verdict of physician Gabriel Taverner that the man died of natural causes – but is all as it seems? Who was the dead man, and why had he come to the small West Country village of Tavy St Luke’s to die cold, sick and alone? With no one claiming to have known him, his identity remains a mystery. Then a discovery found buried in a nearby field throws a strange new light on the case … and in attempting to find the answers, Gabriel Taverner and Coroner Theophilus Davey unearth a series of shocking secrets stretching back more than fourteen years.

About the Author: Alys was born in Cambridge. She was educated at Tonbridge Grammar School and Keele University. Following a brief career as a civil servant, she set off to travel the world, living for three years in Hong Kong and coming back via Taiwan, Hawaii and America’s west coast, where she toured for several weeks in a small Datsun with a 10-month old son. Her second child followed a year after her return to the UK. Once her sons were at school, she set herself a challenge: get into print within two years or do something else. She published a short story with four and a half months to spare and is now the author of 28 novels, numerous short stories and a history of her family. She has lectured at venues including the Arvon Foundation and Southampton University.

Having written twelve books in the Hawkenlye series, she has now moved back in time by a century and four kings and is working on the Aelf Fen series, set in the East Anglian fens in the reign of William Rufus. She has also completed the thirteenth Hawkenlye novel and is now planning the next one.

The Angel in the Glass is the second book in the Gabriel Taverner series.  The author is a prolific writer of two other series:  Aeilf Fen and Hawkenlye.  In addition to the historical detail, it is apparent that Clare has a talent for revealing clues in a way that intrigues but does not forecast the solution.

While The Angel in the Glass is categorized as a cozy, readers should be advised that there are references in the book that some readers may find unsettling – sexually transmitted diseases and sexual abuse – though the events are not gratuitous or unnecessarily detailed.

Historical novels help us understand the context and background of issues that continue to resonate today.  The Angel in the Glass is a good choice for readers who enjoy reading about England and medical science in the 1600’s.

Happy Reading, Susan C.

Also by Clare:

Book 1 in the Gabriel Taverner Series

A Rustle A Rustle of SilkSurgeon Gabriel Taverner finds it difficult to gain the locals’ trust as he attempts to reestablish himself as a country physician in rural Devon, England. A series of disturbing incidents convinces him that at least one person does not welcome his presence. Called out to examine a partially decomposed body found beside the river, Gabriel discovers that he has a personal connection to the dead man. Teaming up with Coroner Theophilus Davey to find out how the man died, Gabriel uncovers some darker aspects of the lucrative silk trade which operates from nearby Plymouth. The more he finds out, the more apparent it becomes that the people closest to him have been keeping secrets.

Aelf Fen Norman Series:


The Rufus Spy  Book 8 – October, 1093. Apprentice healer Lassair heads on a perilous journey north in the absorbing new Aelf Fen medieval mystery.

On a perilous journey north in search of King William, Lassair and her former lover Rollo are pursued by a skilled and ruthless assassin. They do not know who he is or why they have been targeted, but if they are to survive, they must turn the tables on their would-be killer.


Hawkenlye Series:

A Shadoweded A Shadowed Evil  Book 16 –  February, 1212. Sir Josse d’Acquin and Helewise are summoned to Southfire Hall, where Josse’s elderly uncle, Hugh, lies dying, surrounded by his family. But the pair soon discover that Hugh’s ill health is not the only cause of distress in the house; Hugh’s son and heir, Herbert, has taken an unpleasant new wife, the widowed Lady Cyrille. Josse and Helewise are distracted by the discovery of an injured young man on the road outside on the evening of their arrival, but the longer they remain in the house, the more they feel that something is very wrong. Why do they both feel as if the house itself is alive–and threatened by approaching evil?


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