An Older Evil
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April, 1386. Alyson Weaver, a widow of Bath, has already married five husbands and is still irrepressibly in her prime. When a handsome young stranger is murdered in her meadow overlooking St. Michael’s church, she resents it when her admirer, mild bailiff Lucas Fletcher, warns her not to interfere. Lucas has been intimidated into not investigating, but by whom? After her maid Bela is killed, Alyson decides she has no choice but to find out.
Spring begins the pilgrimage season, and a motley group of pilgrims - including Alice Perrers, the notorious former mistress of King Edward the Third - are preparing to leave Bath for the shrine of the Virgin at Walsingham in Norfolk. Before they set out, one of their number, Brother Martin, a friar, confesses sensationally to the manslaughter of the handsome stranger, named as Jehan of Flanders. Brother Martin is joining the pilgrimage to Walsingham as a penance and Jehan’s killing is officially "solved." But Alyson is unconvinced. To her, Brother Martin is a pitiful puppet and someone is pulling his strings - perhaps Bela’s murderer? Taking her mischievous godson Oliver as her page, Alyson joins the pilgrims to find out.