Satan's Lullaby

Priscilla Royal (Author)


It is the autumn of 1278. The harvest is in. The air is crisp. Dusty summer breathes a last sigh before the dark seasons arrive. For Prioress Eleanor, dark times arrive early in Norfolk. The head of her order, Abbess Isabeau, has sent Father Etienne Davoir from its headquarters in France to inspect all aspects of Tyndal Priory from its morals to its roofs. Surely the Abbess would not have chosen her own brother for this rare and thorough investigation unless the cause was serious and she had reason to fear intervention from Rome. Prioress Eleanor knows something is terribly amiss. The situation turns calamitous when Davoir's sick clerk dies from a potion sent by Sister Anne, Tyndale's sub-infirmarian. Is Sister Anne guilty of simple incompetence--or murder? Or, Davoir asks, did Prioress Eleanor order the death to frighten him away before he discovered the truth behind accusations she is unfit for her position? When Davoir himself is threatened, the priest roars for justice. Even expectant father Crowner Ralf, the local representative of the king's justice, has lost all objectivity. The most likely suspects are Anne, the woman Ralf once loved, the prioress he respects, and the Tyndal monk, Thomas, who is his closest friend. Who among the French and English assembled at Tyndal has succumbed to Satan's lullaby?

Product Details

Poisoned Pen Press
Publish Date
February 03, 2015
4.7 X 0.6 X 9.2 inches | 0.5 pounds

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About the Author

Priscilla Royal is the author of the medieval mysteries Tyrant of the Mind and Wine of Violence. She was born in Seattle, grew up in British Columbia, and now resides in Northern California. She is a member of the California Writers Club and Sisters in Crime.


At the start of Royal's outstanding 11th medieval whodunit featuring Prioress Eleanor and Brother Thomas (after 2013's Covenant with Hell), the imperious Fr. Etienne Davoir arrives from France to inspect the operations of Eleanor's Tyndal Priory, of the Order of Fontevraud, in East Anglia. While such inspections are routine for other orders, this will be Tyndal's first in Eleanor's eight years as prioress. Abbess Isabeau, Davoir's sister, has sent a message from France saying her brother "would look into whether any impropriety had occurred amongst the religious." The night before the priest's arrival, a soldier escorting his party has his throat slit while sleeping in an inn. Another murder follows, and suspicions center on a member of Tyndal Priory, even as Eleanor must fend off an accusation of a carnal affair. Royal amplifies and deepens her series characters in the service of a clever plot that elevates her work to the top rank of historical mystery writers.--Publishers Weekly, starred review