2017 Honorable Mention, Historical Mystery. The Bookseller’s Tale by Ann Swinfen

Honorable Mention, Historical Mystery.  The Bookseller’s Tale by Ann Swinfen.  This Oxford-trained scholar and author of another historical mystery series set in late 16th century Europe returns to a college setting in this series featuring bookseller Nicholas Elyot in 1353.  The Black Death has left him a widower with two small children, but he manages his shop and household with the assistance of his older sister.  Elyot is drawn into the disappearance of a promising student by his friend Jordain Brinkylsworth, Dean of Hart Hall.  The strength of this debut and its successor, The Novice’s Tale, is how Swinfen creates a picturesque atmosphere of the town and her ability to develop appealing characters, both Elyot and the surrounding cast.  The mysteries, especially in the second book, could be a bit more complicated, but these are enjoyable reads and hard to put down.

For all my previous “books of the year” lists, see my dedicated page for these titles.

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