Sunday, June 28, 2020
A Beastly Trial, by Mark Thielman
Oh, what a lovely cover. This is the fifth appearance in this space by Mark Thielman. Of his previous successes I count two historical mysteries and two comedies. This time he combines the two.
The tale is set in sixteenth-century France. Bernard de Vallenchin is an advocat, essentially a defense attorney, and he has his work cut out for him. His client, together with her six offspring, committed the unprovoked murder of a small child and the community is demanding vengeance. But what makes the case particularly challenging--
No. I can't tell you that. Major spoiler.
I had no idea where this story was going but I read some hilarious passages to a friend who seldom reads mysteries and she figured it out immediately. That tells you something about me or about her, I suppose.
This story is based on an actual trial that took place in France hundreds of years ago. Thielman makes it clear that it is firmly rooted in a view of the universe that seems more foreign to us than the medieval French language. But that is part of what makes it a fun story.