Saturday, February 14, 2009

Review-- The Harper's Quine

Title: The Harper's Quine
Author: Pat McIntosh
ISBN: 9781845294618/ Robinson, 2008
Genre: Historical Mystery, #1 in the Gil Cunningham series
Rating: B+

First Line: At the May Day dancing at Glasgow Cross, Gilbert Cunningham saw not only the woman who was going to be murdered, but her murderer as well.

I am a fan of both historical mystery series and of mysteries set in Scotland. Many of the historical mystery series I've found are set in the eastern part of Scotland. Having more than a drop of Highland blood in my veins, I'm a firm proponent of the idea that there's more to Scotland than Edinburgh and its environs. As a result, I was thrilled when I found this mystery series set in fifteenth-century Glasgow.

Gil Cunningham is a newly qualified lawyer whose family expects him to join the priesthood. Although Gil likes the idea of practicing the law, he's not so sure about his vocation for the priesthood. During the May Day celebrations, Gil notices an attractive woman. Later that evening he stumbles upon her body in a building under construction at Glasgow Cathedral, and he's asked to investigate along with Maistre Pierre, a French master mason. The victim was the runaway wife of a cruel and unpleasant nobleman. She had left him to live with a blind harper to whom she bore an infant son. Will Gil be able to find her murderer?

Even though the book was filled with unpleasant people, the murderer's identity was rather easy for me to deduce. I didn't find myself caring much because McIntosh's skill in characterization and her richly appointed setting more than made up for that one small weakness. The Harper's Quine is an excellent beginning to this historical mystery series, and I'm looking forward to reading more.


  1. I love the cover!!! And I love the whole premise and setting. This is absolutely going on my wish list.

    You know, my credit card company should give you a commission.

  2. Does your credit card company have my current address, Beth? ;-)

    Seriously though, one of my favorite parts of book blogging is sharing the books we read.


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