The Widow of Jerusalem (Fools' Guild)

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by Alan Gordon | Mystery & Thrillers |
ISBN: 0312300891 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 5/26/2018
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Saturday, May 26, 2018
I adore this series, and have been collecting the books as I could find them. This one was the hardest to come by, but I finally found this good-condition hardcover via Better World Books. It's the fourth in the series, following A Death in the Venetian Quarter, though much of this story is a flashback to one of Theophilos' earlier adventures.

As with the other books in the series, this one is based on detailed historical accounts - with a few tweaks in characterization and motivation, though those are woven into the historical events very well. Set mainly in 1192, the story focuses on Isabella I, Queen of Jerusalem (living in Tyre, as Saladin currently holds Jerusalem itself), and the political turmoil surrounding whether or not her husband, Conrad of Montferrat, will be accepted as king by England and France. The Fools Guild is strongly interested in this, as they hope that a strong and capable leader like Conrad will help bring peace to the region. The local fool is Scarlet, a dwarf who's devoted to Isabella; he and Theo join forces to carry out a number of tricky, dangerous, and vastly entertaining assignments, including the diverting of an entire shipload of supplies.

While the political surroundings drive the story, there are lots of more personal bits, including Theo and Scarlet training a crew of local youngsters as initiate fools, and attempting to solve the murder of one of the refugees who've flocked to the city. There are lots of quips, some tragic events, and a late-story epilogue in which Theo finds out what happened after he had to leave Tyre to continue his own guild mission; there's a nifty twist there that I hadn't seen coming...

Since my favorite part of the series is the banter between hyper-competent Theo and his even-more-competent wife Claudia, I was a bit sad that she had a much smaller part here; she's very much present in the outer story, where she and Theo learn that the guild has been forced to leave its settled home and take to the road, but during the tale-within-a-tale she only gets a few quips here and there in response to some revelation of Theo's. But the scenes she does have are choice, such as when Theo goes to great risk to retrieve the "Scarlet Dwarf" sign from the guild tavern, only to find her there before him. They are so good together!

[There's a TV Tropes page on the series with some entertaining tidbits.]

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Little Free Library, 214 Main St. in Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Monday, March 25, 2019

Released 1 mo ago (3/26/2019 UTC) at Little Free Library, 214 Main St. in Nashua, New Hampshire USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

I left this book in the Little Free Library; hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in NH here.]

*** Released for the 2019 Oh the Places We Can Go release challenge. ***

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