Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher: Sharpe Books
Pub date: 26 December 2019
Thomas the Falconer confronts ancient fears and hostilities in the hunt for a murderer.
In the isolated village of Lambourn there is great excitement when a family of itinerant bell-founders arrives to forge a new church bell. But the peace of a summer’s night is shattered when churchwarden Will Stubbs – a saintly old man without enemies – is found dead in the woods.
Thomas is charged by his master to find answers.
Unease stalks the Downs as old rivalries surface – and when the village constable is also found dead, panic ensues. Thomas finds himself trying to restore order in the community. Suspicion falls on everyone from the finders of Stubbs’s body to the hot-tempered son of the bellfounder himself.
Following a tortuous trail, Thomas uncovers dark matters: a feral child, a closet Papist, and family secrets long hidden.
Only after the raising of the great bell itself is the truth at last revealed – along with the unmasking of a most unlikely killer.
The Maiden Bell is the fifth in the series and I love this series more with each book.
This time Thomas is sent to Lambourn to look in to the death of a highly regarded victim.
As with the previous books there are great characters, both new and those who have featured in previous books. This one doesn’t appear to have an obvious villain but so many I suspected.
As Thomas attempts to uncover the murderer, further questions arise, can John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs shed any light? I really enjoyed how this book brought to light the situation faced by those who had been high in favour under Queen Mary but had sought to hide themselves once Elizabeth was crowned. Pilkington does a fantastic job of weaving history in to fiction, once of the reasons I am enjoying the series so much.
The more I read of this series the more I enjoy it. The Maiden Bell is yet another fast paced mystery full of action and plot twists. Thomas has become adept at uncovering mysteries and this book is no different, even when i begin to think he may not find the answers he seeks Pilkington uses his writing skills to show that Thomas shouldn’t be underestimated.
The Maiden Bell can be read alone but as suggested previously I’d recommend reading them all because they are great! I like that some of the characters or events from previous books appear throughout the series and as I get further in to the series I have gotten to know Thomas and a few others.
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