The fifth Gil Cunningham Murder Mystery set in Medieval Glasgow and in the tradition of Ellis Peters.
Like her protagonist Gil Cunningham, Pat McIntosh is a graduate of Glasgow University. She lived and worked in Glasgow before settling on Scotland's West Coast.
McIntosh's fifth medieval whodunit to feature Archbishop's Quaestor (constable) Gil Cunningham (after 2007's St. Mungo's Robin) may frustrate some mystery fans because whether a conventional crime has been committed is unclear for a long time. When a corpse turns up in a peat bog, its skull crushed and throat slit, in Beltane parish outside Glasgow, no one has a clue how long the remains have been buried. The parish chaplain blames village healer Beatrice "Beattie" Lithgo and demands her arrest based on his obsessive reading of a tome on witchcraft. Gil and his new bride, Alys Mason, try to identify the body and clear Beattie's name, traveling from haunted coal mines to the coast, where they interview "salt boilers" who may have known the victim, rumored to be decadent fee collector Thomas Murray. More cadavers spark lurid allegations about Murray's relationship with a young collier (coal miner) and other missing men. An unconvincing confession briefly distracts Gil and Alys from the case's shocking resolution. U.S. readers should be prepared for plenty of Scottish brogue ("I wouldny ken about that"). (May) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
McIntosh's characterisation and period detail are first rate and bode well for future entries in this series. - Publishers WeeklyThe next Cunningham adventure is to be welcomed. - Historical Novels Review