CHAUCER AND THE HOUSE OF FAME (Historical Mystery-France-1370) – VG
Morgan, Philippa – 1st in series
Constable, 2004- UK Hardcover
Geoffrey Chaucer has been asked by his brother-in-law, John of Gaunt, to deliver a letter to France and to Comte de Guyac. He is unaware of being shadowed and that murders are occurring behind him, until the Comte dies in, what is clearly not, a hunting accident.
I wasn't certain about Chaucer in a mystery, but this worked mainly because the character was used in a believable way. Chaucer was, in fact, a diplomat as well as poet. The story is more political suspense, than a traditional mystery. There is a very effective sense of threat and danger that runs as a top note through the story, as well as an excellent twist at the end. There are stories within the story and a wonderful feel of time and place. I think it does help to know the actual history. For history lovers who don't need high action, I highly recommend it.