Sorrow Without End: A Medieval Mystery is the second novel in Royal’s series. The story is set in 13th Century England in the Fontevrauldine daughter house of Tyndal. Eleanor, a woman in her early twenties, is the prioress of Tyndal, which is a female lead organization of nuns and monks. Tyndal’s prior recently died and two monks are in contention for the vacated position, providing some of the intrigue and back-story.
A distraught man brutally murders another returned crusader while on the road to Tyndal. The man, who watched the crusader rape and murder his infidel wife while in Outremer, is overcome with grief and guilt, believing himself responsible for his wife’s death.
Ralf the Crowner (investigator for the sheriff) believes the murdered may be hiding among the sick and dying in Tyndal’s hospital. Ralf, with Eleanor’s tenuous support and assistance, conducts the investigation within the bounds of Tyndal. Ralf, his assistant, Eleanor, and Brother Thomas interview suspects and possible witnesses, seeking clues or inconsistencies.
As a lover of historical fiction, I found this story to be an interesting page-turner. The details of the time and the description of the priory meshed with the story, feeling real. I believe the author has done her research. I recommend the book.