The Dragon of Handale

Minotaur: St. Martin's. Mar. 2015. 352p. ISBN 9781250058867. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466863385. M
Hildegard of Meaux, a 14th-century Cistercian nun with a knack for solving mysteries, has recently returned from a pilgrimage to Spain. Now she must decide if she should rejoin her order at Swynn or start a new chapter in her life. Her prioress suggests that she stay at a remote priory at Handale while she considers her path. Upon arrival, she hears about a gruesome murder that the local people believe was the result of a dragon attack. Sensible Hildegard sets about finding the truth.
VERDICT Clark's fifth historical installment (after A Parliament of Spies) can be read as part of the series or as a stand-alone. However, this latest addition is likely to disappoint readers, as the wise nun foolishly places herself in dangerous positions one after the other. From walking alone in the woods to working solo in isolated areas of the priory, Hildegard is repeatedly rescued when someone shows up just in time. Still, Clark's fans and medieval mystery aficionados may enjoy.
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