Medieval Mystery Released Today! CORRECTION AUG 1, 2017

The Devil's Cup
A Hawkenlye Mystery #17
by Alys Clare
Available in hardcover, 240 pages
Pub April 28, 2017, Severn House Publishers
Other formats available Aug 1, 2017

GoodReads Summary:  
September, 1216. A foreign army has invaded England. The country is divided. Some support the rebel barons and Prince Louis of France; others remain loyal to the king. His rule under threat, King John summons Sir Josse d'Acquin to support him. But can Sir Josse save the king from himself?

Meanwhile, Josse's daughter Meggie is summoned to Hawkenlye Abbey to attend a sick patient in a very distressed state. The elderly woman is warning of terrible danger unless she can complete her mission. What she learns from her patient will set Meggie on a perilous journey to retrieve a cursed treasure. But will she be in time to prevent a tragedy?

I was provided an eARC by Severn House Publishers and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, for which I am not being compensated in any way. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My first responseBook 17 is really late to stumble into a series, but oh well! That didn't hinder me much. I only noticed it once or twice in some asides from the past, I think. This put me in mind of Ellis Peters' Cadfael series a bit with the abby and the war with kings running around the country fighting. Full review on my blog after the 20th!

My Review:  
This is not the same war as Cadfael was involved in. This is King John fighting off the French and dealing with the barons and Welsh. It is a rich and bloody part of British history when you could die at the stroke of a sword with one word from any man in power greater than yours. All anyone had to do was question your past or current loyalty. And King John didn't trust the men around him, so he was always suspicious of everyone. It is a scary setting in which to place a magic cup that is supposed to kill the king.

Alys Clare has integrated her plot into real history very well, though. She has used the natural mistrust and skepticism of people to work in her magic cup and its evil. She creates quite a believable story line with her relic and queen's plotting. Though I'm not sure if the source of the original treasure was brilliant or overdone. I'm still undecided about that.
Things have changed on the political stage, as well as at home around the abbey. The conflict is settling. King John is dead. A successor and regent is chosen. Josse has said that he is staying home from now on. Does this mean the end of the series with this book seventeen? It rather looks like it. But if you, like me, have just found this author and series, there are sixteen other books that came before just sitting on the shelf waiting to be read. I'm rather looking forward to going back to see how it all started.

Here are the covers of the first five books 
of the Hawkenlye Mysteries series.