The Lady Agnès Mystery - Volume 1: The Season of the Beast and The Breath of the Rose
Author: Andrea Japp
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Gallic Books
Release Date: July 13, 2015
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: 1304: The Church and the French Crown are locked in a power struggle.
In Normandy, monks on a secret mission are murdered.
Young noblewoman Agnès de Souarcy fights to retain her independence but must face the Inquisition, unaware that she is the focus of an ancient quest.
My Review: When Lady Agnes’s husband dies, Agnes knows that her half-brother may take away her dower leaving her with nothing. Agnes fights to keep her manor and her lands. However, when a corpse is found on her property the signs point to Agnes as the murderer. Soon she finds herself amidst the French Inquisition. During her trial, she finds out that there is a prophecy that involves her. She is the key player in the power struggle over the fight between the French Crown and the Church. As her enemies try to get rid of her, Agnes must survive the Inquisition at all cost so she can fulfill her destiny.
Agnes is a very strong woman. She fights for her independence from her half-brother so she can keep her dowry. Throughout the Inquisition, she faces a lot of trials that make her a stronger woman. She does not bow down to her Inquisitors. Instead, she uses her intelligence and outsmarts them. Her intelligence and stubbornness infuriates her inquisitors because she is a thorn in their side. She was supposed to be broken and compliant, but instead she is not. She never breaks her will. She does face some sadness, but she never gives up hope or her will to survive.
Overall, this book is about a woman’s determination and strength as she faces her obstacles. The message of the book is that there is hope. I did find the story to be slow-paced for it was not until halfway through the book did it pick up. As for the mystery, it is still unsolved and it ends in a cliffhanger. Still, I found Agnes’s trials during the French Inquisition to be fascinating enough to where I really did not care about the mystery. Her trial was raw, poignant, painful, and sad. When she survived, it was very triumphant. I am interested in reading the next book in the series. I would like to read more about Agnes’s story and maybe the murder mystery will be resolved. I recommend this book to anyone interested in mysteries, historical fiction, and the French Inquisition.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars