A Poultice for a Healer (Chronicles of Issac of Girona)

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9780425191927: A Poultice for a Healer (Chronicles of Issac of Girona)

It was to be a joyous occasion. Raquel, daughter of blind Jewish physician Isaac of Girona, was preparing to marry - but now her father has been summoned to aid the Bishop of Girona, felled by illness at his diocesan summer palace. So Raquel has reluctantly agreed to postpone the wedding - and her betrothed, Daniel, seems even more disappointed. To keep Daniel busy while he waits, his uncle the glovemaker, sends him to the seaport of Sant Feliu de Guixols to negotiate for rare dyes, beads, and exotic fur trimmings. He is not the only one there with an interest in the shipment. A wealthy Girona bootmaker has sent the newest member of his household, Jacob, as well. But after their arrival, a predatory fleet descends on the harbor. And after the pirates plunder the docks, Jacob disappears, and a worsening storm makes any search for him futile.
Soon afterward, Isaac is confronted with a wounded man who arrives at the palace, claiming to have an urgent message for the bishop - a message that remains undelivered as he succumbs to his injuries and dies in spite of Isaac's best efforts to revive him. And before these puzzles can be unraveled, the residents of Girona will face a shocking surprise - and truths that some would prefer had remained hidden.

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About the Author:

Caroline Roe is the pseudonym of acclaimed mystery author Medora Sale. She is a graduate of the prestigious Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto. This is her sixth novel in the medieval mystery series featuring blind physician Isaac of Girona, which also includes A Potion for a Widow, Solace for a Sinner, An Antidote for Avarice, Cure for a Charlatan, and Remedy for Treason.

From Publishers Weekly:

Canadian author Roe offers another intricately plotted tale (after 2002's Draught for a Dead Man) of Isaac of Girona. The blind Jewish physician cures illnesses and solves crimes in southern Spain and Mallorca in the middle of the 14th century, when Muslims, Jews and Christians lived mostly peaceably side by side, if not together. (However, during Holy Week and immediately after Easter, residents of the call, the Jewish quarter of Girona, bar their gates and isolate themselves for their own protection.) While Isaac is treating Berenguer de Cruilles, Bishop of Girona, a fatally poisoned man comes to warn the bishop of others' treachery. The wedding of Isaac's daughter, Racquel, must be postponed until Daniel, the bridegroom, can sail to Mallorca to learn whether a newly arrived herbalist is an imposter. Much of the book's interest lies in the way Isaac uses his knowledge of physiology and herbs, as well as his senses of smell and taste, to analyze the contents of the sometimes poisonous mixtures he encounters. Racquel and Yusuf, a Muslim student of Isaac's, also lend a hand with the detecting. Most of the narrative moves at the slow pace of the period, but Roe ends it with the heady rush her readers have come to expect. FYI: Roe (the pseudonym of Medora Sale) has been nominated twice for Anthony Awards.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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