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altheaann

altheaann

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Scholarium

Scholarium - Claudia GroƟ A much-better-than-average murder mystery. Gross is a German scholar of medieval studies, and her familiarity with the setting (medieval Germany, of course), is evident. Unlike many historical mysteries, the story here seems genuinely to flow from the characters of the times, rather than being a generic mystery plonked down amidst some pretty set-dressing. This can be hard to do, especially when dealing with a strongly feminist character, and I've seen it done badly many times, so I found Gross' believable and interesting portrayal of Sophie Casall, a strong, intelligent, unconventional woman dealing with a very difficult situation, to be very impressive. As stated earlier, this is a murder mystery. Sophie's husband, a Master at a college, is found dead. As he was not well-liked, the list of suspects is difficult to narrow down - but mysterious philosophical notes pertaining to the murder are found that seem to indicate the murder may be related to a philosophical debate within academia. A new and unsophisticated young student, Laurien, finds himself in over his head when he's noticeably attracted to Sophie Casall, and his new roommate and fellow student is a suspect in the killing... Twists, turns, a heretical cult and plenty of action are balanced with philosophy and feminism as the plot unfolds. I liked the book particularly because I've visited Germany many times and have an interest in the medieval period there, but I'd recommend it to any fans of historical mysteries