Author name: Lindsay Townsend
Book Title: An Older Evil
Publisher: MuseitUp Publishing
Please tell us about yourself with the following favorites:
Drink (non-alcoholic)? Cranberry juice
Day of the week? Any!
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Place to write? Our study
Season? All of them.
Holiday? At the moment I’m looking forward to Halloween
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TV show? Ascent of Man by Jacob Bronowski
Movie? Beauty and the Beast
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Author? As above!
Quote? From each according to his ability. To each according to his need.
Now some easy one-word answers:
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Vampire or shifter? Shifter
Horror or romance? Romance
Tell us about your new/latest release:
Title: An Older Evil
Genre: Historical Mystery
Blurb: April, 1386. Alyson Weaver, a widow of Bath, has already married five husbands and is still irrepressibly in her prime. When a handsome young stranger is murdered in her meadow overlooking St. Michael’s church, she resents it when her admirer, mild bailiff Lucas Fletcher, warns her not to interfere. Lucas has been intimidated into not investigating, but by whom? After her maid Bela is killed, Alyson decides she has no choice but to find out.
Spring begins the pilgrimage season, and a motley group of pilgrims - including Alice Perrers, the notorious former mistress of King Edward the Third - are preparing to leave Bath for the shrine of the Virgin at Walsingham in Norfolk. Before they set out, one of their number, Brother Martin, a friar, confesses sensationally to the manslaughter of the handsome stranger, named as Jehan of Flanders. Brother Martin is joining the pilgrimage to Walsingham as a penance and Jehan’s killing is officially "solved." But Alyson is unconvinced. To her, Brother Martin is a pitiful puppet and someone is pulling his strings - perhaps Bela’s murderer? Taking her mischievous godson Oliver as her page, Alyson joins the pilgrims to find out.
Aware of the excited whispering behind her, she struck out across the beaten earth yard, past the shadow of her new timbered hall, to where her plump laundress was doubled over a cauldron of hot water, scouring linen with a scrubbing board. After leaving the sweating Willelma her ale, Alyson dipped through the yard gate and trod amongst the damp meadow primroses, daisies, and fresh grass. Clambering the steep chalk track toward Beacon Hill, the spring sun warm on her strong, high-coloured face, she had a splendid view of the young man working in the ash copse at the far side of her small hillside meadow, his back to her as he sawed fallen branches.
Alyson stopped dead, her free hand making the sign of the cross. By the rood, he was like Jankin! Those crisp blond curls and long shapely legs made the woodman a mirror of her fifth and youngest husband. Jankin’s luminous eyes and teasing mouth had charmed her more than spiced wine, music, or dance. But Jankin was two years dead, murdered in a tavern brawl.
Suddenly, Alyson felt the weight of her forty-five years. She trembled, her breathing quickening, though not from the climb. Ahead, the woodman sawed on, the bite of metal on wood louder than the raucous twitter of nesting birds and the bawling of street vendors down below in nearby Bath. Waiting for her grief to subside, Alyson looked back, thinking of her home, lonely at the edge of meadows. She had fragile memories of running as a tiny child through that rectangular block of cramped kitchen, old hall, and little buttery, then up an outside stair to a small private chamber—Mother’s sun-room, called a solar.
Alyson sighed, conscious of a dropping chill in her belly although the day was bright.
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