|Personal Devil, a (2001) [Novel]|
by Roberta Gellis
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Series: Magdalene la Bātarde Mysteries
(From the publisher):
Magdalene la Bātarde is the madam of the Old Priory Guesthouse in Southwark. Together with the handsome Sir Bellamy of Itchen, she solved the murder of Baldassare the Messenger, but this time the murder victim is one of Magdalene's business.
She is not in the least bit sorry to learn that Bertrild, the unpleasant wife of Master Mainard, is dead. Bertrild once accused Magdalene of corrupting her father and causing his death. Howerver, when it seems that Mainard will be charged with Bertrild's murder because no one accepts the oath of a whore that he is innocent, Magdalene decides to investigate.
Fortunately for Magdalene, Sir Bellamy is back in London doing his master's business. Unable to refuse Magdalene, he agrees to help her, and the two set out to solve the murder. Mainard does have the obvious motive. Bertrild refused to let him into her bed and virtually emasculated him with her cruelty. In addition, when Mainard took Sabina as his mistress, Bertrild would not let them have any peace, attacking gentle, blind Sabina physically and threatening to have her arrested for being a whore.
Bertrild was insulting to most people, however, even those she might have considered friends. She made threats, using terrible revelations as a weapon against those who would not bow down to her demanding ways.
And so when Bertrild was stabbed to death in the backyard of Mainard's shop, it seemed everyone's problems were solved. But Sabina swears Mainard was with her the night Bertrild died. Is Sabina lying for love? Did Bertrild's indiscriminate threats strike home elsewhere? It is up to Magdalene and Sir Bellamy to discover the true evil at the heart of the crime.
Original title: A Personal Devil
Genre: Fiction→ Crime and Mystery→ Detective Story and Detectives→ Historical