Judith Healey, whose hobby is medieval history, currently manages two family foundations. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Princess Alais of France, first introduced in The Canterbury Papers, wants nothing more than to marry her secret lover, Templar knight William of Caen, and tell his young ward that she is his mother. But life at court gets complicated-and very dangerous-when a mysterious chalice appears at mass and two monks try to persuade Alais's brother, King Philippe, to wage war on his cousin in the south and put an end to the rise of Catharism. When the cup disappears and her son is kidnapped, Alais puts all thoughts of peace and safety aside as she tries to rescue the boy. Verdict Healey's latest features all the elements of a good historical novel, with attention paid to period details and broader historical context giving her works. The addition of suspense elements will appeal to mystery and thriller fans as well.-Anna M. Nelson Karras, Collier Cty. P.L, Naples, FL Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
In this sequel to Healy's debut (The Canterbury Papers), set in 13th-century France, King Phillippe's sister, Princess Alais, is surprised by his request for advice regarding a mysterious note warning him to stay out of the affairs of Toulouse, where his cousin Raymond rules. When the pope's envoy arrives, begging Philippe to help fight a proto-Protestant religious sect called the Cathars in Raymond's territory, Philippe refuses-besides the warning, Philippe carries a grudge against Pope Innocent. When Alais's aunt Constance, along with a palace treasure, disappears, Alais defies the wishes of her betrothed, William, a Knight Templar, and rides southward with a few trusted knights to find answers and, maybe, a resolution to the conflict. Uncovering the plot against Toulouse, Alais is commanding but not stubborn, and Healey uses sumptuous detail to explore the courtly lives of spiritually frustrated medieval women; unfortunately, tedium sets in as it becomes clear that the princess's every hunch will turn out to be right. (July) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.