THE ANGEL IN THE GLASS,
second in the Gabriel Taverner series, visits the West Country village of
Tavy St Luke's. Gabriel is the local doctor, since retiring with an injury
from his career as ship's doctor. He's well travelled and the local
coroner, Theo Davey, calls upon Gabriel not only to treat injuries but to
pronounce causes of death.
THE ANGEL IN THE GLASS starts
gently. The Devon village in 1604 is largely peaceful with crops in the
fields and plenty of food. But a vagrant starved to death in a hut.
Gabriel notices he had some disease, not the plague or leprosy, but
something equally deforming. Should Gabriel really be handling this
body? Nobody knows the man nor admits to having seen him. He
deserves better than an unmarked grave. Gabriel's widowed sister Celia
is more worried about the local priest, Jonathan Carew, who seems
disturbed lately, though he won't say what's on his mind.
With this historical mystery comes plenty of intriguing information. A
few decades previously, a reformation forced the destruction of
beautiful images in churches, so paintings, statues and even stained
glass windows were smashed. Some people would like to start
displaying beautiful, sacred images again, now that Queen Elizabeth I
has remarked that she has no wish to look into men's souls. Is it too
soon? Herb-women and hedge witches know plenty of remedies for
what ails you, but the doctor is still called upon to treat people. And he
is called upon when a woman of wealth is brutally killed in her own
I had not read the earlier book in this series, so I was pleased to make
the acquaintance of Gabriel and Celia. The doctor is a forward thinker,
practical and treating symptoms rather than lecturing about disturbed
humours. He also has the good sense to consult a woman on women's
matters. Celia has been depressed since her husband's death, but in
helping Gabriel resolve problems she is starting to find her way again.
And she rides astride, on the basis that no man is around who tells her
what to do anymore. Some men in the area had habits that didn't bear
scrutiny, but a doctor gets to hear everything, under the secrecy of his
This is a delicious, detailed, Renaissance tale of England when science
is overcoming superstition and good character may be seen by the way
a man treats his family and animals. Anyone who enjoyed the Cadfael
series, or the Knights Templar books by Michael Jecks, will pull up a
chair and lose themselves in Alys Clare's world of THE ANGEL IN THE GLASS.
Physician-sleuth Dr Gabriel Taverner uncovers dark secrets
in his small
Devon village in the second of this intriguing historical
June, 1604. When the emaciated body of a vagrant is found on
edge of the moor, it’s the verdict of physician Gabriel
Taverner that the
man died of natural causes – but is all as it seems? Who was
man, and why had he come to the small West Country village
of Tavy St
Luke’s to die cold, sick and alone? With no one claiming to
him, his identity remains a mystery.
Then a discovery found buried in a nearby field throws a
light on the case … and in attempting to find the answers,
Taverner and Coroner Theophilus Davey unearth a series of
secrets stretching back more than fourteen years.