Sharan Newman’s reputation as a critically acclaimed writer of medieval mysteries continues with this collection of short stories, all previously published and collected here for the first time in Death Before Compline. The stories take us into 12th century Europe and show with sympathy and humor, the astounding variety of good intentions gone wrong and the corruption of human desires. Many of the stories feature Catherine LeVendeur, the beloved protagonist of ten of Newman’s novels, and Solomon, Catherine’s Jewish merchant cousin. These stories takes us into the day to day reality of medieval religious and family life, as it is lived by a variety of people: from nuns, noble people, scholars, courtiers, merchants, hermetic spinsters and children.
Fans of the novels will find this collection delightful as the author explains the origins of these stories and the evolution of her protagonists in the novels; these tales also serve as a great introduction to her work for newcomers.
Sharan Newman is a medieval historian and author. She took her Master’s degree in Medieval Literature at Michigan State University and then did her doctoral work at the University of California at Santa Barbara in Medieval Studies, specializing in twelfth-century France.
She is a member of the Medieval Academy and the Medieval Association of the Pacific. Newman has done research at the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique France Meridionale et Espagne at the University of Toulouse and the Institute for Jewish History at the University of Trier, as well as many departmental archives.
“Readers looking for quality historical fiction ought to add Newman’s name to their lists of must-read authors. In addition to providing readers with a vivid look at life in France in the twelfth century, Newman also offers absorbing stories with well-drawn sympathetic characters.”