I was very pleased to receive a copy of ‘A Newly Crimsoned Reliquary’ from its author Donna Fletcher Crow in return for an honest review. It was published in paperback by the Greenbrier Book Company on 5th February 2015 and is also available as an ebook. You can buy ‘A Newly Crimsoned Reliquary’ here in the UK and here or here in the US.
When Felicity arrives in Oxford to translate an ancient document, she isn’t expecting that a trail of dismembered body parts will set her off on another murder adventure with her fiance Antony.
Although this is the fourth in Donna Fletcher Crow’s Monastery Murders series starring Felicity and Antony, I hadn’t read the others and found the book stood alone as an entertaining read in its own right.
The plot is not as visceral and aggressive as some murder stories and I think those who like the British TV series of ‘Morse’ or ‘Midsummer Murders’ would particularly enjoy ‘A Newly Crimsoned Reliquary’.
The research that has gone in to the book is incredibly impressive and the reader feels reassured that every element is accurate. Donna Fletcher Crow also creates a highly effective sense of place in her descriptions of Oxford so that it is easy to picture them in the mind’s eye. Her attention to detail is meticulous.
This might sound slightly odd or prejudiced, but I found the dialogue and writing very ‘English’ despite the fact the the author is American and enjoyed the story all the more because of this. I also particularly enjoyed the romantic aspect of the relationship between Felicity and Antony, although I’d have liked Felicity to have been more independent of Antony’s influence and more of her own person at times.
One aspect that I enjoyed less was the religious detail. I felt that, whilst intelligent, well researched and accurate, it sometimes interfered with the flow of the narrative because there was too much information provided.
‘A Newly Crimsoned Reliquary’ put me in mind of a modern day Agatha Christie and I think readers who like Christie’s books will also thoroughly enjoy Donna Fletcher Crow’s writing too.