A Gareth and Gwen Medieval Mysteries by Sarah Woodbury
New Sarah Woodbury book time is one of my favorite times of the year. The most recent one is the 13th installment of the Gareth and Gwen series. Everyone is at the castle in Denbigh for the wedding of King Owain’s son, Iorwerth. It is only a few days before the wedding when Gareth is woken early in the morning by his brother-in-law Gwalchmai. There has been a murder, Queen Christina request Gareth’s presence at once.
If you follow this series you know that Gareth works for Prince Hywel. However, if the Queen of Gwynedd calls for you, you come. Gareth drags himself out of bed and goes to the main hall to discover he has been called to investigate the murder of a dog. Yes, you heard me a dog.
The dog in question belongs Nest, one of the bards in the court of Madog, King of Powys. She and her brother are screaming and accusing each other of foul play. Both declare they will not sing for the festivities or the wedding.
Queen Christina is desperate to solve this issue quickly. A strange clause in the wedding contract says that King Madog’s bards are the only singers allowed to provide entertainment for the wedding or it can be called off. Christina fears that someone is trying to sabotage this wedding and she will not have it. Usually, the Queen treats Gareth with disdain but she does trust him to get this situation sorted out and keep the wedding on track.
First Gareth must get the bards to calm down. Then he can start to figure out what really happened. It appears that the dog ate some porridge that had poison in it. Deri, the other court bard, was about to eat some himself when he saw the dog die. Deri blames his sister Nest; he is convinced that she is jealous of him and wants to get rid of him.
Gareth, Gwen, and the regular cast of characters set out to solve this strange and unusual mystery. Who would want to kill the court bards? Why? Are they the real target?
To make matters more interesting, Prince Cadwaldar (King Owain’s younger brother) shows up uninvited to the wedding. He has been in exile for the past two years for causing the death of Rhun. Owain is still furious at his brother for causing the death of his eldest son and heir. His brother has to know he is not welcome. What trouble is Cadwaldar up to now?
This book was a lot of fun to read just like the rest of the series. Normally, I figure out who is guilty before the author reveals it, but this time I did not. I was as shocked as the characters in the book to realize who was behind all the mayhem. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did. Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.