Zebra, Dec 1 2010, $6.99
In 1479 in Scotland, Ilsabeth “Twa” Murray Armstrong overhears her fiancé Sir Walter Hepbourn discuss with his cousin their duplicitous plans to betray her and her family. He never had plans to marry an Armstrong. He apparently succeeds with his plan when the king's agent is murdered and the evidence points to the Armstrong clan.
Ilsabeth flees to the home of family friend Simon Innes. The king orders Simon, a highly regarded investigator, to find the missing Armstrong broods. The Murray clan visits him too asking him to investigate the homicide. Ilsabeth has demands on him also; she wants him to fall in love with her as she has with him. Of course it would also be nice if he could find the killer. Simon is a misanthrope who distrusts women; however, his avoidance attempts fail because Ilsabeth has a horde supporting her efforts to win his love.
The latest Murray fifteenth century romance (see Highland Destiny) is a terrific entry made fresh with the investigation, the brogue and the humor of the matchmaking throng. Simon is simply stupendous as every clue he finds supports the assertion that the Armstrong clan killed the agent; only his treacherous heart says no and ironically even before he met and fell in love with Ilsabeth he distrusted women. Readers will enjoy Hannah Howell’s entertaining Highland historical.