REMEDY FOR TREASON
Roe, Caroline

(Berkley, 1998)

Reviewed by Sue Feder

Murder moves into the Iberian peninsula in the complex tale of kidnapping, traitors, madmen and murders in 1353 Spain. The story of a plot against the throne is sometimes hard to follow, probably due to my unfamiliarity with Spanish history as much as anything, but the characters are delightful and the depiction of medieval Jewish life both horrifying and fascinating.


CURE FOR A CHARLATAN
Roe, Caroline

(Berkley, 1999)

Reviewed by Sue Feder

Three young men -- a Jew and two Catholics -- begin studying with a self-proclaimed wise man, and die mysterious deaths. Cries of witchcraft cause yet more deaths and threaten to tear Girona apart at the seams. The Bishop tries to uncover the truth and maintain order, but it is up to the blind Jewish physician Isaac to get to the bottom of things before disaster strikes at his own small household.

Eschewing the confusing politics that dominated the first book in this series in favor of a social and cultural backdrop proves a better choice by which to explore a strange and complex time and place -- 1353 Girona , Spain . The scenes of mob rioting and hysteria, for example, are brief but terrifying. Of particular fascination to me is the delicate relationship between the Jews, Catholics and Moors. Although I found the end a bit jumpy and confusing, overall this is an excellent follow-up to Remedy for Treason.