Book review: The Difficult Saint by Sharan Newman

The Difficult Saint (Catherine LeVendeur, #6)The Difficult Saint by Sharan Newman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Catherine LeVendeur mystery series is one of my favorite historical mystery series. In addition to the impeccable research and the excellent quality of the writing, what makes this medieval mystery series stand out is that the author incorporates into the series the medieval treatment of Jews. She neither softens nor tries to justify the persecution of Jews during the Middle Ages, but she does try to make the reader see the persecution from the medieval mindset.
This book is an excellent addition to the series (which is best read in order). Unlike in previous books where the persecution is opaque and non-violent, the Church’s push towards a crusade has ignited anti-Semitism throughout Europe, and Catherine and her family are caught between the personal (Catherine’s sister is accused of murdering her newly married husband) and the political (the increasing violence against Jews). The author even throws in some Cathars to add to the religious complications.
As always, the characters are interesting and well-rounded. The mystery is interesting and the religious issues well explained.
I highly recommend this series!

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