Â Â Â Â Â Joanna Stafford is a young novice in a British convent in the year 1537.Â It is a troubling time for the Catholic Church in England, as Lord Cromwell is shutting down convents and monasteries all over the country.Â When her cousin is burned to death for supposed treason, Joanna sneaks away from her cloister to see if there is any way she can help. Â For her efforts, she finds herself locked away in the Tower of London! Before long, Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, blackmails Joanna.Â He orders her to search the grounds of her convent for an ancient crown.Â If she refuses to cooperate, he threatens to torture and execute her elderly father.
Â Â Â Â With the help of two monks who have been sent to help out at the convent, Sister Joanna searches for the Crown of Athelstan, but to no avail.Â In the meantime, strange events are happening at the convent.Â A local wealthy nobleman stays the night and is found dead in his room the next morning! Â Royal officials come, taking parts of the convent apart, stone by stone.Â As she researches the crown in the convent's limited library, Joanna finds rumors of death and ruin associated with the relic.Â She is frightened â€“ yet, she must find some way to save her poor father.Â Nancy Bilyeau has written an intriguing mystery in this, her debut novel.
Â Â Â Â Â This book was recently published in January of 2012 through Touchstone, a division of Simon & Shuster.Â It was released in hardcover edition with a suggested retail price of $24.99 in the US, or $28.99 in Canada.Â ISBN 978-1-4516-2685-8.Â An e-Book edition is also available, should you prefer.Â You can find out more about the novel and the up-and-coming new author at www.nancybilyeau.com