Sinful Folk is one of those novels that you are not too sure of at the beginning but once you hit that 100 page mark, you are hooked. This story takes place in the 14th century and is about a woman, Mear ( Miriam Houmont) who lives as a man for over 10 years in a small village in England, raising her illegitimate son Christian. There is a fire where five boys are trapped in and die and Mear fears for her son. The door to the house is tied with rope to prevent the boys from being able to escape. What Mear fears the most has happened, her son is one of the dead boys. The father's of the boys are beside themselves and are determined to find out who the killer is, so they decide to take a journey to England and take their boys to the King to get justice.
The trip to London is fraught with danger from outside elements and also from the small group, because someone in the group is the murderer. The story that is told as the group does not know a killer is in their midst, is that the Jews did it even though at this time all the Jews were killed, forced to convert or driven out of England by the Crown's orders. Mear is able to keep her true identity a secret until to she needs to tell her story to save her life and those of the group as she is arrested for the murders. She is forced to 'come out' if you will, to tell her tale of the love that she had for Edward the Black Prince, brother to Richard II and tell the birthright of her son.
This story is a suspenseful medieval tale of a mother's love and her quest to find the truth not only in her personal life but the reason why the boys, including her son, were murdered in such a cruel manner. Superstitions abound as they tended to do in these early times, of witches and spells and anything the low born peasants are wont to believe. The reader who loves historical fiction will find this passionate novel, based on a true story, definitely worth a read. I highly recommend it.