St Mungos Robin is the third book in the Gil Cunningham series of medieval murder mysteries written by Pat McIntosh.
The books are set in Glasgow in and around 1493, Gil is a young man who intended on becoming a priest before meeting a beautiful daughter of a mason who he'd helped solve a case of murder. Thats the first book in the series, in this novel his soon to be wife Alys is fretting over the wedding, he's still setting himself up as a man of law rather than the priesthood and inevitably there is a murder to investigate.
Glasgow in 1493, Scotland in this period is of course an independent but influenced by England country. There have been recent uprisings and the king of scotland was killed by the English in a battle along with Gils older brother making him head of the household. However, the family has had its lands stripped and therefore he has to make his way in the world.
'There's been a murder' (imagine Taggart saying it)
The deacon of the church is found dead with multiple stab wounds, he's clearly been dead for some time but there are strange reports of the deacon being spotted at the early morning service at the church, this is only minutes before his body is discovered.
there is then the usual confusion before Gil is asked to investigate the crime, as with all medieval murder mysteries such as those by Susanna Gregory or Ellis Peters this relies almost totally on witness interviews and some rather dubious scene of crime invstigations. It soon becomes apparent that the deacon had been dipping his hands into the church funds and making off with some of the donations in order to fund the purchase of houses in and around the town. Also he had been found to employ the services of the local women of ill repute and has fathered at least one child with them.
I don't think I'm gving too much away by giving these details.
This is set in Glasgow and is set in the middle ages, some of the language is a little difficult to follow especially if not Scottish but the use of some rather local dialects is used sparingly and rather adds to the feeling that the book is set in Scotland. The book very successfully brings together the complex situation in Scotland in and around the ascent of the Tudors in England, Scotland soon felt threatened by there suddenly stable southern neighbour who saw Scotland as a part of England again. Glasgow is the countries second city, its powerful, moderatly wealthy and a centre for law and learning.
Gil is a young man of learning, he's got a degree from Paris and his new wife is the daughter of the French head mason of the cathedral works. This combo gives the two a rather modern slant on life, they lead a more 20th century view on life rather than 15th, Alys is very much the modern women she's intelligent, sexy, liberated, and though not yet (I've read the next one in the series) very very horny for her husband. Some of the language and scenes in the later books are bordering on explicit, Alys certainly keeps Gil on his toes and for long periods on his back.
Gil is an intelligent, gentlemen around town but he's got a nice touch with the common glaswegians so of course he solves the crime using his intellect, a few insights and a little sprinkling of luck along the way. This is a decent series of medieval murder books and gives a nice antidote to the usual English centred medieval books.