The Roland Medals out now
Scandinavian noir meets Don Quixote in this intriguing mystery romance set on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
If you enjoy mysteries with touches of romance, historical fiction, love Spain and the Camino or just enjoy a great read, this is for you.
The Roland Medals
In 1593, a wandering monk, Carmelo, creates a series of medals featuring Roland, celebrated in the medieval epic poem, The Song of Roland. In 2012, Armi, a young Finnish Border Guard, flees a murderous partner and sets out to walk the Camino. Although separated by five centuries, their journeys and stories converge at a ruined monastery on the Camino.
Carlo Fontal, one of the monastery’s owners, is restoring it, but it is unclear where the money for the project is coming from. Armi, her suspicions aroused, is torn between her growing attraction to Carlo and her reluctance to repeat past mistakes.
What secrets connect the medal, the monastery, and the deceased billionaire who owned the Roland Medals? And what does a predator from Armi’s troubled childhood know about them? As Armi strives to find the truth, can she trust her feelings, vanquish her demons and take back the happiness that was stolen from her so long ago?
Fans of historical mysteries by Kate Mosse, Iain Pears and Umberto Eco will love the interplay of the past and the present in this gripping story.
I was lucky to read an advance e book edition of this novel. It is a gripping read, intertwining two intriguing stories set five centuries apart. The first is the story of Armi, a troubled twenty something Finnish border guard seeking refuge on the Camino and the mystery she encounters at an ancient Spanish monastery on the winter route of the Camino. The second is the epic tale of Carmelo, a wandering monk who creates a set of medals celebrating the medieval epic poem, The Song of Roland. His work takes him on a journey fraught with danger and temptation as he and his brother monk Rodrigo escort two Spanish noblewomen through battle torn Spain.
I was impressed that each story is allowed to flow – not constantly interrupted by the other, coming together in the monastery where Armi is sheltering.
The book is well researched which adds to the pleasure. If you enjoy mysteries with touches of romance, historical fiction, love Spain and the Camino or just enjoy a great read, this is for you.
Sue Farrelly 2021
Charlie and Me in Val Paradis
With Charlie under one arm and notes for an epic novel under the other, Maureen Cashman travels from Canberra to a ‘valley of paradise’ in south-west France. Installed in the restored wing of an ancient priory, Maureen and Charlie join in the rituals and routines of a small village.
Explore the French countryside, meet new friends and share some time with a charming, unpredictable poodle in this delightful, insightful and gently humourous tale of life in paradise.
This gently-paced book is the story of Cashman’s time in the village of Espagnac-Ste-Eulalie in south-west France. The ‘Charlie’ of the title is her poodle. This book provides a delightful and thoughtful window into the rural lives of these French villagers, enhanced by the charming illustrations. This is a contemplative insight into rural France at a time when it is on the cusp of change.
It will appeal to anyone interested in people and places, as well as travellers, dog-lovers and Francophiles.
Bookseller and Publisher 2008
The Roland Medals was launched at a Meet the Author event in Green Square, Kingston, ACT at 4.30pm on Friday 19 February 2021.
The event was booked out, and there was an encore event on Friday 26 February.
According to the Nielsen report, It reached the top 5,000 books sold in Australia by 26 February.
Read the reviews on the Reviews page (see tab above).
Listen to a podcast of Barbie Robinson’s interview with Maureen, and read her review. https://www.livingartscanberra.com.au/maureen-cashman-the-roland-medals/