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Posted: January 2, 2022

Local author releases third work in time travel series

By Anne Jardine

Invermere author Maureen Thorpe’s third magical time-travelling mystery tour, Coventina’s Well, takes her protagonist Annie Thornton, a 21st Century Yorkshire midwife, back in time to the Fourth Century, during the Roman Occupation of Briton.

In those days, the city of York was known as Eboracum. The Romans had built a system of forts connected by paved roads in order to dominate the remote parts of their empire. Moving swiftly by horseback across the landscape, Roman Legions kept tight control of the vanquished Briton population, bullying the peasants and enforcing heavy taxation. Emperor Constantius the First ruled the Empire, and toured extensively to inspect the troops and fortifications of Rome’s conquered lands.

Annie and her medieval midwife ancestor and role model Aunt Meg, along with their gifted cats Rosamond and Bea are summoned into ancient history to assist in a tricky situation. They must free an unhappy prisoner bride from her Legionnaire Commander husband.

In their efforts, Annie and her aunt are thwarted by the husband’s evil advisor who orders a pair of cruel, but stupid soldiers to abduct Aunt Meg and take her north beyond Hadrian’s Wall to be slain and buried.

Now, the mission expands to rescue Aunt Meg as well as the bride. Annie, also fearing for her own life, reaches through centuries to bring her time-crossed sweetheart Will and his friend Jack, both of whom have been involved in her two previous time-travel adventures, to help her rescue Aunt Meg.

Along the way, Annie also enlists two Roman aristocrats, twin brothers Titus and Timus, an innkeeper Canus and his wife Veda, and their tiny but magically powerful daughter Donella, as well as several members of their extended family to aid in the rescue operations.

As Annie and her friends pursue the kidnappers, they uncover a convoluted plot to assassinate Emperor Constantius. Their rescue efforts must now include a plan to save the emperor. Ancient goddess Coventina and a number of other Celtic and Egyptian mythological characters offer their assistance and intrigue to the mix. Of course, the cultural complexities of morals and manners of three different time periods create their own share of plot twists, and so does Annie’s continuing romance with Will.

Coventina’s Well is a worthy successor to Maureen Thorpe’s previous novels Tangled in Time and Sailing to Byzantium

 Over their three adventures, Thorpe’s endearing central characters – Annie, Aunt Meg, Rosamond, Bea, Will, and Jack – have evolved into a nimble, unstoppable investigative team.  As in the previous books, this novel’s well-researched historical details and fast-moving story lines make for a welcome escape from our own uncertain times.

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