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The Merchant's Mark is the third of Pat McIntosh's Gil Cunningham mysteries, set in late fifteenth-century Glasgow. In this one, a barrel that was supposed to contain books turns out, instead, to contain a severed head in brine, and Gil, aided by his fiancée Alys, her father Pierre Mason and his sister Kate, sets out to find out who the dead man was and what happened to him.

I like these books; I first started reading them because I know the author a little (she's one of the Glasgow knitting crowd), but they're enjoyable light reading with occasional scenes of mild peril, and sympathetic characters who I'm enjoying seeing grow and change over the course of the series. There are also nods to both Sayers and Dunnett; the female characters, who are tough and independent without stretching my credulity of what would be possible for women in medieval times, reminded me particularly of the women in Dunnett. In this book I particularly liked Gil's sister Kate, who I hope will also reappear in later books, and the developing friendship between her and Alys.

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