M6631_QueenDistant-238x238From Goodreads:”When an unwelcome visitor arrives at Hild’s monastery, Fridgyth the herb-wife is forced to hold her tongue. The widow of the fierce Mercian king, who once brought death and destruction to the coastal community, is an uneasy sight for many. Although everyone is thankful for Northumbria’s fragile peace, painful memories are still fresh and some can think of nothing but revenge.
A young tanner is found dead after a mysterious liaison – his brother is nowhere to be seen, and the boy that used to help him is terrified to speak. While the Abbess is busy trying to secure an on-going peace for the kingdom, Fridgyth starts her own investigation, though she has no idea what she is dealing with or the danger she is in…
Queen of A Distant Hive – is Book Two in the Fridgyth the Herb-wife series”


I really enjoyed this second book in the historical crime fiction series set around a monastery in 7th Century Whitby. I listened to the first book, A Swarming of Bees, last year, and was thrilled to be offered this second one for review.

Once again the story centres around a large gathering at the monastery, a peacemaking assembly between an aged Queen and her estranged son. Hild the Abbess is busy getting ready for her regal visitors whilst Fridgyth the herb-wife is busy transporting her bees to a new area amongst the heather where they’ll make the best honey. Fridgyth is called away to help with a badly injured neighbour, which turns out to be something far more sinister and so the mystery begins.

I loved being back in 7th Century Whitby with Fridgyth, Hild and the other characters from the first book, I felt like I was visiting old friends. The mystery kept me guessing all the way through. I was convinced I knew who the suspect was, only to be fooled by red herrings! 

I absolutely loved Danielle Cohen’s narration, it was superb and brought Fridgyth, Hild and the other characters to life perfectly. I wouldn’t hesitate to listen to other books read by this narrator and have added her to my favourite narrators list.

I definitely recommend this audiobook to lovers of historical fiction and mysteries and hope they’ll be more books in the series!

Thanks so much to Hope Roy at Tantor Media for my digital copy.