This is about the 6th in the jester series by Alan Gordon, and one of the best. In this novel, Theophilus and Claudia are dispatched to Toulouse to depose the local bishop, who has been antithetical to the Fools’ Guild. On arrival they find the bishop in a verbal altercation with a local moneylender. The following morning the moneylender is found murdered, face down in a tanner’s pit with a hole in his skull.
Theophilus is drawn into the murder investigation by the bishop’s assistant, and soon finds himself embroiled in a local power struggle between the Count of Toulouse and a cartel of local merchants.
The series has grown increasingly serious with each novel. In this one we have some faint references to contemporary American politics, in the conflict between justice and financial power. There’s nothing overtly allegorical, but just a few faint echoes.
The novel is well-written and thoroughly enjoyable.