I am somewhat conflicted about this book. The characters were really great. Gil and Alys both have somewhat modern views views for their time but not so extreme that you feel like a 21st centutry person fell through time and is now enraged by the treatment of the poor/women/children or holds speeches about how capital punisment is wrong.The mystery itself was quite well done, too. I did figure out who did it about halfway-through but I had no idea about the why and figuring out that together with Gil turned out to be quite fascinating, too. There was a lot of focus on the legal proceedings which is quite unusual for a historical crime-novel but somehow I found it really interesting even though I'm someone who wouldn't touch a contemporary legal thriller with a ten-foot pole. It was quite interesting to learn that at least during the time the book was set in the Scottish legal system was quite modern in many aspects (apparently women could divorce their husbands under certain circumstances and inherit land in their own right).That was one of the occasions where I'd wished for some kind of postscript that got into some more detail (I must say that the author did a good job at giving the really neccessary information in the text without having massive infodumps but I would have liked to know how long these laws had been in effect, if they had really been enforced everywhere etc. and that bit about the harp. There's a scene where Gil explains that as the harper made a formal statement while having the harp in his hand it's legally binding and I would love to know more about the background of that).Now there is one issue I have with this book and I am not sure if I should retract a star for that:If you're not a native English-speaker you will need a lot of patience and a huge dictionary or preferably the e-book version of this book and an e-reader with a good in-built dictionary.I do consider myself as quite a good English-speaker (studying the language and all that) and I have never read a book with that many words I'd never heard before. There is generally quite some archaic language, some specialist terminology (mainly legal and clerical with some architecture thrown in) and then there's a lot of Scots.I so could not resist that oneLike really A LOT. Not only wee bairns and bonnie lassies, quite a large part were words I couldn't find in my dictionary.To be fair: The archaic and specialist terms were all in it and most of the Scots I could vaguely guess from the context what it meant (often rather creative insults) but I usually couldn't help myself and just had to google the exact meaning so again a glossary would have been welcome. So considering that the mystery was a bit easy to see trough and the language-barrier I only give three stars but with a tendency towards four and I will read the next book in the series in the probably non-to-distant future because I really liked Gil and Alys and if the future cases get a bit less predictable this has the potentiol to become a good series.