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Brother Cadfael's Penance
Brother Cadfael leavs his cloister on a journey that will prove both dangerous and wrenching. as a family member is falsely accused of murder, and only Brother Cadfael can save him. Peters' graceful writing perfectly captures the spirit and ambience of early Britain.Intelligently written, the story is moving and suspenseful, with the intrepid and valiant Cadfael at his wise and gentle best.
Brother Cadfael mysteries,in order of publication, most recent to first: Brother Cadfael's Penance / A Rare Benedictine / The Holy Thief / The Summer of the Danes / The Potter's Field / Heretic's Apprentice / The Confessions of Brother Haluin / The Hermit of Eyton Forest / The Rose Rent / The Raven in the Foregate / An Excellent Mystery / The Pilgrim of Hate / Dead Man's Ransom / The Devil's Novice / The Sanctuary Sparrow / The Virgin in the Ice / The Leper of Saint Giles / St. Peter's Fair / Monk's Hood / One Corpse Too Many / A Morbid Taste for Bones
Also of interest:
Ellis Peters was the pen name of Edith Pargeter, the prolific and popular author of the Brother Cadfael medieval mystery series and scores of other books and novels such as the acclaimed Heaven Tree trilogy. She died in 1995 at the age of 82, at home in her beloved Shropshire.
The Name of the Rose
by Umberto Eco, William Weaver (Translator), David Lodge (Introduction) / Hardcover / September 2006
In seven days of apocalyptic terror, a killer strikes seven times--and seven monks die. The year is 1327. The place is a wealthy abbey in Italy. And the crimes committed there are beyond the wildest imaginings. It will be the task of English Brother William of Baskerville to decipher secret symbols and dig into the eerie labyrinth of abbey life to solve the mystery.
Royal continues her excellent medieval mystery series with another haunting whodunit set in the Tyndale Priory situated on the windswept East Anglican Coast. This time around, after Ralf the Crowner discovers the corpse of a murdered soldier in the woods, he brings the mutilated body back to the priory to undertake a thorough investigation. Puzzled by the strange inscription carved into the dagger used as the murder weapon, he consults with Prioress Eleanor, Brother Andrew, and Brother Thomas. Although it appears the victim was a Crusader, no motive can be found for the vicious crime. When a knight is slain and a young nun brutally attacked, it becomes clear that the priory is harboring a lunatic. As Ralf and Eleanor work tirelessly to expose the murderer, the priory and its adjacent infirmary are beset by a series of internal squabbles and political power struggles. Tautly woven, this introspective period piece oozes with suspense and intrigue.
In the winter of 1271, Baron Adam sends for his daughter, Prioress Eleanor of Tyndal, and her sub-infirmarian, Sister Anne, to save his grandchild with prayers and healing talents. Escorting them to the family's remote Welsh fortress is Brother Thomas, an unwilling monk fighting his private demons. Soon after the trio arrives, an important guest is murdered. The prioress's brother, bloody dagger in hand, stands over the corpse. All others may believe in his guilt, but Eleanor is convinced her brother is innocent. As passions rise, Eleanor, Anne and Thomas struggle to find the real killer.
Tremayne's engrossing 17th Ancient Ireland mystery finds series heroine Fidelma on the eve of her marriage. Political and ecclesiastical bigwigs have gathered for the ceremony. The tremendously unpopular Abbot Ultán also arrives to protest that Fidelma must uphold her long-ago religious vows by remaining celibate. Ultán soon turns up dead, and there's no shortage of suspects. Rich in historical detail, this series also reflects on many contemporary issues, including celibacy, gender and church leadership. Tremayne has produced another winner.
Peter Tremayne is the fiction pseudonym for Peter Berresford Ellis, a prominent authority on the ancient Celts and author of numerous works of history and scholarship. As Tremayne, he is the author of seventeen books featuring Sister Fidelma. He began to write Sister Fidelma mysteries in 1993 primarily to illustrate the role of women as lawyers in seventh-century Ireland. The stories have attracted to a wide following on both sides of the Atlantic and in translation. He lives in London.
Fidelma mysteries, in
order of publication, most recent to first:
Visit the website of the International Sister Fidelma Society
On a storm-driven night, wreckers drive a ship onto rocks off the coast of Ireland. An Abbess leading a pilgrimage is killed and the young religieuse with her are abducted. An ageing scholar is murdered in the Abbey of Ard Fhearta. Do these events have a connection?
Sister Fidelma and Brother Eadulf go to Ard Fhearta to examine the mystery. But the abbey stands in the territory of the Uí Fidgente, enemies of Fidelma and her brother, the King of Cashel, and danger threatens Fidelma and Eadulf from the moment of their arrival.
What is the link that connects the crimes? Who is the mysterious `master of souls` spreading death and corruption across the land? Has Uaman the Leper, Lord of the Passes, returned from the dead?
Fidelma of Cashel - sister to the King of Muman, a religieuse of the Celtic Church and an advocate of the Brehon courts - returns in this new collection of fifteen tales. These stories of murder, mayhem, and mystery are not merely spellbinders but also provide insight into the ways and mores of the complex, fascinating society of seventh century Ireland as well as heretofore unrevealed background details of Fidelma herself.
Sister Fidelma-an Eognacht princess and sister to the king of Cashel, a religieuse of the Celtic Church and an advocate of the Brehornn court-is one of the most interesting and compelling figures in contemporary mystery fiction. In this collection of short mysteries, Tremayne fills in many of the background details of Fidelma and seventh-century Ireland not found in the novels, and weaves his always-beguiling mix of history and mystery. The arrangement of the stories is strictly chronological, enabling devoted readers to fill in the voids between the novels. In each story Fidelma displays her usual knack for uncovering timeless, all too human motives as she solves crimes under the ancient Brehon law system in Ireland. A treasure trove of small gems for historical mystery fans.
In the fifteenth entry in the series, Sister Fidelma, seventh-century religieuse of the Celtic Church and advocate of the Irish Brehon Courts, faces her most personal and difficult case to date when her infant's nurse is found dead in the woods and her child is nowhere to be found. Together with her husband, Brother Eadulf, she launches a meticulous investigation into the circumstances surrounding her son's presumed kidnapping, but the meager clues point in multiple directions. Meanwhile, her marriage to Eadulf is strained not only by worry but also by the fact that her countrymen think she has married beneath her station. In addition, she is wracked by guilt over her previous irritation at the restrictions that being a wife and a mother impose on her personal freedom. Struggling to contain her emotions, she brings her formidable logic to bear on the case. Tremayne brings his customary attention to historical detail to a narrative that incorporates surprisingly modern concerns. -- Joanne Wilkinson
Now married to her devoted companion, Brother Eadulf--the concept and practice of celibacy was by no means universal in the Celtic Church--and the mother of a lusty infant son, Fidelma chafes a bit under the confines of domesticity. When the opportunity arises for her to travel to the village of Rath Raithlen to investigate a grisly series of murders occurring on consecutive full moons, she temporarily trades the tedious security of hearth and home for the dangerous and intellectually challenging task of exposing a homicidal maniac.
Sister Fidelma,together with her beloved companion, Brother Eadulf, she journeys to East Anglia to visit Aldred's Abbey. Arriving in the middle of a snowstorm on the eve of the winter solstice, Fidelma and Eadulf are shocked to find Brother Botulf, the steward of the abbey, with his skull brutally smashed in. Although the abbey itself appears to be haunted and Christians and pagans are engaging in armed conflict, Fidelma probes beneath the surfaceto uncover a decidedly unexpected motive for the murder.
Smoke in the Wind: A Mystery of Ancient Ireland **
by Peter Tremayne / hardcover / July 2003 **
Sister Fidelma, seventh-century religieuse and advocate of the Brehon courts of medieval Ireland, returns in the latest chapter of one of the most suspenseful and intelligent series of historical mysteries.. ... Tremayne continues to challenge readers with a compelling combination of church, cultural, and legal history, buttressed by intriguingly complex plots and a superlative cast of sympathetic characters. Margaret Flanagan Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Act of Mercy
A Sister Fidelma Celtic Mystery
by Peter Tremayne / Hardcover / November 2001 *
As Sister Fidelma, religieuse and prominent advocate of the Brehon Courts in seventh-century Ireland, travels by sea to the Shrine of Saint James on the Iberian Peninsula, a series of unfortunate accidents begin to plague her fellow pilgrims. When it becomes apparent that a distorted brand of obsessive love is the primary motive for the murders, Fidelma must exercise her keen powers of observation to expose a homicidal maniac among a seemingly pious group of clerics.
In Our Lady of Darkness, Roman Penitential law and traditional Irish law come into conflict as Sister Fidelma finds herself defending her good friend, Saxon monk Brother Eadulf, from a rape and murder charge. This is another solid installment in this well-established medieval series. -- Publishers Weekly
Long-vanished Sister Cecely returns to St. Frideswide's priory, bringing her illegitimate son with her. She claims she is penitent, that she wants only to redeem her sin and find safe haven for the child.. Sister Cecely may be penitent -- however much Frevisse may doubt it -- but fully truthful she is not. As the apostate nun's lies begin to overtake her, dangers of more than one kind -- and maybe murder -- become an unwanted part of life in the priory. This is Frazer's 17th historical (after 2007's The Traitor's Tale).
The first six books in this
series were written under the pseudonym Margaret Frazer by
Gale Frazer and Mary Pulver, The books continue to be
written under the Margaret Frazer pseudonym by Gale
Dame Frevisse of St. Frideswide's nunnery is in London to assist her cousin Alice, the widowed Duchess of Suffolk, in burying her husband-but the late Duke was so hated that even being in the presence of his corpse is unsafe. Wandering player Simon Joliffe is also in London, on a mission with vital information for the exiled Duke of York: a list naming the English noblemen who purportedly betrayed their King by conspiring with the French, including some of Suffolk's men, whom Joliffe has been seeking-and now found dead. Joining the player on his search for the men on the list, Frevisse starts to wonder whether or not the list is real-or part of an even greater conspiracy against the crown. This is Frazer's 16th historical (after 2006's The Sempster's Tale).
In Frazer's engrossing 15th historical (after 2005's The Widow's Tale), Dame Frevisse leaves her rural convent for London in the summer of 1450 to procure some vestments from the titular sempster ("seamstress," as Frazer explains in an author's note, didn't come into use until the 1600s). But on arrival in London, she learns that her errand is twofold: in addition to the vestments, she must convey a secret stash of gold from the sempster, a widow named Anne, to Frevisse's cousin, Lady Alice. Alice has more to hide than gold. She's having an affair with Daved, a Jewish merchant. Because Jews have been long expelled from England, Daved pretends to be Christian, while continuing to practice Judaism behind closed doors. Frevisse is drawn ever deeper into intrigue when she accompanies Anne to identify a body that some priests believe shows the marks of a Jewish ritual killing. As usual, Frazer offers careful historical detail and characters you'll want to befriend. - Publisher's Weekly
Don't be discouraged by a confusing hawk-hunting scene introducing numerous characters at the start of Frazer's 14th Dame Frevisse mystery (after 2004's The Hunter's Tale), because what follows is a smooth and absorbing saga of conspiracy and treachery in 15th-century England.
Two-time Edgar nominee Frazer (The Servant's Tale, etc.) immerses the reader into the lives and social mores of the minor English gentry-their dress, food, feelings and motivations-in her latest historical to feature Dame Frevisse, a Benedictine nun of St. Frideswide's priory and granddaughter of Geoffrey Chaucer.
The Bastard's Tale
Dame Frevisse Medieval Mystery
by Margaret Frazer / Hardcover / January 2003 **
In Margaret Frazer's eagerly-awaited latest medieval mystery, the devout yet human nun Dame Frevisse, with her "common sense and humor" (Sharon Kay Penman), finds herself in the lavish world of England's royal court and high politics. There she learns that even the thickest of walls cannot keep out a threat against the royal family.
The Clerk's Tale
A Dame Frevisse medieval mystery
by Margaret Frazer Hardcover / January 2002 *
In Margaret Frazer's latest medieval mystery, the "pious and perceptive" (New York Times) Dame Frevisse accompanies her prioress on a visit of mercy to a nunnery-where she becomes entangled in an inheritance dispute, a family feud, and the chaotic aftermath of a brutal murder.
January, 1194. A very sick man is making his way to Hawkenlye Abbey to take the Holy Water cure. In his delirium, the Virgin Mary appears before him&emdash;a seeming recurrence of the miraculous sighting that led to the establishment of the Abbey. As he watches the beautiful woman approach, he begins to pray. But she strikes him with a club, then rolls him into a ditch. Winter becomes increasingly bitter. It is only when the thaw comes that the corpse is discovered by two travelers. It appears that he had come from France, carrying papers that Abbess Helewise asks Josse d'Acquin to decipher. As Josse sets off to find out what he can about the man, the two travelers who have brought them the body fall sick. And the sickness looks very much like plague
mysteries, in order of publication, most recent to
Visit the author's website
The Abbess Helewise is struggling to keep the abbey going through a cold, brutal winter fending off starvation of her nuns and the local people. And then a much-loved person returns to her after nearly twenty years in desperate need of help. Her son. He claims his wife is suffering mental torments and his son is mute. But then a man is found strangled, dangling from a tree near the abbey. The next day her son and his family flee. Helewise and a local Knight, Josse d'Acquin, must investigate deep into the past to the time before Helewise took the veil.
Whiter Than The Lily
A Hawkenlye Mystery
By Alys Clare / Paperback/ August 2005
The young beautiful Galena and her husband, the much older Ambrose are trying for a child but to no avail. When Josse d'Acquin tells her of the healing waters of Hawkenlye she is overjoyed and sets off with her escort. But she arrives alone. A few days later her husband, befuddled and unwell, arrives and within hours she dies in agony on the infirmary floor. On examination it appears she has been poisoned and that she was pregnant after all. Josse and Helewise are determined to solve the riddle of her death even if it leads themselves also into danger.
The new priest has arrived at Hawkenlye Abbey and he is a cruel fanatic. Then he is found dead in a ditch after threatening the abbess, and few mourn his passing. Unfortunately, his assailants have as little love for the abbey as they had for the deceased and that spells danger for everyone. Abbess Helewise once again calls on her friend Joss d’Aquin for his help.
Catherine LeVendeur is a creature of 12th century France whose life is a mirror of her times--but she is armed with a keen mind and lively curiosity. When Catherine's grandfather sends for his family to tell them their well is going dry, Catherine is alarmed. The family's wealth depends on its status, and if the well goes dry, their castle will fall. Her grandfather seems wracked with a fear deeper than that, though--and there's a mysterious woman who is either old or young, dead or alive--depending on whom you ask. Catherine doesn't believe the magical legends her family has handed down, that they are the descendents of a knight of Charlemagne's and a faerie--she puts her faith and distrust in the human condition. When bodies being appearing--not ghostly specters, but freshly-dead humans--Catherine knows she's right, and must uncover the secrets of the witch in the well.
Novels, in order of
publication, most recent to first:
Visit Sharan Newman's website for more information about the author.
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