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A Swarming of Bees

A Swarming of Bees [Kindle Edition]

Theresa Tomlinson
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Winner of the B.R.A.G. Medallion Award

“A herbwife on a mule may go where warriors cannot – she may see what warriors cannot see and hear what warriors cannot hear!”

The Monastery at Whitby is ruled over by the powerful and independent Abbess Hild. But when she needs someone to confide in, she turns to the honest warmth of her friend Fridgyth, the half-pagan herb-wife.

A divisive and life-altering decision taken at the Great Synod is swiftly overshadowed as the monastery is ravaged by a deadly plague. As she tends the sick, Fridgyth starts to suspect that not all the deaths are natural. Despite Hild’s stern warnings “not to meddle” she sets out to investigate.

Can Fridgyth’s wisdom and intuition unmask the murderer and unravel the dark politics surrounding the deaths and clandestine arrival of two young scholars?

A SWARMING OF BEES is an absorbing and richly atmospheric murder mystery.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 691 KB
  • Print Length: 292 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 190912222X
  • Publisher: Acorn Digital Press (14 Dec 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AN8D94I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #16,860 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author
Theresa Tomlinson has been writing historical novels for many years; her titles include THE FORESTWIFE TRILOGY, MOON RIDERS, THE VOYAGE OF THE SNAKE LADY and WOLF GIRL. In recent years she has become fascinated by archaeological finds from the Dark Ages, eg The Staffordshire Hoard, and the discovery of a royal grave near Loftus in Cleveland, containing gold and garnet jewels.
Theresa Tomlinson's new historical murder/mystery A SWARMING OF BEES is now available as a paperback and kindle edition. The action takes place in the cliff top monastery ruled by Abbess Hild - after the famous Synod of Whitby. Fridgyth the half-pagan herb-wife is curious, warm-hearted, and a law unto herself! When she suspects that some of the many deaths, may not be due to a terrible plague that is ravaging the country, Fridgyth sets out to investigate!
Although this is Theresa's first book aimed at an adult market, reviewers have pointed out that it may be enjoyed by young adults too! During the first week in January 2013 A SWARMING OF BEES made No. 3 in the best sellers kindle historical novel charts!
WOLF GIRL may be seen as a prequel - this Young Adult mystery/adventure introduced the character of Fridgyth, along with many of the others that appear in both books - Wulfrun the webster's daughter - along with many recognisable names from history - Hild, Elfled(Aelfleda)Caedmon, King Oswy, Cuthbert of Lindisfarne, Wilfrid of York.
THE TRIBUTE BRIDE - A NEW HISTORICAL NOVEL tells the story of Acha of Deira - mother to King Oswald and King Oswy, the woman at the heart of the founding of the ancient kingdom of Northumbria!
Acha is sent as a secondary bride to the fierce King Athelfrid, when floods ruin the crops and prevent her father from paying the tribute of grain demanded by the overlord! The flooding theme was inspired by recent problems in York, and Pickering - I thought that if it could happen now it could have happened then and it would have caused even worse devastation then and may have led to famine! Acha - a shadowy figure, mentioned only briefly by Bede, lived in a time of bloody land disputes and fierce battles - but this is a story of love, friendship and survival!
See Theresa's website

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly enjoyable read! 26 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. It's a well-researched and entertainingly written story set at an especially interesting period in history - the time of the famous Whitby synod. The characters, some of whom are historical figures, are sympathetically portrayed and the plot is both imaginative and plausible. The political and religious turmoil of the synod coincides with an outbreak of plague, and it's all seen through the eyes of Fridgyth, the herb-wife, who, while working in a Christian monastery/nunnery, is still a believer in the old gods. And as a poet it's lovely to hear the words of Caedmon, said to be the first English poet, shared with a wider audience. I'll be watching for more work from this author.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pleasure to read 10 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is not my usual genre but I am so glad I opted to read this book, it paints a picture of a simpler and more gentle way of life and I found the book itself gently draws you in and keeps your interest. The characters and plot are believable and well written and it is easy to feel that you know the main characters and can relate to them and are able to easily visualise where they live and their daily routines. Beautifully written and a pleasurable read. Interestingly, whilst the plot is very good and was the reason I chose to purchase the book, as I enjoy thrillers and 'whodunnits' I enjoyed it more for the characters created and the journey back in time. I would happily read further books based on Fridgyth the herb wife.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very engaging read 1 Feb 2013
By Glider
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I liked this book a lot. I am a fan of Ellis Peters' Cadfael series and, whilst being completely original, A Swarming of Bees evokes a pleasant feeling of familiarity. The Herb Wife, Fridgyth, precedes Brother Cadfael by a good 600 years, and a feeling of her time comes through clearly. The research required to paint such a clear picture of the period is evident in the detail and colour, and it makes for a very absorbing read.
I recommend this book highly.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A satisfying and involving tale 1 Jun 2013
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I really liked 'A Swarming of Bees', by Theresa Tomlinson, and have no hesitation in awarding five stars. The subject matter, the presentation, the writing style: all of this came together just right for my taste. And it had a couple of maps, which always please me. These help the reader become oriented in the community of Whitby, called here by the Old English name of Streonshalh. For those who are not familiar with English geography, Whitby is on the east coast, in the modern county of Yorkshire, looking across the North Sea towards Scandinavia. Somewhat later than this story, it would be part of the Viking-dominated region called the Danelaw (as in The Bone Thief), but at this time it was in Northumbria, a large swathe of land ruled from Bamburgh.

The historical setting is in the immediate aftermath of the Synod of Whitby, in 664AD. This was a key moment in British Christianity when the fledgling native church, which had been isolated from Europe after the collapse of the Roman empire, was brought back under the authority of Roman Catholicism.

Now, many today might regret the loss to the church of the Celtic flavour of faith that this caused, but at the time, church unity was considered more important than insisting on an opinion. Individual Christian leaders might (and did) regret the loss, and expressed it by withdrawal to isolated communities, but there was no church schism resulting from this event.

Anyway, 'A Swarming of Bees' has this event, and the resulting shakeup of church leadership, as part of the background. But for many of the individuals who are central, the choice is not between Roman and Celtic Christianity. Rather, it is between any sort of Christianity and their continuing allegiance to the older beliefs.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely book 23 Feb 2013
By Beatrix
I enjoy murder mysteries, I love Whitby, I'm fascinated by the Anglo-Saxon period, and I read all Theresa Tomlinson's books, so I couldn't wait to get my hands on A Swarmng Of Bees. I wasn't disappointed. The novel is very well researched, giving it a strong sense of time and place, and the central character, Fridgyth, is resourceful, determined, thoroughly likable and credible, eangaging the reader willingly in her quest to solve the mystery of the unaccountable deaths that are taking place at Hild's Abbey. I met Fridgyth before in Wolf Girl, and I very much hope to meet her again!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Anglo-Saxon Mystery 31 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of the herb-wife's remedies in treating the sick. I did get a bit confused by the Anglo-Saxon names, but this didn't distract me from the mystery. I hope there are more adventures for the herb-wife, as I'll definitely read them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars These bees won't sting you - they will woo you. 28 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A good read if you like north Yorkshire, especially the Whitby area, and you are interested in early history of the church and the Synod of Whitby. . The writer weaves a good story around the effects of the Synod and her imagination is attractive in the development of the history of the time.
It is an easy read and once started you want to read it through and enjoy it.
David Bolton:
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Swarming of Bees 13 Mar 2013
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Really enjoyed this - full of interesting facts and a good plot too. Kept my interest from start to finish. Loved the historical facts which were built in to the story too.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Bees
Enjoyable enough and filled with detail of the era. A good murder mystery, complicated enough to keep you guessing to the satisfactory ending.
Published 1 month ago by tina price
5.0 out of 5 stars good book
Cadfial eat your heart out.really enjoyed this book. look forward to the next one, if there is one. thank you
Published 1 month ago by J. Riley
5.0 out of 5 stars A Swarming of Bees by Theresa Tomlinson
Loved the story, very well written. Theresa is a real word weaver and produces a magical account of the bygone world. Read more
Published 2 months ago by tobykin
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
I brought this as I love Whitby and when reading it I could imagine the place. I enjoyed it it was a good read.
Published 2 months ago by Christine Reilly-Smythe
4.0 out of 5 stars History
A very interesting read which brings alive the world of St. Hild in an absorbing and believable narrative. Read more
Published 2 months ago by R. Wells
5.0 out of 5 stars A good Read
I enjoyed this book. The author brought out the flavour of that period in history and the characters were quite believable. The story was put together well.
Published 2 months ago by Mr. M. Henderson
4.0 out of 5 stars Swarming bees
Loved this book, not read anything this far back in history before, loved the characters and insight they gave into a time of great hardship,. Brilliant
Published 5 months ago by Julia
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring
I tried to get into this novel,and at times there was an interesting moment or two, but it soon passed and I found my mind wandering from the book. Read more
Published 6 months ago by minnie swanborough
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read to accompany our studies of sacred sites in Northumbria...
We went to Whitby Abbey as part of a summer school course at Durham university. So a story set in that place with many of the famous folk at the time but weaved in to a fictitious... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jimtidy
5.0 out of 5 stars St Hilda, Easter, Murder!
This story resonated with me as I went to school near Whitby and often visited the Abbey. The story is set at the time of the conventions which were called to settle the dating of... Read more
Published 7 months ago by misty meanor
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