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Bloodstone (Brother Athelstan Mediaeval Mysteries) [Hardcover]

Paul Doherty
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Book Description

24 Nov 2011 Brother Athelstan Mediaeval Mysteries
December, 1380. When the corpse of Sir Robert Kilverby, a wealthy Cheapside merchant, is discovered in a locked room, Brother Athelstan accompanies the King's coroner to investigate. For the late Sir Robert had in his possession a priceless relic, a sacred bloodstone which he was planning to donate to the Abbey of St Fulcher-on-Thames. The bloodstone has disappeared and the Regent, John of Gaunt, who covets the relic for himself, is taking an uncomfortably close interest in the case.

Did Sir Robert die of natural causes or was he murdered? Athelstan is sceptical of rumours of a curse hanging over Kilverby and his comrades of the Wyvern Company, who plundered the bloodstone from the Abbey of St Calliste during the war against France. But when it is discovered that a second old soldier has been gruesomely slain on the same night, the rumours no longer seem so far-fetched.

As Athelstan begins to uncover the dark secrets surrounding teh Abbey of St Fulcher, the bloodstone curse seems all too real.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Creme de la Crime; First Edition edition (24 Nov 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780290160
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780290164
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 17.1 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 281,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Paul Doherty was born in Middlesbrough (North-East England) in 1946. After A-levels, he went to Ushaw College in Durham for three years to study for the Catholic priesthood. In 1967, he was admitted to Liverpool University where he gained a First Class Honours Degree in History and won a state scholarship to Exeter College, Oxford. While there he met his wife Carla Lynn Corbitt. He continued his studies but decided that the academic world was not for him and became a secondary school teacher.

Paul worked in Ascot, Newark and Crawley, before being appointed as Headmaster to Trinity Catholic School, Woodford Green, Essex, in September 1981. Trinity is a large comprehensive (1700 on roll) which teaches the full ability range, ages 11-18. The school has been described as one of the leading comprehensives in the U.K. and has been awarded "Outstanding" in four consecutive OFSTED inspections. All seven of Paul and Carla's children have been educated at Trinity.

Paul's other incarnation is as a novelist. He finished his doctorate on the reign of Edward II of England and decided to start writing about the "undergrowth of history", beginning with THE DEATH OF A KING, published in 1985. Since then, Paul has written nearly 100 books and has published a series of outstanding historical mysteries set in the Middle Ages, Classical Greece, Ancient Egypt and elsewhere. His books have been translated into more than twenty languages and are available in several formats, including large print, audio books, and more recently e-books.

He has been published under several pseudonyms: C. L. Grace, Paul Harding, Michael Clynes, Ann Dukthas and Anna Apostolou but now writes only under his own name. Paul has also written a number of non-fiction titles, among them: ISABELLA AND THE STRANGE DEATH OF EDWARD II, a scholarly study of The Great Crown Jewels Robbery of 1303, THE SECRET LIFE OF ELIZABETH I, and a study of the mystery surrounding the death of Alexander the Great.
Paul lectures for a number of organisations, particularly on historical mysteries, many of which later feature in his writings. A born speaker and trained lecturer Paul loves to tell stories and "bring history to life."

Product Description


'Doherty's authentic historical detailing will appeal to discriminating fans of medieval mysteries who cut their teeth on the masterful Ellis Peters'

About the Author

The author of more than sixty highly-acclaimed historical mysteries, Paul Doherty studied History at Liverpool and Oxford Universities, and is now headmaster of a school in Essex. He lives with his family in north-east London.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome back, Brother Athelstan! 14 Mar 2012
By Billy J. Hobbs VINE VOICE
It's been nine (long) years since we last heard from the good prior, but this month Paul Doherty has resumed his Brother Athelstan series with the publication of "Bloodstone." It is a welcomed return and Athelstan hasn't dropped a beat--it's still "murder most foul (and holy)"!

Sir Robert Kilverby's corpse has been discovered in a locked room (a favorite conundrum for Brother Athelstan) and together with the King's coroner, Sir John Cranston, it is revealed that a priceless relic, a sacred bloodstone, has disappeared. Sir Robert had planned to donate the gem to the Abbey of St. Fulcher-on-Thames. Thus, the plot thickens, as it usually does in a Doherty mystery. Of course, initially, the question: did he die of natural causes or was he murdered? opens up the investigation. Besides theft and murder, Sir John of Gaunt himself covets the relic and takes a very close position to the investigation.

There is a rumor (to which Athelstan doesn't subscribe) that the bloodstone is cursed--that the curse has been hanging over Kilverby, who'd plundered the jewel from the Abbey of St. Calliste during one of the battles in France. And when a second death--an old soldier who'd also been involved--occurs, the rumors pick up speed and authority!

It is up to Brother Athelstan and his special parishioners, along with Sir John, to unravel this mystery. Watching him methodically work his way (albeit quite exciting at the same time) makes "Bloodstone" another worthwhile adventure in this series.

Welcome back, Brother Athelstan. Here's to many more adventures.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Athelstan & Cranston - return 30 Nov 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
There is always cause for celebration when you find out there's on new Paul Doherty novel published. The latest edition to the Brother Athelstan series in which this is number 11, is no exception. The story starts in December 1380, we are introduced to Sir Robert Kilverby who is discovered murdered in a locked room and the famous 'Bloodstone' of the novels title is missing. It is of course upto Brother Athelstan and Sir John Cranston to solve the murder.

For fans of Paul Doherty, this is a welcome return to familar characters who don't disappoint. Cranston remains his usual wonderful and entertaining 'falstafian character.' As ever, Doherty knows how to draw the reader into the story....and what a wonderful tapestry he weaves, the mediaeval journey is just fantastic. It's totally compelling and unputdownable.

For new readers, this is a really good place to start your introduction to the medieaval world, from a master story-teller...and one thing Doherty is good telling an entertaining story....and thats all that matters.

Highly recomended
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bloodstone 22 Oct 2013
By Keen Reader TOP 100 REVIEWER
This is one of the series of Brother Athelstan mysteries of Paul Doherty, set in 1380 (the eleventh, I think). It's December, and in London Sir Robert Kilverby is considering his redemption. But first he needs to settle his affairs. When he is found dead in a locked room and the precious Bloodstone that has been in his keeping is missing as well, Athelstan is called in to assist Sir John Cranston, the King's Coroner. The last thing anyone wants is the personal and grim attention of John of Gaunt.

This is a great novel, a complicated and intriguing mystery full of backstories, revenge, personal ambitions, murder and greed. I love the atmosphere that is projected of London in 1380 - the cold, the weird and wonderful people who live on the streets and who populate the taverns, abbeys and merchant's houses. The characters are diverse and all have their own personalities stamped very strongly upon them. Athelstan and Sir John Cranston are great characters, and they pace through London solving their mysteries in their own unique ways. Another winner from Mr Doherty.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A little disappointing 7 Aug 2014
By Tracy
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having read all the other books in this series, all of which were excellent, this one was disappointing. The relationship between athelstan and Cranston had changed beyond recognition, as indeed had their respective personalities. I also missed the supporting cast, including athelstan' s parishioners, who only featured briefly. It felt as though someone other than Paul Doherty had written this book. Don't let this put you off reading the other novels in the series as they 5 stars all the way!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 7 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very happy
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4.0 out of 5 stars Once again a good read 1 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed all the brother Athelstan books and was awaiting this one, not too patiently. It is as good as the others however I found the amount of possible suspects rather daunting. A bit too many in my opinion. Well worth the read though. I had gone back to reading a "rival" author, but prefer Paul Doherty.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Very confused 31 Mar 2014
By Harvey
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Although I read a lot of Paul Doherty novels, this book left me very confused. Brother Athelstan of previous novels would not smirk. he seems to be a very different person to earlier novels. One point I find irritating is the different names Athelstans brother is called. In earlier novels its Francis then Stephen and finally Francis Stephen. This lack of consistency seems to run through all of Paul Doherty novels, I am currently reading his Hugh Corbett novels and find similar issues.
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By Ramsden
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not one of Paul's best, but still a good read. The usual historical settings that transforms you into England in the middle ages and the atmosphere of the time, add murder and you have a compelling read
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