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Candle Flame (A Brother Athelstan Medieval Mystery) [Hardcover]

Paul Doherty
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: 19.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Creme de la Crime; First World Publication edition (1 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780290608
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780290607
  • Product Dimensions: 22.1 x 14.8 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh joy of joys... 20 Mar 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This has been an excellent last couple of years for lovers of the 'Sorrowful Mysteries' series. Short stories available on Kindle and three new novels of which this is the third in fairly short order. Rather like Michael Jecks series set in the earlier part of the 14th century (Sir Baldwin & Bailiff Puttock and the machinations of the Edwardian Court, the DeSpensers and Queen Isabella) the 'Sorrowful Mysteries' (with the diminutive dominican friar Athelstan and the redoubtable Sir John Cranston) are beginning to move inexorably towards a another critical point in 14th century history, that of the peasants revolt of 1381.

As is usual there is malice afoot in the Southwark runnels and stews and several of the Kings tax collectors and information gatherers are dead. Money is involved and the 'Great Community of the Realm' in the form of the Upright Men are beginning to flex their muscle in the home counties. Athelstan and Cranston are tasked with sorting out this mess and making sense of what has happened. In the meantime Athelstan's parishioners are up to their usual furtive necks in the shennanigans and get caught in the middle of what's going on - enough spoilers now, you'll need to buy the book to find out what happens.

Doherty in all his guises and psuedonyms is one of my goto historical mystery writers and I remain aghast that the 'Sorrowful Mysteries' has never been picked up as a TV series. All of the books are wickedly plotted and rich in almost Dickensian detail of the life of 1370's and 80's London.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gem of a read 1 April 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
One of Paul Doherty's best books. Gripping, non-stop writing! I had to finish reading it-could not put it down. 5 Stars!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Author has this type of Book Off to a Fine Art 23 April 2014
By J. Chippindale TOP 1000 REVIEWER
To say that the author is prolific is an understatement, just read the long list of titles by him at the front of this book. You would automatically think that his books suffer because of this proliferation but surprisingly nothing could be further from the truth. He has several main characters who are given their own series of books and the Sorrowful Mysteries of Brother Athelstan is just one of those series.

Whether the author is writing about medieval England, Alexander the Great or Ancient Egypt he seems to be able to convince the reader that his knowledge of the period is absolute. That is not to say that his books and this one in particular are dry or bogged down with historical detail. The writer always seems to succeed in giving the reader a good balance between an interesting storyline and enough historical detail to paint a picture of the life and times of the characters involved in the book.

In this book Brother Athelstan is once again called upon to solve the mystery of a brutal massacre in a Southwark tavern, involving among several others, John of Gaunt’s tax collectors. The Regent, Gaunt is incensed and instructs the Dominican to track down the killers. Brother Athelstan’s mind is stretched to the limit as he strives to piece together what little clues are available to him and his friend, Sir John Cranston, the wine loving coroner. Are members of Athelstan’s own congregation involved in the murders? Only time will tell, but he begins to fear the worst.

This offering is just as good as the ones that came before it. Readers of Paul Doherty’s books will love it. I did.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a godd read! 21 April 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It is hard to maintain the quality of a long-running series, but Paul Doherty achives this with his latest volume in the 'Brother Athelstan' series. The plot is interesting the the historical background, as ever, is sharp and informative. This is an excellent way for those without any background in history to familiarise themselves with a somewhat difficult period.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Revolt is eminent, London 1381 11 April 2014
I have seen these historical mystery novels featuring the Dominican friar Brother Athelstan and the Lord High Coroner in the City of London, Sir John Cranston and have even bought several of the books, but just haven't gotten around to reading them yet. This 13th book in the series was as good a place to start as any because author Paul Doherty made it easy for me to catch up on the lives of those who make the environs around St. Erconwald their home. In this novel there is great civil unrest in London because of the taxation burden under the rule of John of Gaunt, serving as regent because of the youthful age of his nephew, the King. The city is now home to the Great Community of the Realm; being led by the Upright Men with help from the Earthworms and those lowliest of citizens who are overburdened and overtaxed to the point of starvation. When one of the tax collectors is killed inside an impregnable Barbican on the grounds of The Candle-Flame tavern and inn Sir John and Athelstan are called on to solve the ultimate locked room mystery. All those both inside and guards outside the Barbican are dead and yet it is not possible for anyone to have gained entry. A tangled web, indeed, for these two staunch seekers of truth and justice.

I like to feel that I am solving a mystery along with the protagonists in a story. In this case, even though I definitely enjoyed the book, there was not much hope of me ever getting this one right. I can't say any more than that without revealing things which readers will want to discover for themselves, but I will tell you that you will deserve several pats on the back if you can unravel this plot before you reach the end of the story.
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