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

Paul Doherty
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
RRP: 19.99
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Creme de la Crime; First World Publication edition (31 Mar 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780290608
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780290607
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 14.4 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 84,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Candle Flame 25 Jun 2014
By Keen Reader TOP 100 REVIEWER
In this, which I think is the thirteenth Brother Athelstan mystery, the medieval sleuth and man of God finds himself called upon by the Regent, John of Gaunt once again. In the previous Brother Athelstan mystery, The Straw Men, it was becoming more evident that the Upright Men, those who call themselves the protectors of the community against the rule of the lords, are getting stronger and have support in those in high places. In this story, Gaunt’s tax collectors themselves are attacked – brutally murdered at a tavern, The Candle-Flame. Gaunt demands Brother Athelstan find who is responsible.

I love these books; I’ve read every one avidly, and they just keep getting better. Brother Athelstan is a long-suffering peaceful man whose ability to sniff out murderers and malcontents makes him invaluable to his masters, but he’d really rather be left alone with his ragtag community. The fourteenth-century London scenes seem to roll off the page – sound, smell, sight and everyday horror that were so taken for granted then seem to leap out in front of the reader and shock and astound, as well as entertain. The character of John of Gaunt is truly frightening in these books; a man who will brook no opposition and has a way of making things happen, I have no doubt believing that he would really have been like that.

As always in these books, the mystery is such that the reader is kept in the dark till right at the end, when Brother Athelstan patiently puts us out of our misery. His ability to move through the darkest nights and murderous byways makes Brother Athelstan a treasure – and one that die-hard fans look forward to reading more about in books to come.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oh where Oh where is the Good Sir John? 3 May 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I really am missing the interplay between the good brother and Sir John. The focus was on the good brother and Sir John was left out for the most part. He had no real hand in the solving of the mystery. That too was important to the early books in the series. Sir John and his marvelous wineskin should be put back into the central story line.
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2 of 2 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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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 11 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
good book
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2.0 out of 5 stars Athelstan..what happened? 8 July 2014
By sunim
Format:Kindle Edition
Did Dr Doherty dash this one off due to high demand? I have loved this series from the first,sometimes feeling the descriptions a little overdone,but not too much. With this one I was skimming page after page of pointless "filling in". By the time I found the story again I'd lost the flow. Bit of a personality transplant for the little friar too I think and not much for Sir John to do except smack his lips.(Again!!!)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Book! 1 July 2014
Overall, I thought this was a lovely historical book with a lot of mystery and interesting plot twists. The hero of the book is quite vibrant and gave me a reason to want to keep exploring the depths of London from long ago.

I would have liked to have seen a bit more variation in the choice of adjectives for things, as many were repeatedly used. Still, the writing was solid and the story had a good pace. I enjoyed the descriptions of the city and the actions of the characters matched their personalities.

I really appreciated the way the author pulled the back story into the present time in this book. It was handled so well that everything came out smooth and seamless.

If you are a fan of historical fiction, this one is sure to please you.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from Netgalley and the publisher.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Kindle enjoyed brother Athelstan a favourite
Published 2 days ago by Eileen Bell
4.0 out of 5 stars I love his books but I do miss Hugh Corbett
Doherty always conjures up the image of medieval life so vividly. I love his books but I do miss Hugh Corbett.
Published 10 days ago by Mrs MoTerry
4.0 out of 5 stars Brother Athelstan
Have read Paul Doherty's books on Brother Athelstan for years and they just get better and better, would just say read them for great enjoyment.
Published 1 month ago by Sylvia Janet Grimes
4.0 out of 5 stars You won't be disappointed
Another good story from this excellent and prolific author, can't wait for the next book in the series to arrive.
Published 1 month ago by PeterM
1.0 out of 5 stars why not on kindle?
Its terribly disappointing as an avid fan of these books why it is not on kindle format. I understand that once a series becomes so popular it becomes a marketing strategy to go... Read more
Published 2 months ago by vickie n mcdonald
3.0 out of 5 stars Really not up to the usual high standard
I've read this book through more than once before posting this review, as, other than 'The Last of Days', I've always been a great fan of Paul Doherty's writing, in most of his... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Annie W
5.0 out of 5 stars The Author has this type of Book Off to a Fine Art
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. Read more
Published 3 months ago by J. Chippindale
5.0 out of 5 stars a godd read!
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. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ms. Lesley France
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