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Famine of Horses (Isis) [Audiobook] [Audio Cassette]

P. F. Chisholm , Stephen Thorne , Thorne Stephen
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 1997 Isis
In the year 1592, Sir Robert Carey comes north to Carlisle to take up his new post. He has wangled his appointment to be nearer his true love. And of course, he can use the money....

Rich in atmosphere and packed with vivid real and fictional characters, few novels are as well imagined or as much fun as this romp through roguish courtiers, rival gangs, rustling, treason, and high ambition.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Isis; Unabridged edition (May 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753100355
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753100356
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 16.5 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

Writing under her real name, Patricia Finney began her career when only 17, with A Shadow of Gulls, an historical novel set in Ireland during Roman times. After ten years' break she returned triumphantly with Firedrake's Eye, a highly praised literary novel set in Elizabethan England. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I have ever read! 17 Aug 2000
I picked up this book in the Tullie House Museum in Carlisle a few months ago and am I glad I did! The story concerns the aristocratic, short-tempered and vain, yet entirely lovable Sir Robert Carey, who comes up from his cousin Queen Elizabeth's Court to Carlisle to be the new Deputy Warden of the English West March. Having been brought up in the frontier town of Berwick, Carey is not quite a fish out of water and surprises all around him with his determination to reinstate justice in the area (Not easy in a place where tradition has been to bribe the warden to ignore certain, ahem, activities!) The tale concerns a dead reiver and Carey's attempts to find out the identity of the real murderer. Chisholm creates brilliant atmosphere and characters, many of them, including Carey, are based on real life figures. What I enjoyed the most though was her realistic characterisations of the interminable, murderous, horse-thieving reivers on the Border. Her female characters are particularly strong, both the "ladies" and the reivers womenfolk. The inner workings of Carey's mind (and the minds of his motely crew of soldiers, especially Sergeant Dodd) had me laughing out loud! Read it and see what you think.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Murder, intrigue and treason - normal life for those living in Carlisle in the year 1592. Escaping from dept and royal disapproval Sir Robert Carey takes up the offer, from his brother-in-law Lord Scrope, to be Deputy Warden of the West March. Within the week of his arrival we have a body in a bed (not it's own), a funeral to arrange, a murderer to find, a kidnap to prevent, besides preventing every horse in the area being reeved. Carey finds no support from those in power and even his troops hold doubtful loyalties.
This book is well written, historically correct, witty one minute and nail bitingly exciting the next. The reader will be swept away like Sir Robert Carey on a 'Hot Trod'. You don't know what a 'Hot Trod' is? Read the book and find out - it is well worth it.
Not only is it an excellent read but even better it's the first in a series. After you have read A Famine of Horses try A Season of Knives, followed by A Surfeit of Guns and finally A Plague of Angels. Enjoy!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
It is now some fifteen years since I first came across the first of Patricia Finney's Sir Robert Carey novels set in the politically complex Tudor England of the 1590s'. That hasn't stopped me re-reading it almost every year since. Queen Elizabeth's fleet has beaten back the famed Armada and that threat at least for time has diminished and the kingdom basks in relative peace. However the northern border with Scotland it is not so quiet. Murder, cattle reiving and tower burning are all too common occurrences. So one more dead body found in the Debatable Lands shouldn't make that much difference, except when it's a Graham, and the head of that surname has a nasty reputation for vengeance. In to this brewing cauldron of trouble steps Sir Robert Carey newly appointed Deputy Warden of the Western Marches. What Sergeant Dodd of the Carlisle garrison thinks of his new commander probably shouldn't be put in print, but between them Cary and Dodd they have to solve two mysteries the ill timed murder of a Graham and the sudden `Famine of Horses of the title'. Alright that hasn't given away anything that isn't apparent from a quick view of the back cover blurb. As to the quality of the story, in short it is superb. PF Chisholm has a fine grasp of the character's traits, they are all so very human and compelling. Sergeant Dodd for one is the epitome of the dour northern with a wry sense of humour and an intelligence that shouldn't be underrated. As for Cary he comes with a very interesting history, he has to head north to escape his London creditors and recoup the fortune he doesn't have. I'm not give much away in saying that his father Lord Hunsdon is the son of Mary Boleyn and that it is said he bore an uncanny resemblance to Henry VIII. That hint alone should wet your interest. Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Famine of Horses 24 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A great read for those interested in Northern Tudor stories. It did not completely engage me throughout, but still a very good read.

Influenced by George MacDondald Fraser's, The Steel Bonnets, but a much lighter read. I enjoyed more the author's writing on the Reivers' stories rather than her references to Tudor Court. But still a very good muder/mystery well set in its period and its time, if not totally convincingly set in its location.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Fun 28 Jan 2013
By Nicky
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the first of the series and a great introduction. Very well researched by a history graduate, it is also great fun. If you read this one, I guarantee that you will get the rest in the series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elizabethan Scots Borders Murder Mystery 8 Aug 1999
By A Customer
A great book - completely unputdownable and beautifully written tale of a murder investigation on the Scottish Borders by Sir Robert Carey. The author (Chisholm is a pseudonym) is apparently better known for historical novels and paints a riveting picture of the Border Reivers of the times. Gripping plot, great characters - a must for lovers of murder mysteries who like an unusual setting and a great novel with their entertainment.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Easy and enjoyable read 4 Aug 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An easy and enjoyable read, more of a light-hearted adventure than a serious mystery novel.It's true that the central character, Sir Robert Carey, does set out to find the murderer of a border riever (basically a marauding cattle/horse thief), but most of the book is more about his arrival in Carlisle and finding his feet in his new role than it is about this investigation. He faces up to corruption in the castle garrison, licks his own troops into shape and takes on the local brigands.

The book is full of likeable characters and the story is kept light with many humorous touches. Indeed, at times I think it's a little too light and is in danger of becoming a bit of a jolly romp rather than anything else. My other criticism is the same as for some other historical novels I've read recently, ie.the too frequent use of archaic words for which there is no translation in a standard dictionary - is it really necessary when the historical setting is perfectly well conveyed in other ways?.

Two minor criticisms of an otherwise enjoyable book and I look forward to reading the sequels.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Enjoyed the book, like the characters. Will look forward to readiing another book in the series.
Published 8 days ago by Janet
4.0 out of 5 stars but once sorted enjoyed the book and have ordered nos
Had thought this the first in the series, consequently had a few problems getting into the story, but once sorted enjoyed the book and have ordered nos. 1 & 3 in the series
Published 10 days ago by Brian Shadbolt
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book, really great when you stumble upon an ...
excellent book, really great when you stumble upon an author that easily matches Cornwell, Sampson and the like. a masterpiece in story telling.
Published 16 days ago by hound on the hills
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Excellent tale. I read a lot and this was really enjoyable
Published 20 days ago by Gillian Sutton
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read, if you are looking for something different.
An adventure story from the border lands of Scotland and England in the late 16th Century, when raiding, or 'reiving' was the principal occupation of most of the people. Read more
Published 21 days ago by para3drop
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A good story, entertaining and realistic, I will certainly read some more in the"Sir Robert Carey" series.
Published 1 month ago by MS biolucky
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Tale
I really enjoyed this book it was different and interesting with some great characters too. Will buy another in this series. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Huge
5.0 out of 5 stars I think I'm in love!
I feel very lucky to have had this marvellous book suggested to me, it honestly is one of the best stories I have read in a long time. Read more
Published 1 month ago by kindle
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent delivery & quality
Published 1 month ago by norman
4.0 out of 5 stars Horses
A most enjoyable book and I look forward to reading more by the same author. P.F.Chisholm writes a brilliant mediaeval mystery
Published 2 months ago by ken mitton
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