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Midwinter of the Spirit (Merrily Watkins 2) (Merrily Watkins Mysteries) Paperback – 1 Jun 2011


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Frequently Bought Together

Midwinter of the Spirit (Merrily Watkins 2) (Merrily Watkins Mysteries) + The Wine of Angels (Merrily Watkins 1) (Merrily Watkins Mysteries) + A Crown of Lights (Merrily Watkins 3) (Merrily Watkins Mysteries)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Corvus; Reprint edition (1 Jun 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857890107
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857890108
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 49,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Phil Rickman writes mystery in the original sense. His current novels blend authentic crime fiction with a careful element of the unexplained. Midwinter of the Spirit, from the internationally-acclaimed Merrily Watkins series about the diocesan exorcist for Hereford, is currently in production with ITV Drama.

Rickman, a former TV and radio news reporter who still presents the book programme Phil the Shelf on BBC Radio Wales, has also written two historical novels with a new take on Dr John Dee, astrologer to Queen Elizabeth I. His earliest novels - paranormal thrillers based on aspects of British folklore - are all in print. His only short story, The House of Susan Lulham, can be found in the anthology Oxcrimes and he's also a contributor to Books to Die For, in which crime writers celebrate their literary heroes.

The 2014 novel, Night After Night is a ghost story and crime novel (not exactly horror or Young Adult, as you may have read elsewhere). It stands alone but involves characters from two thrillers originally written under the name Will Kingdom. A new Merrily Watkins novel is pencilled-in for 2015. PR has also collaborated with musician Allan Watson to produce on CD and iTunes the songs of Lol Robinson from the Merrily series and the Abbey Tapes from his early novel December. He is married and lives on the Welsh Border.

For the full and accurate facts, check out the website www.philrickman.co.uk.



Product Description

Review

A haunting quality unique in crime fiction... rich in atmosphere and practically unique --Great British Fictional Detectives, Russell James

The paranormal investigator with a down-to-earth attitude. This is no rural paradise --Sunday Telegraph

Book Description

When offered the post once styled 'diocesan exorcist', the Revd Merrily Watkins - parish priest and single parent - cannot easily refuse. But the retiring exorcist, strongly objecting to women priests, not only refuses to help Merrily but ensures that she's soon exposed to the job at its most terrifying.

And things get no easier. As an early winter slices through the old city of Hereford, a body is found in the River Wye, an ancient church is desecrated, and there are signs of dark ritual on a hill overlooking the city. Meanwhile, reports of psychic unrest in the Cathedral itself - where the famous shrine of St Thomas Cantilupe lies in fragments - reflect an undying evil lying close to the heart of the Church itself.

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

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 44 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Aug 2000
Format: Paperback
To start, if I may, with a question: why on Earth doesn't this author have a higher profile? I'd never even heard of him until I read "The Chalice", having spotted a copy on a shop bookshelf and, being interested in the Glastonbury legends, decided to buy the book. It turned out to be a fascinating and gripping read, a creepy and wholly believeable story about the dark and light influences of Glastonbury, full of little twists and turns in the plot that made anything possible but nothing predictable. I decided that here was an author with class and individuality (and he's British to boot!).
Having devoured "The Chalice" I then found "Midwinter of the Spirit" on the shelves, and I enjoyed this book so much that I've now purchased the whole back catalogue of this author's work on the strength of it, and I've not been disappointed with any of them.
"Midwinter of the Spirit" is the second in a series of books based around the character of Merrily Watkins, a divorced mother of a teenage daughter, who has become a priest and is trying to get her life together spiritually and practically. On the way along her path, she gets involved in a few adventures and mysteries. No, this isn't Father Brown or the Vicar of Dibley we are talking about here, Merrily is as real and as humanly flawed as any of us, and therein lies a great deal of her appeal.
Having survived her introduction (read the first Merrily book, "The Wine of Angels", recommended!) to life in a seemingly normal village that is actually seething with an undercurrent of mystery, murder, complex relationships and other peculiar happenings (just like real life), Merrily decides to take on the job of exorcist - as you do.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Andrew Dennis on 25 Aug 2000
Format: Paperback
This is my first Phil Rickman novel, but certainly won't be my last. I've always been a bit sceptical about this horror / mystic / occult genre, but this novel has changed my mind. What makes it such a compelling read is the credibility and development of the characters. Fantastic.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By litcritter on 17 Oct 2010
Format: Paperback
Phil Rickman looks set to last to me. This book is thoroughly satisfying. It coheres, main plot and sub plots weave seemingly effortlessly around each other. The dialogue WORKS...a rare ability. Each character has his or her own individual voice. The novel is self-explanatory where it needs to be, educating us about the different categories of haunting before we encounter some of them. It is a delight to read something termed a "spiritual thriller" both because such subject-matter intelligently and sensitively treated is rare in itself, and because it is a relief if you have encountered any such disturbance to find it written about, and well.
Having lived and worked in Hereford I found the evocation of the place, and of the cathedral superb, and all his research was accurate. It is obviously a treasure trove for writing about church matters, and continues to be inspiring in its conflicts. I think his understanding of church politics and the way all belief-based institutions are infiltrated,(not just in the obvious ways) extremely salient. I think personally he is a little harsh on Evangelical Anglicans, many of whom are delightful, and some of whom do excellent and demanding work in the areas he describes. I think he underestimates the potential subtlety and intelligence in these emphases.
Fascinated by the way that Merrily Watkins is seen as initially hampered by the lack of female tradition in the CHurch, but is acknowledged as havin trodden the hard path of having started one off, by the end of the novel.
My personal favourite of the novels of his I have read so far. Looking forward to reading more.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 31 Mar 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm currently rereading the entire series of the Merrily Watkins books one after the other, because I couldn't believe how good they were first time around. This is the second book featuring these fabulous characters, and it starts with Merrily in training to be the exorcist (deliverance consultant) for the Hereford diocese. It is the new Bishop of Hereford (Mick Hunter) who has put her into the position, one which she has doubts she can manage.

Properly installed now as Priest in charge at her own parish of Ledwardine, but with Deliverance on the side, you just know she's going to struggle. Particularly when it seems the previous incumbent, Dobbs appears dead set against her. There are wonderful new characters here to add to those we were introduced to in Wine of Angels, Sophie Hill the bishop's secretary and the very impressive Athena White.

There are all sorts of issues brought up in this book, the Anglican church's view on deliverance being just the start. Church politics are addressed, the role of women priests and the relationships between all the main protagonists. All of this is handled beautifully by a fabulous author who interweaves real menace into the plot. Subtexts of horror and witchcraft and pagan worship are thrown into the mix and the whole thing is brought to a satisfying conclusion.

I find these books genuinely creepy and love the characters, it is even better the second time around.
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