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A Play of Heresy (Joliffe the Player Mysteries) [Paperback]

Margaret Frazer
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 8.89 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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A Play of Heresy (Joliffe the Player Mysteries) + A Play of Piety (Joliffe the Player Mysteries) + A Play of Treachery (Berkley Prime Crime Mysteries)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group; 1 edition (6 Dec 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425243478
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425243473
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13.1 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 360,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

A Play of Heresy Joliffe is summoned by Bishop Beaufort to use his skills as a spy to uncover the mysteries of the town's elite. A merchant has gone missing, presumed dead--and members of Joliffe's theatrical company are implicated in the crime. To uncover the truth, Joliffe must unravel the devilish machinations of a secret sect of heretics bent on destroying the Church. Full description

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Players return... 24 Feb 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am a huge fan of Margaret Frazer - her research is immaculate, she recreates the historical detail of the period with confidence, and carries her readers along some splendidly realised byways

The plots are equally well-thought-out: the excuse of a travelling player allows some 'undercover' work to go on, with all the associated risks, and a convincing depiction of life in medieval England

This is all the more remarkable since Ms Frazer is American: but she writes with such confidence and without importing any American phrases, that we fall into the story without hesitation, and are carried along to a satisfying and convincing ending.

These books "A Play of ..." are her second series: Joliffe appeared in the Sister Frevisse mysteries - which are superb - and then the group of Players slipped outside to travel into different adventures.
Very warmly recommended!
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing because ... 12 April 2012
Format:Paperback
... of the price.

For paperbacks.

I've bought all previous titles featuring Joliffe and a goodly number of Frevisse ones too. I had the latest two "Play Of ..." titles in my Amazon shopping basket for a long time ... waiting.

Nothing budged.

Excuse me but small paperbacks costing 8 - and more - for plain text on cheap paper?

Grim reality of the fleecing I was being given made me stop. This is simply way too expensive, good though I know the titles are.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great fifteenth century thriller 6 Dec 2011
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In 1438, Joliffe completed his espionage mission for Cardinal Bishop Beaufort of Winchester. He travels from Warwickshire to Coventry to join his troupe of six led by Basset who are in Coventry to perform at Festival of Corpus Christi.

Just outside of Coventry, Joliffe meets his mentor, undercover agent Sebastian. The latter tells Joliffe that he searches for missing mercer merchant Master Robyn Kydwa of Coventry who was to meet him in Bristol with information on the evil Lollards, but failed to show up. Sebastian asks Joliffe to help him locate Kydwa. Since Basset has no role for him, Joliffe performs with former troupe member Sendell presenting the Harrowing of Hell; while in his quest to find the vanished mercer he uncovers a dangerous heretic cult who plans to destroy the Church.

The latest Joliffe medieval "Play" (see A Play of Piety and A Play of Treachery) is a great fifteenth century thriller in which the suspense comes late. The story line brings vividly to life Coventry during a religious festive period through the cast of players. Joliffe holds the entertaining story line together as he escorts readers on a tour of medieval England while performing in a play and unraveling an ugly conspiracy.

Harriet Klausner
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-written and enjoyable 21 Dec 2011
By Debbie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"A Play of Heresy" is a historical mystery set in 1438 in England. This is the seventh book in this series, but you can understand it without needing to read the previous books, and it doesn't spoil the mysteries in the previous novels.

While the mystery was enjoyable, I found the historical information extremely interesting. The author clearly did her research, but I never felt like I was being lectured to or given information not relevant to the story. The rich historical detail brought the story alive in my imagination and included how plays were run, how official murder investigations were done, and information about the Lollard's beliefs.

The "whodunit" element was guessable, though there weren't many clues. It's more like how a real murder would be solved than a clever puzzle-mystery. The characters were varied and had just enough of a human element to make them interesting even though we didn't get to deeply know them. The suspense was created by the mystery of whodunit and wondering if they'd be able to pull off a play that was poorly written and had few good or experienced players in it.

Though Lollards were viewed as suspect, Joliffe was not highly critical of their beliefs. (As in, people who share some of the Lollard's views aren't going to feel alienated by the storyline though it stays true to the beliefs of the time.) There was no sex. There was a very minor amount of explicit bad language. Overall, I'd highly recommend this interesting and enjoyable novel.

I received this book as a review copy from the publisher.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good mystery, good history! 9 Dec 2011
By Constance S. Sabo-risley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"A Play of Heresy" is one of the stronger entries in the Joliffe mystery series. The author uses medieval Coventry and its play cycle -- or what is known about it -- as the backdrop for Joliffe's sleuthing. Pageant wagons, Lollards, and intrigue combine into a great read. Highly recommend!!!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome 24 May 2013
By Ruth Dextraze - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
It met my expectations as anything by Margaret Frazer has. Always look forward to her new books. Had it read in a couple of days.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mystery in the Middle Ages 14 Jan 2013
By Alicee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An entertaining way to learn more about the Middle Ages. A good read--it flows nicely, as the time period comes to life with the charactors. Just enough detail so that you really get the mood of this time period. A nice piece of historical fiction. I plan to read more of Margaret Frazers' books.
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