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The Prioress' Tale (Sister Frevisse Medieval Mysteries Book 7) [Kindle Edition]

Margaret Frazer
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description


Under the harsh hand of its newly elected prioress, St. Frideswide's has become a place of deadly sin. The corruption has grown subtly and slowly, but it has found fertile soil in the rage and greed of Domina Alys, who has turned the priory into a boarding house for her relatives, the Godfreys. Dame Frevisse is horrified to discover that the modest stores of the priory - desperately needed if the nuns are to survive the coming winter - are being completely consumed by the rapacious Godfrey clan.

But the Godfreys bring with them more immediate terrors: Torture. Madness. Kidnapping. Murder. The sanctuary of the cloister has been violated and even the holy rites of the nuns have been ripped apart.

Despite the growing crisis, Frevisse's best efforts to save the nunnery from itself are met with scorn and torment as bitter hatreds and old rivalries turn nun against nun. Suspicion, paranoia, and despair clutch the cloister's heart. If Frevisse cannot unlock the riddles of penitence for her prioress and for herself, then St. Frideswide's may be no more...



"When this series debuted, its publisher hailed Frazer as the logical successor to Ellis Peters... With a number of strong books already under her belt, Frazer may actually make her publisher's dream come true." - Star Tribune

"Often chastised for her disobedience and made to do penance, Sister Frevisse's curious nature still wins out as she uses logic and her intelligence to sleuth with the best of them." - Rendezvous

"Frazer is writing one of the most consistently excellent historical series in print today." - Murder Ink

"Clearly, the setting is the star here, and Frazer is generous with her details of abbey life." - Publishers Weekly

"Margaret Frazer continues her splendid series of medieval mysteries... She has a sure grasp of the realities of medieval life: Its careless cruelty, effortless hypocrisy - particularly in matters of religion - and its disregard for women who could wield influence only in the most indirect ways." - MLB News


"A smooth and absorbing saga of conspiracy and treachery in 15th-century England..." - Publishers Weekly

"Margaret Frazer has quietly claimed her place as one of the preeminent writers of historical crime fiction, delivering the whole package - a good mystery, wonderful characters, and a fascinating period of history... Her novels are a dream to read." - Aunt Agatha's Newsletter

"Exciting writing, colorful characters, and historical accuracy." - St. Paul Pioneer Press

"The setting brims with historical details... A brilliant study of human nature... Ms. Frazer reveals her genius... Highly recommended." - Historical Novels Review

"Mystery... Suspense... Frazer executes with audacity and ingenuity." - Kirkus Reviews

A Romantic Times Top Pick.

Twice nominated for the Minnesota Book Award.
Twice nominated for the Edgar Award.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 338 KB
  • Print Length: 260 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0425159442
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Dream Machine Productions (9 Aug. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008VT3W3O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #38,972 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The reign of the tyrannical Domina Alys continues in this next volume of the Dame Frevisse series. The story opens with Domina Alys' relatives having infested the priory, consuming the priory's provisions, and making general and specific nuisances of themselves. Combine this with the contruction of a tower, the kidnapping of a prospective bride, Domina Alys' pettinesses and revenges, the appearance of an old "friend", and the murder seems like just another event.

Margaret Frazer excels in depicting the period with great vividness and accuracy. It is a pleasure to watch events unfold and read the excellent dialog. Her characters continue to develop with Dame Frevisse becomming more tolerant of others' failings, Sister Amicia actually able to keep a coherent thought in her head, and Sister Thomasine continuing her progress toward sainthood.

You WILL enjoy this book!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For fans of medieval mysteries 6 July 1997
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In 1439, Prioress Domina Alys of St. Frideswide's Abbey decides that the only way she can save her abbey is to bring in new novices and to find wealthy patrons to pay for the renovation and expansion of the facility. The other sisters, especially Sister Frevisse, loathe Alys' tyrannical leadership. To Alys, the sisters do not appreciate all she is doing to save the facility. She blames it on the lackadaisical leadership of the previous two Prioress, who were more preoccupied with God than the day to day running of an Abbey.

To make matters worse, at least in the mind of Sister Frevisse, Alys allows her relatives, the violent and argumentative, but rich Godfreys to stay as guests. However, Alys may yet regret her decision when the long feuding family squabble turns to murder as one of the guests is killed. Sister Frevisse investigates the case, not knowing that she places herself and the abbey is jeopardy from a killer who prefers to remain anonymous.

The seventh Sister Frevisse mystery is a well written Medieval who-done-it, though not quite on the level of its predecessors (all are excellent novels). The story line is interesting, especially its fifteenth century background. Sister Frevisse is one of the best amateur sleuths of any era, but new readers to the series will not gain the richness of the characters as previously described in this series earlier works. Fans of the historical mystery Medieval novels will, however, enjoy Margaret Frazer's latest novel, THE PRIORESS TALE and shouldn't pass it by.

Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read and love the maturing characters 9 Sept. 2012
By Calluna
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was completely gripped by this edition of the Sister Frevisse Medieval Mysteries. Not only was there a nice little mystery (or a few), but I felt I knew and understood some of the characters better.

This is murder and mystery in a medieval priory run by nuns. Though it only has nine nuns, that allows for plenty of possibilities. Sister Frevisse must unravel the mysteries within the confines of her office and community - not always an easy task. I enjoy the descriptions of their daily lives as much as the mysteries. I am also delighted to have found a series of books which has a strong heroine set in the medieval period. By modern western standards she is confined, but she has free thought and opinion and gumption to go with it. And I would argue, that she has far more liberty than some people in the world today.

The behaviour of the prioress did not put her in my favour, but including the internal monologue of this character gave her actions depth and whilst I thought many decisions were flawed, I could understand and empathize with her. I found the internal monologue of Sister Frevisse on the prioress actions gave two sides to the story, with the few words spoken with other nuns and persons on the issue providing yet more dimensions. Even better though, I enjoyed seeing more of Sister Frevisse's character. Too often heros and heroines seem a little too perfect - but she has some character flaws like the best of us. I could imagine she actually existed!

I enjoyed the friendly banter between Sister Frevisse and Joliffe, the player. The story does bring to the fore the disparity between rank. It was implied that Joliffe would be considered far more likely a murderer for being a player, or wanderer, than those of titles.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having reviewed the preceding books in the series I am running out of words. This is an excellent series, seemingly well researched, not over egged and very engaging.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good story 4 Sept. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As logic was the most important study in those days one can only pray that it will be again. scientific calculation with figures and symbolds and no words might not always hold to the end
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