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The Coiners' Quarrel Hardcover – 7 Jun 2004


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers Ltd (7 Jun. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0727861093
  • ISBN-13: 978-0727861092
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 3.2 x 22.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 996,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By L. J. Roberts TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 13 Jan. 2010
Format: Hardcover
First Sentence: Sir Geoffrey Mappestone was furious.

Sir Geoffrey and his companions were in Southampton, finally on their way back to the Holy Land, when summoned, at sword point, by the soldiers of King Henry I to return to London. Taking time for Geoffrey's temper to cool, they are on a pier at the Thames when Geoffrey's dog startles a man who runs off. Upon investigation, they find a corpse and a bloodied rock the man had been holding. The corpse is identified as a Saxon moneyer--someone who owns a mint--and one of two groups accusing each other of devaluing the King's currency, which could result in a rebellion to overthrow Henry.

Beaufort/Gregory is one of the best at depicting this period with accuracy and without sentiment. The clergy range from the sacred to the profane; medicine is primitive, hygiene is virtually non-existent, superstition is rife, remaining bitterness between the Saxons and Normans and, for Sir Geoffrey, no one can be completely trusted.

Sir Geoffrey is a character I very much like. He is an educated knight who fought in the capture of Jerusalem and learned there was very little that was holy about the holy war. Yet he knows he is no farmer and only desires to return to his overlord, Prince Tancred

His following includes squire, Durand, also known as "Angel Locks," is very light of foot and will do anything to not return to Jerusalem; Helbye, with Geoffrey since Geoffrey was a lad but is now getting too old to continue with him; his friend and fellow knight Roger who doesn't believe in reading but is Geoffrey's trusted friend, as long as nothing of value is around and Roger's man Ulficth. There are a great many characters involved in the story and each has a very distinct personality.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.5 Stars - Is no one trustworthy? 13 Jan. 2010
By L. J. Roberts - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
First Sentence: Sir Geoffrey Mappestone was furious.

Sir Geoffrey and his companions were in Southampton, finally on their way back to the Holy Land, when summoned, at sword point, by the soldiers of King Henry I to return to London. Taking time for Geoffrey's temper to cool, they are on a pier at the Thames when Geoffrey's dog startles a man who runs off. Upon investigation, they find a corpse and a bloodied rock the man had been holding. The corpse is identified as a Saxon moneyer--someone who owns a mint--and one of two groups accusing each other of devaluing the King's currency, which could result in a rebellion to overthrow Henry.

Beaufort/Gregory is one of the best at depicting this period with accuracy and without sentiment. The clergy range from the sacred to the profane; medicine is primitive, hygiene is virtually non-existent, superstition is rife, remaining bitterness between the Saxons and Normans and, for Sir Geoffrey, no one can be completely trusted.

Sir Geoffrey is a character I very much like. He is an educated knight who fought in the capture of Jerusalem and learned there was very little that was holy about the holy war. Yet he knows he is no farmer and only desires to return to his overlord, Prince Tancred

His following includes squire, Durand, also known as "Angel Locks," is very light of foot and will do anything to not return to Jerusalem; Helbye, with Geoffrey since Geoffrey was a lad but is now getting too old to continue with him; his friend and fellow knight Roger who doesn't believe in reading but is Geoffrey's trusted friend, as long as nothing of value is around and Roger's man Ulficth. There are a great many characters involved in the story and each has a very distinct personality.

Beaufort's writing is highly descriptive and filled with historic information, but is never dry as there is also wonderful, subtle humor.

The story is a bit slow at points and I did anticipate one major element, but there were exciting skirmishes and narrow escapes. The end depressed me a bit in that almost everyone, except Geoffrey, proved untrustworthy in some way, but I also suspect that was not unusual for the time.

I look forward to more Beaufort/Mappestone books.

THE COINERS' QUARREL (Hist Mys-Sir Geoffrey Mappestone-England-1109/Middle Ages) - G+
Beaufort, Simon (aka Susanna Gregory) - 5th in series
Severn House, 2004, UK Hardcover - ISBN: 0727861093
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Shady Coin Minters in Medieval England 14 May 2010
By April - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
In 1102, Sir Geoffrey is about to return to the Holy Land when he is forced to delay his departure once again. For one thing, it seems as if his liege, Lord Tancred, has tired of his long-absent knight and does not want him to return any more. For another, King Henry wants Sir Geoffrey to look into one more matter for him, and he is holding the well-being of Geoffrey's sister Joan over him in order to get him to comply. It seems that there is a dispute between two groups of Saxon coiners (the minting of coins was licensed to private operators led by a Master Coiner) in the town of Bristol. Coiner Sendi has complained to the King that Coiner Barcwit is producing under-weight and inferior coins. Barcwit also has an illustrious list of investors and there are rumors that his money is going to support the King's enemies--or to a plot to destabilize the kingdom (and therefore the security of the King) monetarily. On the list is Geoffrey's sister Joan. The King promises to keep Joan out of it if Geoffrey investigates the coiners. Geoffrey is unwilling--he does not want the King as his liege-lord--but the King knows that Geoffrey is inherently an honest and forthright man and will do his utmost to perform his assignment. In other words, Geoffrey is a rarity at Court: a trustworthy man, and the King wishes to make the utmost use of him.

Deaths occur right at the start in Westminster, with the death of a man in each coiner's party, blamed on the opposite party. There are strange portents in the sky (which Geoffrey believes are just natural phenomenon), a slow and fractious trip from Westminster to Bath and to Bristol, that includes both quarreling groups, along with some suspect investors, King's agents looking into a load of stolen silver, and Geoffrey and his supporters, who are distrusted by both coiners. More attacks and more mysteries and crop up as Geoffrey looks into the operation of coiners. The mystery is increasingly involved and complex with a large cast of characters from the mysterious and feared Barcwit to the timid Lord of Peter of Bristol and his strong wife, Idonea (a friend of Geoffrey's strong sister Joan). Historical detail adds to the interest and the mystery.

Readers of historical mysteries should be satisfied on many accounts by this book and this series.
4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A Very Good Read 13 Aug. 2005
By J. Chippindale - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Sir Geoffrey is annoyed that his return journey to the Holy Land has been curtailed by a summons from King Henry to attend him at Westminster.

Sir Geoffrey feels his allegiance lies with Prince Tancred in the Holy Land and not with an English King whose right to the throne is dubious, at least in Geoffrey's eyes.

Sir Geoffrey is even more unhappy when he find that the King wishes him to to look into the problem of counterfeit coins being produced at one of the Mints in Bristol and devastated when a list of possible suspects in the operation contains the name of his sister Joan.

The knight sets off with his squire to Bristol in the company of the accusers and the defendants in this crime against the crown. He hopes that he and his friend Sir Roger can solve the crime and exonerate his sister at the same time, but the journey is a slow one and definitely not a smooth one with threats and violence before they have even reached the outskirts of the city . . .
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