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The Sins of the Father: A Medieval Mystery (A Mediaeval Mystery)

The Sins of the Father: A Medieval Mystery (A Mediaeval Mystery) [Kindle Edition]

Catherine Hanley
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Product Description


Editor's Choice in the August 2009 issue of the Historical Novels Review

Product Description

1217: England has been invaded. Much of the country is in the iron grip of Louis of France and his collaborators, and civil war rages as the forces of the boy king try to fight off the French. Most of this means nothing to Edwin Weaver, son of the bailiff of Conisbrough Castle in Yorkshire, until he is suddenly thrust into the noble world of politics and treachery: he is ordered by his lord the earl to solve a murder which might have repurcussions not just for him but for the future of the realm. Edwin is terrified but he must obey; he takes on the challenge and learns more until he uncovers the horrific secret which has been dead and buried for fifteen years, a secret which might kill them all - and realises there are some questions to which he might not wish to know the answers.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 459 KB
  • Print Length: 260 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1906836124
  • Publisher: The Mystery Press (31 Jan 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0078XH7HQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #40,436 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Catherine Hanley (who also writes as CB Hanley) was born in Australia; since moving to the UK she has lived in Somerset and Sheffield, and is currently based in the Midlands with her husband and three children. Her love of medieval studies led to a PhD and a number of academic and non-fiction publications, but she decided that writing fiction was more fun.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait for a sequel 11 Dec 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This novel cleverly interweaves fiction with historical fact to create an excellent medieval whodunit. It includes a rich cast of characters authentically created, and paints realistic scenes of 13th century life of within the walls of Conisborough Castle as well as that of the peasants living outside. It is traditional mystery story in the sense that a murder takes place within a closed community and there are a number of possible culprits, which maintains the interest of the reader right up until the denouement.

The impact opening of the murder of a child immediately hooks the reader, creating suspense throughout the novel, until the final revelation of the importance of the act and who the child was, facts which are critical to the action of the story.

The author has a prodigious understanding of the history of the period and her knowledge filters seamlessly into the novel. Facts which are essential to the understanding of the plot are introduced skilfully into the narrative, without obvious `telegraphing'.

Because of the period in which this novel is set there is no reliance upon modern methods of detection. All the detective work has to be done by piecing together and appreciating the significancece of small incidents and conversations, all reliant on the intelligence of Edwin Weaver, the lad appointed by Earl William de Warrenne. In Edwin Weaver Ms Hanley has created a character worthy of a sequel, indeed, several sequels.

The quality of the writing is excellent and makes the book a pleasure to read. I look forward to more medieval mysteries by Catherine Hanley.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping medieval read 9 Nov 2009
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I was gripped from the start and enjoyed the way the plot evolved and turned - one particular twist sticks in my mind, but I won't spoil it! I also liked the fact that the mystery is set in medieval times and I leant some interesting things about the period.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A real page turner 17 Aug 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is one of those books that grabs you from the very first page. Keeps you guessing. I could almost imagine myself actually being there. Didn't want to put it down. The writer brought the characters to life and gave me an insight into the way people lived and worked in that era. Would highly recommend. One criticism the book is not easy to hold - it is a tall and thin book rather than short and fat like most paperbacks - so found it floppy and akward to hold.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! 24 Nov 2009
By N. King
I really enjoyed this book. It's beautifully written - a cross between Ellis Peters & Lindsey Davis, I think - and the plot is really exciting, keeping me gripped right to the end. I know a bit about the period and it's brilliant to have correct terminology - I don't have to get riled about CHAIN mail and other victorian inventions! Looking forward to the next one!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great historical fiction, a great read too. 5 Sep 2012
I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to lovers of historical fiction. The characters are believable and the age is brought to life amazingly well, to the point that you can almost smell the halls, the stables, Edwin's parents' cottage. I found it to be one of those books where you forget that you are actually reading and become effortlessly absorbed into the story and its protagonists' thoughts and movements, hearing all the background noises of the scenes described. It is, as it calls itself, a mediaeval mystery and a good, plausible one at that. It is most touching how Edwin Weaver accomplishes his detective task despite personal tragedy and how he grows during the story into the character that I am hoping will be the basis of sequels. I particularly loved his "Columbo" moment when turned back again with "just one more thing" to those he had just questioned.
More of the same please!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much to enjoy 31 July 2012
This is is a pacy and enjoyable story about a crime committed in Conisbrough Castle in 1217. I especially liked the way the politics of the period was seamlessly woven into the plot. The author's expert knowledge of the time was well used, providing fascinating background detail on all levels of society. Another aspect to be enjoyed was the hero, the below-the-salt bailiff's son, Edwin Weaver, with his shy intelligence. In fact, I could have done with a stronger focus on Edwin perhaps at the expense of some of the minor characters, but that's a quibble. I understand that this is the first book of a trilogy. I shall be back for the other two.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and solidly crafted 23 Sep 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
My only previous experience of the medieval murder mystery genre was Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael series, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Mind you, if it hadn't been for the fact that the author of The Sins of the Father is a friend of mine, it's unlikely I would have picked this up. I'm pleased I did, though: I found it equally enjoyable. No grizzled ex-soldier-turned-monk at the centre of this book: our hero is a young man, Edwin Weaver, thrust into adult responsibilities by a high-profile murder at his Lord's castle and the impending death of his own father, whose footsteps Edwin fears he will never fill.

Interestingly, then, rather than being yet another misfit loner, the type who seems to populate so much detective fiction, Edwin - although he does display the lightest touches of what none of his contemporaries would have called neuro-atypicality - turns to his friends and acquaintances for support in solving the crime. Their different talents and experience complement one another to make sense of the leads which are uncovered, although the author skilfully sows red herrings into the mix. The key piece of the jigsaw is revealed perhaps a little too conveniently, but overall the mystery aspect of the novel is solidly crafted.

As for the historical aspects, Hanley is an expert in this period, although her knowledge is worn lightly; she deftly creates a convincing impression of the time. The past, famously, is another country, where things are done differently. What struck me reading this was how recognisable, even modern, the characters were in some respects - e.g. a traumatised veteran - yet how alien in others: the unquestioned certainty in religious belief, for example, or the massive differences in status which existed in a feudal society.

So both the important properties of a historical detective novel are handled in a very satisfying manner. The door is left open for further books about Edwin, and I very much hope these will be forthcoming.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good story
This is a story full of history and insights into those times. A story that grabs you and won't let go.
Published 17 days ago by lindi
2.0 out of 5 stars Not outstanding
This is a genre I much enjoy but this book did not compare favourably with others I have read. I may try again.
Published 1 month ago by B M ARDLEY
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed this!
Found this a very interesting and enjoyable book. I like medieval history and will look for more books by this author
Published 2 months ago by kaylee blight
5.0 out of 5 stars The Sins of the father
A very good book. A mediaevel murder story is fairly unusual and the sequel that moved to Lincoln was great.
Published 2 months ago by John Olsson
4.0 out of 5 stars Good if you like historical novels
I have read this and The Bloody City, although you don't need to read both to follow the plots. Good if you like this era of history and easy to read.
Published 2 months ago by Sandra Pace
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit disapointing
I think I was expecting a more flowing development. At times seemed to go around and find nothing new. Not a WOW book!
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Sins of the father
I enjoyed the story. Setting it in medieval times gave it an interesting slant and the historial detail and references were very good. Overall a good read and great value for 99p.
Published 4 months ago by steve almond
4.0 out of 5 stars Believable plot with lots of historical colour.
Plot had depth and a few unforeseen twists. Historical details combined with characterisation raised social issues to ponder as well as a case to solve.
Published 4 months ago by Ruth Barbara Juckes
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite there...
Like some of the other reviewers of this book I had enjoyed Ellis Peters' Cadfael tales so I thought I'd give this one a go. Read more
Published 20 months ago by jannywanny
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading
This was one of several books I downloaded on my kinddle to take on holiday. Wasn't sure what to expect, became so engrosed had trouble putting it down. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Jimbo
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