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The Winter King - A Hawkenlye 13th Century British Mystery (A Hawkenlye Mystery Book 15) [Kindle Edition]

Alys Clare
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

All Saint’s Eve, 1211. An overweight but wealthy nobleman, desperate for an heir, dies at the celebration feast he’s thrown in his own hall. A natural death . . . or at the hands of his reluctant new wife?

Sabin de Gifford, an apothecary and healer of note, is called to examine the body, and concludes that he died of a spasm to the heart. But she is troubled, all the same, and beset by suspicions. Did the man really die of a heart attack? Or was something more sinister to blame?

There is only one person Sabin can turn to for help: fellow healer Meggie, daughter of Sir Josse d’Acquin. But what she requires of her is dangerous indeed . . .

Product Description


"Convincing depiction of King John's England" Publishers Weekly "Outstanding period detail, an intriguing plot, engaging characters and suspenseful twists make for an excellent read." Booklist

About the Author

Alys Clare lives in the English countryside, where her novels are set. She went to school in Tonbridge and later studied archaeology at the University of Kent.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1086 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Severn House Digital; First World Publication edition (1 April 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • 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: #197,078 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
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, But Not the Best in the Series 28 April 2014
By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER
Having read all of the books in the series that began in 1999 with Fortune Like the Moon (Hawkenlye Mystery 1) I was looking forward to this one with anticipation. However having read it I felt a little let down. The books that come before it have always been well written and are what I would describe as light reading. The main characters in the previous books were Sir Josse d'Acquin and the Abbess Helewise of Hawkenlye Abbey and there was always an unspoken bond between them that intimated feelings that were stronger than mere friendship, but falling short of carnal lust. This was an interesting side line to the main story and to me added considerably to the enjoyment of the books.

In the later books this attraction has come to fruition. Helewise is no longer Abbess and is now living with Sir Josse, although the storylines still centre around the Abbey of Hawkenlye but with a new Abbess. Neither Sir Josse or Helewise take centre stage anymore and I personally think the book suffer because of this.

In this novel a village woman has visions about the Winter King and when these become generally known it is felt that she may well be in danger from those loyal to King John and she eventually seeks asylum within the Abbey. At the same time one of King John's senior tax collector suffers a sudden death at his own banquet. Initially it is thought that he has died of a massive heart attack, but closer inspection of the body by Meggie, the daughter of Sir Josse casts doubt on the diagnosis of natural causes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Winter King 2 Mar. 2014
By Keen Reader TOP 100 REVIEWER
This is the 15th book in the Hawkenlye Mystery series; I’ve read a few of the earlier ones, but I can’t keep up with all the books in all the series I’ve started, so I’m afraid some of the later ones in this series have passed me by so far. However, I don’t think that precludes me from diving into this latest book and picking it up without too many problems as to who, what, how, why and where.

In this book it is now 1211. I’m thinking it must be getting on for nearly twenty years since the setting of the first book in this series, Fortune Like the Moon which was set in the reign of Richard Lionheart. In this story a wealthy nobleman suffers what appears to be a fatal heart attack, but Sabin, a healer feels that there is more to his death than that. She calls on Josse d’Acquin’s daughter Meggie to help, but there is more danger to everyone from this course of action.

This is a really good historical novel; there are elements of whodunnit of course, but the historical context and characters are what really make a great historical novel, and these books have captured their time and place, and people wonderfully.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written and easy to read 1 May 2014
By Jenny B
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed most of this series. It is well written and interesting historically and the characters are well developed. They are an easy read unlike some historical fiction though some may find the fantasy element a bit difficult to swallow.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Please write more!!! 29 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An ex-abbess solving medieval murders with the help of a knight. Similar to many other books of this type, well written, and makes a good series to read. My mother loves reading these and does so over and over.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Visions of the future for England's King John. 26 Mar. 2014
By J. Lesley TOP 1000 REVIEWER
In the autumn of 1211, wealthy lords and barons around Tonbridge are plotting and planning ways to overthrow England's King John. Some are more than willing to even use an old woman who has begun to see visions of the future of the king to stir up resentment against John personally and especially his struggles for power with Pope Innocent. While in a trance Lila speaks of John as being The Winter King. In working for King John, Benedict de Vitre has been brutal and unrelenting in his collection of taxes for the king, making himself wealthy in the process. Could he be skimming money for himself from the taxes he has collected? When de Vitre is found dead at his own feast many people take it for granted he died because of his excessive love of food and wine. After all, he had been warned that his heart might not be able to stand much more of his high living. At least one person, though, is definitely worried. Sabin de Gifford, the wife of the sheriff of Tonbridge, is the apothecary for the town and also a healer, but she will have to have the help of someone with more knowledge to understand what might have actually happened to cause the death of Lord Benedict de Vitre.

If you are already a follower of this series of historical mysteries, you will be glad to see all the characters together again. Josse d'Acquin and Helewise, the former abbess of Hawkenlye Abbey, and their entire extended family are at the House in the Woods. Josse is glad to have his daughter Meggie back close at hand. These characters have all played their parts in previous novels and are by now well developed by the author. I liked how the descriptions of the living conditions felt so correct for the period and yet were not so over-emphasized that they overwhelmed the story line.
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