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A Vicar, Crucified (An Abbot Peter Mystery) [Paperback]

Simon Parke
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

14 May 2013 'The Abbot Peter Mysteries'

Abbot Peter has recently swapped leadership of a remote monastery in the Sinai desert for retirement in the bleak and stormy English seaside town of Stormhaven.

When the local vicar is discovered crucified naked, in the vestry, the Abbot is invited to act as a Special Witness investigator. He partners the attractive and ambitious Detective Inspector Tamsin Shah - and discovers a surprising connection along the way.

Shocked by such cruel death, the church community adjusts to the knowledge that the murderer is one of them. The curate? The bishop? The treasurer? As cold waves crash against the winter shoreline, suspicion replaces friendship at St Michaels: no one safe and no one trusted. Abbot Peter believes the mystical nine-point enneagram symbol can help. But as the ravenous press descends on the town and secrets unravel, there will be more victims and a desperate climax before the hidden truth becomes clear.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Darton, Longman and Todd (14 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0232529973
  • ISBN-13: 978-0232529975
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.4 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 130,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'It's not often a book keeps me up late three nights in a row, but A Vicar, Crucified by author Simon Parke kept sleep at bay...where lesser books have failed.' --Simon Jenkins, editor: Ship of Fools, simonjenkins.com

'Abbot Peter is a true original.' --Daily Mail

'highly original...very different from most detective stories' --Clerical Detectives

'an engrossing page-turning thriller, propelling the reader through its multiple twists and turns and keeping one guessing until the final unpredictable - yet satisfying - denouement' --Irish Independent

'an engrossing page-turning thriller, propelling the reader through its multiple twists and turns and keeping one guessing until the final unpredictable - yet satisfying - denouement' --Irish Independent

About the Author

Simon Parke is a writer, therapist and retreat giver. In a previous life, he wrote scripts for Spitting Image, won a Sony radio script award and was a priest in the Church of England. A former columnist for the Daily Mail, a former supermarket worker, a present columnist for the Church Times and author of many books, including Pippa's Progress, A Pilgrim's Journey to Heaven.

simonparke.com/

Twitter @simonparke



Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding Murder Mystery with added depth 16 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have never read a more gripping and unusual murder mystery than this. In an Agatha Christie-style English seaside village, the black vicar, Anton Fontaine, is discovered crucified in his own vestry.
Many are those in the village who had reason for wishing him dead: enter Abbot Peter, my favourite fictional character of all time. Using intuition and the help of his Police Inspector niece, Tamsin, Abbot Peter sets about studying the characters and motives of this loosely-knit group. In puzzling out what has happened, he also, intriguingly, employs the help of the Enneagram, a centuries old, time-honoured mystic system of character analysis.
I often skim over chapters written in italics but in here these are fascinating, and eventually we discover the link between them and the present day, cleverly worked in.
I highly recommend this book: on the one hand it is accessible and a highly enjoyable romp that packs a punch; and, on the other hand, it possesses an extra dimension, a deeper study of human nature and behaviour.
Whether you are religious, atheist or agnostic, young or old, male or female, I feel confident that you will hugely enjoy this book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
It's not often a book keeps me up late three nights in a row, but A Vicar, Crucified easily kept sleep at bay this week where lesser books have failed. It's a murder mystery with a plot that has more twists than a hangman's noose, written by a former vicar who has the inside story on the many reasons why parishioners might reasonably want to murder their priest.

On the murder most foul scale, this is close to the far end of foul, with flippant priest Anton Fontaine, vicar of St Michael's Stormhaven (a quiet south coast town), nailed to a cross in his own vestry after the mother of all church meetings. The cast of suspects includes Bishop Stephen, who elevates himself by putting others down, Curate Sally, who likes to demonstrate she's in charge, and youth worker Ginger, whose temper is on a hair-trigger.

Helping the police with their enquiries (as witness rather than suspect) is Abbot Peter, recently returned to Britain from running a monastery in the Sinai Desert. And helping him is the enneagram, the psychological profiling tool which gives the Abbot deep insight into the motivations of the suspects.

The dialogue of the novel is especially satisfying for anyone who fantasises about telling others exactly how irritating they are. `I sometimes wonder if you belong here, Peter?' the Bishop tells the Abbot in a savage moment of passive aggression. `Have you ever thought of going somewhere you matter?' Simon Parke, before he did his vicaring, was a scriptwriter for Spitting Image, and his satirical instincts are on fine display in the novel.

Most of all, though, I enjoyed the psychological insights of the book, with Abbot Peter lifting the lid on his fellow human beings as they manipulate others and reveal their own desires. That gave me plenty to think about when I wasn't engrossed in the plot or trying to beat the Abbot in the race to discover the murderer. Which I didn't, of course.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read 2 Oct 2013
By Lisa
Format:Paperback
I do like a good murder mystery, and this gave me much more. I felt like I was reading an author completely confident in the genre, the story, the characters. In particular, the characters of Abbot Peter and the town of Stormhaven were very vivid for me. Words that spring to mind: clever, thoughtful, thought-provoking, engaging, enjoyable. For me you bring a lightness of touch to the difficult things in life - the darkness in all of us (with no judgement), death. I enjoyed moments of laughter, moments of reflection and moments of 'Oh what's going to happen next!'. The 'whodunit' part was perfect. The interweaving of the two stories was beautifully handled I thought, and so clever.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it 26 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ticks all the boxes, but with more perception and gentle intelligent humour than many in this genre. Already ordered the next one to come out October and looking forward to it already.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing murder mystery. 29 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a long-time fan of Simon's writing (I miss his weekly slots in the Daily Mail) I've bought just about everything he's published and thoroughly relished his writing. And now comes A Vicar Crucified!
Superb and engrossing. All I can say is, "More please Simon!"
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Original 22 July 2013
By Mayfair
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A good whodunit with added interest in the psychological framework. I have no wish or need to say more, but Amazon refuses to post this unless there are at least 20 words. It would be interesting to know what psychological type dreamt up that nonsense!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Page-turner 17 Jun 2013
By Ange
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read 'A Vicar Crucified' while on holiday - it's quite a page-turner, and kept me up until the early hours one night! I thought the Enneagram chapters were well-integrated into the story - an unusual approach for a detective story, but it works really well.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars does he wear pants 28 May 2013
By Caveman
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of Simons writing for many years and i think this his his best yet which given that Shelf Life was a belter is top praise. Simon is a bright man and full of the wise but this book is woven with fascinating history and anecdotes but also accessible to Billy thick like me who has yet to get past one Act of Shakespeare.

I think we will see the Abbott on our screens before long and Simon writing episode 10 from his yacht.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Ok book
Published 29 days ago by Eileen Bell
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant. Could have been anyone.
This was a new departure for me. I had no idea what to expect, but the suspense was there to the end. now going to read the next one! Highly recommended.
Published 1 month ago by Kate D
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read
A disturbing well written story which deals not only with what happened but also with the minds and souls of those involved.
Published 8 months ago by A Parke
1.0 out of 5 stars Pretentious waffle
As a teacher of the enneagram and the Gurdjieff work, and a keen lover of thrillers, I approached this book with high hopes. Sadly, they were dashed within the first three pages. Read more
Published 9 months ago by englishrose
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
A lovely unusual read, that's very relaxing to read. Look forward to more of the series. I would definitely recommend giving this a try
Published 10 months ago by natural
4.0 out of 5 stars Very nearly perfect
I bought this because I have read other things Simon Parke has written and I was not disappointed. The plot twisted and turned, there was no way I was going to work out who done... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I really enjoyed this murder mystery.
A bit different and very well written.
Look forward to another in the series
Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Amusing,mystifying but also informative and thought provoking.
An excellent detective tale from Simon Parke with a great plus to it in the Enneagram. Let's have more Abbot Peter please!
Published 12 months ago by Ms. Audrey A. Gates
3.0 out of 5 stars Intellectual prowess necessary
Solving a murder is not my type of book. So why did I read it? Answer simon parkes book pippas progress is brilliant and his self help book solitude is pure genious. Read more
Published 12 months ago by nick
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