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The Wine of Angels (Merrily Watkins Mysteries Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Phil Rickman
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (199 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: £1.49 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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  • Length: 640 pages
  • Word Wise: Enabled
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Book Description


Merrily Watkins: late thirties, single mum, parish priest. Cosy? I don't think so...

The new vicar had never wanted a picture-postcard parish - or a huge and haunted vicarage. Nor had she wanted to walk into a dispute over a controversial play about a seventeenth-century clergyman accused of witchcraft... a story that certain long-established families would rather remained obscure.

But this is Ledwardine, steeped in cider and secrets...

A paradise of cobbled streets and timber-framed houses. And also - as Merrily Watkins and her teenage daughter, Jane, discover - a village where horrific murder is a tradition that spans centuries.

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Product Description

About the Author

Phil Rickman was born in Lancashire. He has won awards for his TV and radio journalism, and his highly acclaimed earlier novels Candlenight, Crybbe, The Man in the Moss, December and The Chalice are also available from Pan Books in paperback. The Wine of Angels introduced the Revd Merrily Watkins, whose frightening baptism as a diocesan exorcist was charted in Midwinter of the Spirit, followed by A Crown of Lights, his previous novel. He is married and lives on the Welsh border.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1486 KB
  • Print Length: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Corvus (1 April 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857890093
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857890092
  • ASIN: B004S7BBOK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (199 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #186 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Phil Rickman writes mystery in the original sense. His current novels blend authentic crime fiction with a careful element of the unexplained. A three-part TV serial, Midwinter of the Spirit, from the internationally-acclaimed Merrily Watkins series about the diocesan exorcist for Hereford, begins on ITV at 9.00pm on Wednesday September 23, 2015.

Rickman, a former TV and radio news reporter who still presents the book programme Phil the Shelf on BBC Radio Wales, has also written two historical novels with a new take on Dr John Dee, astrologer to Queen Elizabeth I. His earliest novels - paranormal thrillers based on aspects of British folklore - are all in print. His Merrily Watkins novella. The House of Susan Lulham, first published as a short story in the anthology, Oxcrimes is published in mini-hardback in October 2015, to be followed by the new full-length Merrily novel, Friends of the Dusk, on December 3. He's also a contributor to Books to Die For, in which crime writers celebrate their literary heroes.

The 2014 novel, Night After Night is a ghost story and crime novel. It stands alone but involves characters from two thrillers originally written under the name Will Kingdom. PR has also collaborated with musician Allan Watson to produce on CD and iTunes the songs of Lol Robinson from the Merrily series and the Abbey Tapes from his early novel December. He is married and lives on the Welsh Border.

For the full and accurate facts, check out the website

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
134 of 140 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rickman is the Master 1 Feb. 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When you are SO bored of "Da Vinci Mode" books, badly written with vapid and badly drawn out female characters come home to Britain with possibly the best series of mystery/thrillers being written today. I happened across this book in a second hand book shop one summer and spent a cracking weekend sitting in the garden getting to know Merrily, Jane and Ledwardine.
Since then I have read all of the series and like all sustained efforts at writing it had its ups and its downs, but above and beyond that if you, like me, think that entertaining reading does not have to be simplistic this is the book for you. I envy you if you are about to click and hit the basket because going to Ledwardine for the first time is always the best. Turn down the lights, put another log on the fire and have a frothy mug of hot chocolate at the ready...Wine of Angels will keep you up late!
Possibly the most innovative and unique thriller writer working in the UK today. I often used to get confused on the series order...I would say read them in order if you doesn't matter if you can't but the growth of the characters is so much clearer!

The Wine of Angels (1998)
Midwinter of the Spirit (1999)
A Crown of Lights (2001)
The Cure of Souls (2001)
The Lamp of the Wicked (2002)
The Prayer of the Night Shepherd (2004)
The Smile of a Ghost (2005)
The Remains of an Altar (2006)
The Fabric of Sin (2007)
To Dream of the Dead (2008)
The Secrets of Pain (2011)
The Magus of Hay (2013)
The House of Susan Lulham (2014) = KINDLE SINGLE = NOVELLA (Previously a short story for Oxfam but expanded here)
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80 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A welcome return 11 April 2011
This is a very welcome re-issue of the first in Phil Rickman's Merrily Watkins series.
Here Merrily, as the new 'priest in charge' in the picturesque Herefordshire Village of Ledwardine, finds herself in the middle of a local disagreement about the possibility of using the church to stage a new play - about a previous incumbent who was accused of witchcraft - and more.
She also has to contend with a possibly haunted vicarage and problems with her teenage daughter Jane, who has Pagan tendencies and isn't at all happy about her mother's vocation.
And all this is before the killings start!
A marvellous, richly atmospheric story which will keep you enthralled right to the end. If you've never read a Merrily novel, this is the ideal place to start - but, if you have read any of the later books, do buy this one and find out how it all began.
Once you're hooked - and you will be - don't despair if you can't find the rest of the series, they are all to be republished at bi-monthly intervals.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Read 12 May 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Downloaded onto my Kindle after I read the original hardback several years back, I was again captivated by the extraordinary tale - teller, Phil Rickman. His character, Merrily Watkins, tries so hard to have an ordinary life but life never turns out like that for her. This is a great book and will lead you into other realms. Unputdownable.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 stars at least for this wonderful novel! 15 May 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am new to Phil Rickman and have just spent two days completely absorbed within the pages of this, the first of the Merrily Watkins series. As the story has been excellently reviewed by other readers all it leaves me to say is firstly, why does this author not have a more public profile and thank God for Amazon, otherwise I would never have discovered him! It drew me in from the opening first paragraph and I've hardly drawn breath until the final pages at 5.30am today! All my interests were covered here; Celtic myths and legends, spooks and spirits, jucy murders, Paganisim, a beguiling main protagonist and sidekick(Jane) and enough crazy villagers to make you think you've entered Dibly on crack! Totally absorbing, witty and enthralling...I am officially a fan..bring on book 2, Midwinter of the Spirit! Top of my list for book of the year..fabulous!!
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pink Moon is gonna get ye all 29 Oct. 2006
Rickman seduces you into his sleepy, pastoral village of Ledwardine with promises of home brewed cider and fairies at the bottom of the orchard. Only when it's too late for the reader/listener to catch the last bus home does he scratch away the surface to reveal the sordid underbelly of English country life doused in incest, blood-feuds, rape and murder.

This, the first of the Merrily Watkins procedurals is a ghost story wrapped inside a mystery and bound tightly together with the twine of dark folklore. It also delivers a plot twist that gives the sort of jolt you would normally only expect from a gibbet trapdoor.

As always Rickman's dialogue is a joy as he fleshes out the various suicidal dreamers, quirky eccentrics and sexual predators who inhabit his strange little village. As Nick Drake, the quintessential lost soul himself, who makes an eerie cameo role in the book says - The Pink Moon is gonna get you all!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A rattling good read 28 Dec. 2012
By Brian
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a thoroughly entertaining thriller written by a born storyteller. The characters are interesting, and one does actually develop an interest in what happens to them -- that's a sign of a good writer and a good story. The twists and turns in the story are intriguing, and the narrative develops through a run of very short (maybe too short at times) chapters or sections, which maybe don't quite allow the author to develop his characters or backgrounds as he might have done. There is a staccato pace to the storytelling. The author has a fantastic ear for conversation -- and especially the conversation of teenagers. The one device which I didn't like very much is the one in which the author describes a developing situation in some detail and then -- at the last minute -- deprives the reader of the crucial piece of information. I know that is a literary device which is used very often, but one does feel a bit "cheated" by it -- and an author needs to develop a trusting relationship with his readers if he is to keep them on board. But that's a minor quibble. All in all, a most enjoyable book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars atmospheric and tantalising
Great sense of place, spare writing style allows one's own imagination to roam free. Plotting well paced. I will probably read more Phil Rickman.
Published 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Dim vicar.
Really, this is dreadful drivel. it goes on and on and on and........Merrily (really?) is the worst thing to happen to the C of E since the New English Bible. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Queen Mab
3.0 out of 5 stars Wine of Angels
I found it quite a depressing story and was very well written to impart this. He caught the bereavement emotions very well. Read more
Published 7 days ago by mary pickering
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
I loved the book I read it as the to series was starting in ITV but the first book is not mentioned in it I am going to get the rest of the books fantastic read
Published 11 days ago by Monix
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Merrily and great Jane
i loved it Merrrly Wakins and her daughter are wonderful charactors. Being a pagan i can understand alot where Jane coming from. Merrily is what i like all priests to be like. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kevin Chesters
5.0 out of 5 stars Magic, mystery, murder, mayhem
What a find this writer is. Why have I never heard of him. Beautifully written. Well crafted characters. Oh joy, I hear that there are 12 more books in the series. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily; life is but a dream…
Merrily Watkins is the new ‘Priest in charge’ in the seemingly sleepy Herefordshire village of Ledwardine. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Scaroth, Last of the Jagaroth
1.0 out of 5 stars But I'm told it's good to establish the characters
Badly written, with the research too conspicuous (I Work for that Company). But I'm told it's good to establish the characters, and subsequent volumes are better crafted.
Published 1 month ago by Andrew Spurr
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable page turner but self immolates in the end
I was lent "the magus of hay" and enjoyed it so I thought I better start on the first book in the whole series. I really loved about the first three quarters of this book. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Silver Moon Sailor
4.0 out of 5 stars kindle book
nice quick reaad
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
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