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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alys Clare's Books are Always Worth Reading, 21 Dec 2006
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Alys Clare's novels are like a breath of fresh air. I love medieval murder mysteries and there are certainly a lot of them about (thank goodness), but the authors books breathe new life into the period and her will they won't they situation with Helewise and Sir Josse, holds the reader's attention as well. Don't be swayed into thinking that these books are written with the female reader in mind. They are for everybody, young and old, male or female. Alys Clare lives in Kent where the Hawkenlye mysteries are set.

The year is 1194 and the winter weather is becoming increasingly bitter. A sick man is making is way to Hawkenlye Abbey where he hopes to obtain a cure for his illness by taking the Holy Water at the Abbey. In his delirium, the Virgin Mary appears before him, a miraculous sighting that is on a part with the sighting that led to the establishment of the Abbey. As the figure of a beautiful woman approaches the sick man he begins to pray, but she strikes him with a club and then rolls him into a ditch.

It is only when the winter thaw begins that the corpse is discovered. Everything points to the sick man being from France, as he has papers on him and tha Abbess asks Sir Josse d'Aquin if he can decipher them. Meanwhile the two travellers who found the body fall ill and the sickness bears a strong resemblance to the plague . . .
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart of Ice Hawkelye Mystery 9, 6 Oct 2009
By 
Mrs. Joyce Travers (Belturbet R.O.I) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Heart of Ice (Hawkenlye Mysteries 9) (Paperback)
Alys Clare has yet again produced a thoroughly enjoyable book I have read all the other 8 Hawkenlye Mysteries and am currently reading number 10, I have enjoyed everyone of her books and cant wait to start her new series after I have read the rest of the Hawkenly series, If you are into Medieval Mysteries not only this book but all the others in the series are a must, Aylys Clare never dissapoints.

Joyce Travers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 1 July 2013
By 
Mrs. C. J. Jones "Emma Darcy" (Worcestershire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Heart of Ice (Hawkenlye Mysteries 9) (Paperback)
Good condition and excellent story. Prompted me to order more of this authoress. better than Ellis Peters and Peter Tremayne.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended, 23 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Heart of Ice (Hawkenlye Mysteries 9) (Paperback)
I very much enjoyed this book. I find the Hawkenlye mysteries very easy to read. I get engrossed very quickly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars historical Alys Clare, 4 Jan 2011
By 
Marie Day (Southend on Sea, Essex, GB) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Heart of Ice (Hawkenlye Mysteries 9) (Paperback)
Wanted a paperback small enough for my elderly father to hold. Seemed to be a gap in series but found on Amazon.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinatng and compelling; a bit too much secondary story, 8 Dec 2010
By 
L. J. Roberts (Oakland, CA, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Heart of Ice (Hawkenlye Mysteries 9) (Paperback)
First Sentence: In the port of Boulogne, the enemy lay hidden.

A sick man travels to take the healing waters of Hawkenlye Abby but is murdered and thrown into the pond which turns to ice. When the monks discovered his body, it is also discovered he carried apothecary herbs. While Sir Josse d'Acquin, at the request of the Abbess, searches for the young man's identity and murderer, more sick arrive at the Abbey. The plague has come to Hawkenlye and the only help may come from Joanna of the Forest People and the powers of the old religion.

Despite my normal distain for prologues, this one was fascinating and a compelling lead into the story. And this was, for me, a story that had highs and lows.

Among the highs was Clare's description of how the plague traveled from Africa to England. I felt that was exceptionally well done. She also conveyed the limitations of medical knowledge, described care given during the period, although I suspect the Abbey was more advanced in their practices than common; and the devastating impact of a contagion.

I return to Clare's series for the characters as well. Helewise and Josse are central to the story and the respect and non-spoken, non-physical love between the two characters is beautifully drawn. However, Clare doesn't leave the rest of the characters standing in the shadows; she brings them forward, fully-drawn and important so that we are affected when things happen to them.

While I enjoy an element of the paranormal and appreciated learning what had happened to Joanna, Josse's former love and mother of his child, the time spent with her did, for me, slow the pace of the story and take me away from my main interest. But that's just me.

I very much enjoyed the book. Clare always manages to touch me emotionally and draw me back into this world. I am delighted to have many more books ahead of me in this series.

HEART OF ICE (Hist Mys-Abbess Helewise/Josse d'Acquin-England-1194) - G+
Clare, Alys - 9th in series
Hodder & Stoughton, 2006, UK Hardcover - ISBN: 0340831162
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Heart of Ice (Hawkenlye Mysteries 9)
Heart of Ice (Hawkenlye Mysteries 9) by Alys Clare (Paperback - 26 July 2007)
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