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4.7 out of 5 stars32
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 14 December 2000
The complex characters of Brother Athelstan and "Crowner John" are further developed in this more somber than usual volume in the series. Most of the regulars of the Parish Council are there, although with less focus on their often-hilarious bumblings. This story has a dark plot which Mr. Doherty twists viciously in the ending dénouement, but there is no other author who can capture the feel of medieval England and paint it so vividly with such attention to detail. Another triumph.
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This is the ninth book in the Sorrowful Mysteries of Brother Athelstan series. This novel combined with the early books in the Hugh Corbett series is one of Paul Doherty's earlier offerings and he has since written many more books and is now an established author of medieval novels and has also added a number of novels on Egypt to his ever growing list of titles. Having said that it is one of his earlier offerings does not mean that it is inferior to his current books, quite the opposite. The Hugh Corbett mysteries were and are extremely popular and Paul Doherty has found another winner with the Brother Athelstan series.

The Sorrowful Mysteries are gaining in popularity and for anyone interested in medieval mysteries they are manna from heaven. In this latest offering Brother Athelstan is appalled that three savage and horrific murders have taken place in the parish. Two of the murders have been carried out by an as yet unknown assassin and the third victim's identity and the manner of his death have not as yet been established.. As if the murders are not enough for Athelstan to contend with, the law states that if the murderer is not found then the whole of the parish will be punished. Brother Athelstan is in no doubt that a number of his parishioners sail a little close to the wind as far as the law goes. But would any of them stoop to murder?
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 December 2013
Hi, I'm loving this series which I moved on to after reading a series of 18 Matthew Bartholomew (and Brother Michael) stories. I've been constantly annoyed and distracted by typos, completely wrong words in translarion, spelling mistakes and bizarre font size changes, throughout the series and am starting to get seriously fed-up with it! I'm going to finish the 12 books on the Kindle then give some serious thought to starting my next book back in paper format. A few mistakes will always happen but it's getting silly now and I'm starting to resent paying for a shoddily produced Kindle version of my books. Sorry to be so negative but I wonder if others are feeling the same? The story and writing was as usual very good and great to read, although I felt it was getting a little too conventional.
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on 27 April 2006
I don't know, maybe it's just me, but this book isn't up to Doherty's standard somehow.

I don't want to hear any more about the "Great Community of the Realm" as it didn't really get us anywhere in the last few books.

And where were the Coroner's wife, poppets and dogs? It took me three days to read this one and I usually need an afternoon for his books because they're so colourful and interesting.

I'd give any other of his books (be it this series, the Hugh Corbett series or the Canterbury Tales series) 5 stars, but this book just didn't do it for me.
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on 14 December 2000
The complex characters of Brother Athelstan and "Crowner John" are further developed in this more somber than usual volume in the series. Most of the regulars of the Parish Council are there, although with less focus on their often-hilarious bumblings. This story has a dark plot which Mr. Doherty twists viciously in the ending dénouement, but there is no other author who can capture the feel of medieval England and paint it so vividly with such attention to detail. Another triumph.
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on 10 March 2015
Another author you can depend on for an excellent read. Well researched with characters you really care about, this book is a little more serious then some of the authors previous books about Brother Athelstan but very enjoyable all the same.
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on 29 August 2012
I love the whole series and have read all the books avidly. This one is no different, is well written with an accurate eye for historical detail, BUT the Kindle version of this (and one or two earlier books in the series) is seriously deficient and lets it down. It is badly edited, with punctation mistakes which are annoying and other proof reading errors such as the use of "quite" when it should be "quiet", which detract from the experience. Whoever "translated" this into a Kindle version was not paying attention, and was sloppy in the proof reading - I felt I could haved done better myself. The font size jumps in places. It is a distraction and an annoyance for those of us who notice these things. Excellent story though!
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on 13 January 2013
Paul Doherty makes medieval London come alive and his characters are very believable - I live in a village and can recognise many of them! The intertwined tale of murders and mayhem keep the reader engaged till the last.
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on 12 August 2014
Brother Athelstan solves yet another murder without all the modern equipment-using logic and observation. Book sent well on time and well presented- recommended
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on 30 September 2013
Always brilliant and keep me enthalled until the last page. The histocial content is always pretty accurate as well. Please keep writing them Paul.
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