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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meet Mathilde of Westminister and life and death at Court
Paul Doherty is one of the most prolific authors I have come across. His output is quite amazing. Eventough I find it more amazing that he keeps the standards high and always fulfills expectations. "The Cup of Ghosts" is no exception.
The reader finds himself at the court of Edward II. of England, properly one of the most controversial monarchs. Paul Doherty has a...
Published on 27 Dec 2005 by Amelrode

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars DIfficult read
I enjoy Paul Doherty's books; but unlike his other series I found this hard to read, disjointed text, too many facts. Unlike my Mum who gave up on it, I finished it, and will read another to see if it improves.
Published 22 months ago by M T EDWARDS


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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meet Mathilde of Westminister and life and death at Court, 27 Dec 2005
By 
Amelrode (Vilvoorde) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Cup of Ghosts (Hardcover)
Paul Doherty is one of the most prolific authors I have come across. His output is quite amazing. Eventough I find it more amazing that he keeps the standards high and always fulfills expectations. "The Cup of Ghosts" is no exception.
The reader finds himself at the court of Edward II. of England, properly one of the most controversial monarchs. Paul Doherty has a long standing interest in the reign of Edward and his Queen. His book "Isabella nd the strange death of Edward II" is amazing and now he uses his knowledge - again - for a novel. With the first page one is drawn into the murky politics of 14th century England by meeting Mathilde of Westminister, the lady in waiting and confidante of Edwards's Queen Isabella, better known as the She-Wolf of France. She is looking back on her life with the Queen and royal life and politics.
As usual P. Doherty has created a vivid and credible picture of life at the royal court. The historical details are accurate and impressive, but never overwhelm the narrative. He creates
an authentic-feeling atmosphere.
His deep historical interest motivates him to find solutions to long-standing historical mysteries or to find the motivtion behind significant events. A writing a novel is a great methode as he can express his views and impresssions easier than via a "proper" book where proof is asked for.
Mathilde of Westminster, the main character, is sympathetically drawn and engaging. Mr. Doherty has the talent of turning his characters into "the reades' friends" and one wants to learn more about them. The "Cup of Ghosts" is a great start for a new series featuring Mathilde of Westminister. I enjoyed every page and I am already looking forward to book No.2 with Mathilde.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Move over Cadfael, Mathilde is making an entrance, 30 Jun 2006
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This review is from: The Cup of Ghosts (Hardcover)
Mathilde of Westminster was a woman born out of time; she was a physician and an alchemist who learnt her art from her Templar Uncle who was savagely murdered on the orders of the French King who coveted the wealth of the Templar's.

Hidden from the wrath of the King by a close friend of her Uncle right under his very nose as the lady-in-waiting to Princess Isabella, who was to marry the sexually ambiguous Edward II, she was reluctantly drawn into the dangerous political life of the English court, where death was only a heartbeat away.

The book actually starts at the end of Mathilde's like when she is living in solitude as a nun, the glory and decadence of the life she saw and even partook in is long gone and all that remains are memories and secrets that could still bring England to her knees.

Mathilde looks back over her many years as the "She Wolf's" (as Queen Isabella was known as) constant and loyal companion and in written code chronicles her turbulent life and times and the things she did in the name of love, politics, and revenge.

Mathilde's keen eye along with her brilliance for understanding symptoms and causes and not just those of a medical nature gives her the skills and ability to survive in a precarious world where life sits on the knife edge of King's cruel whim.

Mathilde's superior intellect helps her distinguish between an accident and murder and when she is confronted by a catalogue of seemingly unconnected murders, along with attempts on her own life she realises she must unravel a puzzle that goes right into the heart of French and English royalty.

Cup of Ghosts is a beautifully written novel, bringing fact and fiction together in a believable story of murder, intrigue, desire for power and passion in a time when violence and murder was a way of life.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Written Historical Fiction, 21 July 2006
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Cup of Ghosts (Paperback)
There are very few authors who can even come close to matching Doherty in the writing of this kind of historical novel. His obvious knowledge of the subject and his feeling for the period of history he is writing about shines through the pages.

This book is centred around the reign of Edward II, a violent and decadent period of English history. The lead character is Mathilde of Westminster, who was thought of at the time as one of the leading physicians in the whole of the city of London.

She had spent many years of her life as lady-in-waiting to Isabella the wife of Edward II, a monarch who could be both generous and cruel. Sudden death was part of the everyday life of the English court and Mathilde is inevitably drawn into the politics and intrigue of the world she lives in.

In later life Mathilde looks back and recounts her turbulent past. A host of murders and danger confront her, most of it brought about by the continual rivalry between Edward of England and Philip of France.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mathilde & isabelle, 17 May 2013
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Excellent mystery from Paul Doherty, at every corner there is intrigue, deceit, lies and death but why and for what, does Edward trust Philip, does Philip trust Edward
Mathilde and isabelle together discover the truth behind the lies and deaths and both take revenge and lay the truth before Edward and Davidson
Excellent
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3.0 out of 5 stars DIfficult read, 16 Nov 2012
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This review is from: The Cup of Ghosts (Mathilde of Westminster 1) (Paperback)
I enjoy Paul Doherty's books; but unlike his other series I found this hard to read, disjointed text, too many facts. Unlike my Mum who gave up on it, I finished it, and will read another to see if it improves.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "I've seen so many corpses ... I cannot seal the door to the past.", 24 Jun 2011
By 
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Cup of Ghosts (Mathilde of Westminster 1) (Paperback)
Paul Doherty is an extremely prolific writer of medieval (and Egyptian and Roman) whodunnits under various author's names. As such, his books have a certain style. The main protagonists are generally fairly forthright and observant in the times in which they live. For the reader, this means very well-written and detailed descriptive passages of the places, times, and way of life of the characters in the stories. To me, this is one of the charms of his books. While the books are generally whodunnits, it's not, for me, so much the arrival at who did all the bad deeds, but the journey to get there which engenders the enjoyment of the books.

In this book, the descriptions of life in Paris and France at the time of Philip the Fair and the persecution of the Templars, seeing Nogaret in action; and then the action moving to England with Edward II, Gaveston and the various nobles and their political struggles, brings to life all the dry history books which I have read over the years and adds flesh to the historical bones which we read about in non-fiction history books. Doherty is a master at this, and the reader is drawn into the atmosphere of the novels in a fairly unique way.

As always for Doherty's writings, this book is intriguing, fascinating and enjoyable all at once. The story is fast-paced, the characters larger than life (and some nastier than most), and the action well written and satisfying for the reader.

Highly recommended.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable tale, 21 April 2011
This review is from: The Cup of Ghosts (Mathilde of Westminster 1) (Paperback)
I enjoyed this book, which is the first of three, mainly because I was looking for some sort of follow on from CJ Sansom . While browsing I came across Dr Paul Doherty ,and since I was looking to go to a different historical era from Shardlake, going to Mathilde of Westminster quite appealed.Paul Doherty has told a nice little tale on a subject he knows well (Edward 11& Queen Isabella )but I still long for more Shardlake , C J Sansom's books just have a lot more to them .
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not much action., 5 Jan 2010
This review is from: The Cup of Ghosts (Mathilde of Westminster 1) (Paperback)
I have read a few of Paul Dohertys novels before and loved them, this one was ok but not as good as some other of his works.

The historical elements are great, life in the Royal courts are vividly described, and the politics of the day brought to life very well.

Despite a great opening with lots of tension and drama it gets a bit boring in the middle. There is alot of talking between characters, alot of plot and intrigue but not alot actually happens, you are left waiting, full of expectation which is never quite fullfilled.

If you're looking for a good gripping story, this isn't it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars cup of ghosts, 10 Mar 2009
This review is from: The Cup of Ghosts (Mathilde of Westminster 1) (Paperback)
Bought this book as I had already read all of the Egyptian stories and enjoyed them enormously. I enjoyed the book very much, plenty of insight into the times. A bit gory but it is of the times. Story full of suspense and well written. I can't wait to read the next book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Cup of Ghosts, 28 Oct 2010
This review is from: The Cup of Ghosts (Mathilde of Westminster 1) (Paperback)
Mathilde looks back on her life with Queen Isabella, and their many dark deeds.

This has an interesting heroine and a compelling prologue which sets the scene. From then on though, it's downhill. Acres and acres of descriptions of clothing, food, and interiors delivered in a plodding fashion. What little mystery there is here is swamped in all the detail. A tedious read. There's potential here for a good series but there's a serious lack of narrative drive.
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The Cup of Ghosts (Mathilde of Westminster 1)
The Cup of Ghosts (Mathilde of Westminster 1) by Paul Doherty (Paperback - 1 May 2006)
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