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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The enemy from within - another gripping mystery at the court of Edward II
This is the second of the Mathilde of Westminster's mystery. The first one being the "The Cup of Ghosts".

Mathilde looks back at her life in the service Isabella of France, the so-called She-Wolf of France, Queen Consort of Edward II. The conflicts the Queen has to face are at its height: conflict with France, conflict between barons and king, conflict within...
Published on 13 Aug. 2007 by Amelrode

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Very muddled.
Although I read a lot of Paul Doherty novels, I find they tend to get very similar in plot. The Poison Maiden is not one of his best, very muddled, and the middle was a filled out with duplication and bits taken from his other novels, "the miraculous wineskin" taken from Brother Athelstan books for instance. I can't help feeling the author forgets who he is...
Published 4 months ago by Harvey


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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The enemy from within - another gripping mystery at the court of Edward II, 13 Aug. 2007
By 
Amelrode (Vilvoorde) - See all my reviews
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This is the second of the Mathilde of Westminster's mystery. The first one being the "The Cup of Ghosts".

Mathilde looks back at her life in the service Isabella of France, the so-called She-Wolf of France, Queen Consort of Edward II. The conflicts the Queen has to face are at its height: conflict with France, conflict between barons and king, conflict within the royal family, conflicts with the Templar and All ripe to explode. But nothing is as simple as it first seems. Everywhere is double dealing and murders occur.... Mathilde is set to solve them and with that saving her Queen's life and her very own. There is great action, written with a great follow and above all it is gripping frompage one. As usual with Paul Doherty this is medieval mystery at its very best.

But there is more to it. As we know Paul Doherty has a long standing interest in the reign of Edward II and his Queen. His book "Isabella and the strange death of Edward II" is amazing and now he uses his knowledge -again - for this novel. Doherty re-creates a vivid and credible picture of life at the royal court and the life at the beginning of the 14th century. 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 explore the relationships of Edward II and his great love - not necessarily lover- Gaveston but as well of Edward and Isabella. In a novel he can express his views and impressions easier than via a "proper" book where proof is asked for.

Mathilde of Westminster, the main character, was in the first novel sympathetically drawn and engaging. In the second novel she gains more depth, her character develops. This is nice to see and teases the reader: one wants to find out more about her.

I finished this book in two days and I just loved, maybe with the exception of a bit too often use of Latin phrases. I have to admit with due respect that this was a bit too school masterly for me, but in the end it does not put me off.

All in all, this is another page turner by Mr. Doherty. I am looking forward to meeting Mathilde of Westminster soon again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another Winner for the Author, 2 Aug. 2007
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Paul Doherty is the consummate storyteller and whatever subject he happens to pick to write about the books and the characters within them seem to come to life. Be it medieval England or Ancient Egypt his grasp of the subject is always first class. He has written many, many books over the years and how he manages to achieve this and also have the full time job of a school headmaster beggars belief. I do not think I have missed reading one of his books and there really are a lot of them. But with hand on heart I can say that there has not been one that I have not thoroughly enjoyed. This novel is the second in the Mathilde series: It is Easter in the year 1308, Edward II will not part company with his favourite Gaveston. Edward's Earls and Barons meet. They want a Parliament to be called, but in truth this is just a ruse, what they really want is Gaveston. Edward knows that across the channel the French King, Philip IV is eager to muddy troubled water and has activated a spy known as "The Poison Maiden." Of course Edward's wife, Isabella is unhappy at the part that Gaveston is playing in her husband's life, but she knew about the pair of them before she married Edward and she is wily enough to know that if Edward is brought down she will automatically follow him. So begins Paul Doherty's latest book, full of mystery, murder and intrigue. The author's books are always good reading, this one is up there with the best of them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Who or what is the Poison Maiden?, 4 Aug. 2011
By 
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Poison Maiden (Mathilde of Westminster 2) (Paperback)
The is the second of the Mathilde of Westminster novels, written by the prolific writer Paul (or P C) Doherty.

I enjoyed the first of this series; and felt that this one was actually better. Maybe the characters were a little more settled into their roles; things seemed to be more smoothly narrated, and the action was well-paced. One of the charms of this series is the detailed descriptive passages about the people, places, the castles, the streets, and the lives that people lived in the early fourteenth century. Certainly not a place I'd want to live!

The characterisations of Edward II and Piers Gaveston are not what you may expect if you have read mostly non-fiction around Edward's reign. But in these novels, they, and Isabella, as the key historical figures certainly, are well-presented. Also featuring in these novels are Philip IV of France (and his proxy henchmen), Templars, and ecclesiastical figures. So the novels are well-populated with diverse characters, many of them up to no good at all.

This is a really good adventure; an atmospheric read, a great story, and lots of think on as you close the last page. Highly recommended.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Very muddled., 16 Dec. 2014
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Although I read a lot of Paul Doherty novels, I find they tend to get very similar in plot. The Poison Maiden is not one of his best, very muddled, and the middle was a filled out with duplication and bits taken from his other novels, "the miraculous wineskin" taken from Brother Athelstan books for instance. I can't help feeling the author forgets who he is writing about sometimes. Unless you are an ardent fan of Paul Doherty don't bother with this novel, I feel you would not bother with his better novels and this gives an inaccurate idea of some of his better works.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Should be made into a TV drama, 19 July 2009
By 
J. Birtles (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Poison Maiden (Mathilde of Westminster 2) (Paperback)
This was a fascinating and illuminating page-turner of a book. The story lifts of the page and it gives a wonderful insight into this little-known stage in history. The historical detail was particularly impressive. I really think this would make a great TV series with Mathilde solving all sorts of political intrigues. Well worth reading and I look forward to more.
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1.0 out of 5 stars I have enjoyed Paul Doherty's books, 14 April 2015
It's a very muddled and confusing book, overdescritpive and yet not clear enough in the narrative. I have enjoyed Paul Doherty's books, especially the Egyptian ones and Corbett mysteries, but this is not working for me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Poison Maiden, 22 April 2015
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Having read of the activities of Mathilde, I wanted to read as quickly as possible the continuation of her activities. This book did not disappoint
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5.0 out of 5 stars A really great read. Full of life and a real feel ..., 11 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: The Poison Maiden (Mathilde of Westminster 2) (Paperback)
A really great read. Full of life and a real feel of Medieval England. Very well researched.. as are all of Doherty's books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Book, 22 Aug. 2013
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One of Paul Doherty's best books but aren't they all. But read MAt of Westminster 1 first. The Cup of Ghosts
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 27 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: The Poison Maiden (Mathilde of Westminster 2) (Paperback)
brilliant
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The Poison Maiden (Mathilde of Westminster 2)
The Poison Maiden (Mathilde of Westminster 2) by Paul Doherty (Paperback - 13 Dec. 2007)
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