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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping read
This is the third book in the Monastery Murders series and the series just keeps getting better and better. There's a group pilgrimage to SouthWales, ending at St David's, which is dogged by strange events and supernatural threats. The book is excellently researched and the characters well drawn. The ending is great - very exciting and very well done, as the violence...
Published on 25 April 2013 by Dolores Gordon-Smith

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3.0 out of 5 stars Okay. Just Okay.
While attending the dawn service of Ascension, Felicity is horrified to see someone fall from the tower and land at her feet. It seems there is another mystery when she picks up a piece of paper with a strange symbol that dropped from the victim's fingers and it bursts into flame as she opens it. Although it looks like an accident or suicide, it's obviously a murder...
Published 21 months ago by Iola


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping read, 25 April 2013
This review is from: An Unholy Communion (The Monastery Murders) (Paperback)
This is the third book in the Monastery Murders series and the series just keeps getting better and better. There's a group pilgrimage to SouthWales, ending at St David's, which is dogged by strange events and supernatural threats. The book is excellently researched and the characters well drawn. The ending is great - very exciting and very well done, as the violence contrasts with the peace of St David's. great stuff
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3.0 out of 5 stars Okay. Just Okay., 6 Sept. 2013
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Iola (New Zealand) - See all my reviews
This review is from: An Unholy Communion (The Monastery Murders) (Paperback)
While attending the dawn service of Ascension, Felicity is horrified to see someone fall from the tower and land at her feet. It seems there is another mystery when she picks up a piece of paper with a strange symbol that dropped from the victim's fingers and it bursts into flame as she opens it. Although it looks like an accident or suicide, it's obviously a murder (otherwise why is it the opening scene in a book series called The Monastery Murders?).

Felicity agrees to accompany her fiancé, Antony, to supervise a pilgrimage to Wales for teenagers as a way to get her mind off the fatal fall, but that's not easy with her dreams. And when she finds the strange symbol represents an ancient heretical society, it seems escaping might be harder than she thought.

This is a murder mystery, and starts well with a body appearing almost immediately. But the mystery of poor Hwyl's death is then ignored as Antony and Felicity go walking in Wales, and apart from the obvious fact that Hwyl is Welsh, this has no apparent relevance to the mystery. In fact, I was about 75% of the way through the novel before they started to address the mystery at all, and then it was quickly apparent (to me at least) who was behind it.

The walk, as described, was much like I imagine a real walk across Wales would be: long and boring, with occasional short bursts of action. It was supposed to be ecumenical (i.e. representing all the Christian world), but was actually Anglican--and high Anglican at that, complete with bells and smells, praying exclusively out of the prayer book, and saying the Stations of the Cross at regular intervals. This wouldn't have bothered me except the characters made a point of saying the walk was ecumenical, and it detracted from what was supposed to be the mystery of Hywl's death.

An Unholy Communion made a lot of references to deliverance, exorcism and demonic powers working against Christianity. While this was relatively well explained, I didn't feel either of the main characters had real understanding. Antony displayed a solid practical understanding (e.g. knowing which prayers to pray), but didn't seem to see the bigger picture linkages (like wondering if two teenagers who wear black decorated with black and constantly quote Twilight are actually Christians). And Felicity seemed to be entirely ignorant of the dark side--she reminded me a little of some of Dr Who's companions from the 1960's.

One bugbear I constantly have with American authors setting books in Britain is their research and language. I was happy to find the research in An Unholy Communion was excellent (as I expected it to be. I've read several of her historical fiction epics, and they were outstanding). Given all the excellent research, it was distracting to see language issues: the reference to Cwm Rhondda spelled incorrectly, and the very English Antony using several Americanisms (gotten, granola bar, grill).

An Unholy Communion is the third in The Monastery Murders series, the first one I've read and probably the last. It didn't work for me as a murder mystery, and I didn't like the characters sufficiently to care what happens next.

Thanks to ARCBA, Lion Fiction and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The third book., 29 Aug. 2013
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Don't read this if you don't like Church ritual. If you do like that, then read on. It is actually the third book of Father Anthony and Felicity fighting evil, this time in the footsteps of David and then at his namesake Cathedral, in Wales. Having visited it, I was even more interested. Another good read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars An Unhol;y Communion, 4 April 2014
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This review is from: An Unholy Communion (The Monastery Murders) (Paperback)
The book made a nice light read, and has some interesting facts. Was rather slow and although i read it through quickly it was not a spell binding book
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4.0 out of 5 stars A darker tale, 9 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: An Unholy Communion (The Monastery Murders) (Paperback)
This is a much darker story than the previous Monastery Murders. I still enjoyed it but not quite as much as the other two.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 5 May 2015
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Mrs. N. C. Beard (Cambridge) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: An Unholy Communion (The Monastery Murders) (Paperback)
Full of historical interest and fascinating to read, as are the other books in the series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent thriller, 23 Feb. 2015
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A thrilling and absorbing book in a series of immense interest.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am pleased to have found a new series to read., 12 Mar. 2014
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I have been pleased to discover a new author. I have enjoyed the settings, this one in the north of England and the religious back story to the investigations. I am also enjoying that these are set in the present, although all have links to the past and historical events.
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An Unholy Communion (The Monastery Murders)
An Unholy Communion (The Monastery Murders) by Donna Fletcher Crow (Paperback - 22 Mar. 2013)
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