Customer Reviews


14 Reviews
5 star:
 (11)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harding's Puzzle Is Well Played!, 30 April 1999
By A Customer
It's no riddle as to whether the seventh--and possibly final--episode of Paul Harding's "The Sorrowful Mysteries of Brother Athelstan" is an exciting read or not. It is! In "The Assassin's Riddle," Harding continues the escapades, adventures, and good deeds of Brother Athelstan, the Dominican friar of St. Erconwald's parish in Southwark in fourteenth century London. Harding forwards his usual cast of characters in this medieval mystery and, once again, we find them abroil in yet another set of mysteries. Someone is killing off the clerks at the Chancery of the Green Wax; someone has stolen a fortune in silver from the Crown, committing murder at the same time; there has appeared a holy mystery at the church: a crucifix that bleeds; and the Bishop is thinking of transferring Athelstan to Oxford. And who is better suited to solve these mysteries than Brother Athelstan, parish priest and secretarius to Sir John Cranston, the King's Coroner for the City of London! Naturally, pressure is applied from the Crown, in the form of the Regent, John of Gaunt, to have the killings stopped and (most important to John) to get the silver back. These murders are always accompanied by a riddle, the solution of which, as the good friar knows, will reveal the murderer. Athelstan knows there is a connection between the killings and the theft. And problems appear to come in threes, as his own parishioners, Pike the ditcher, Watkin the dung collector, and Huddle the painter, have found a crucifix that bleeds, indeed a miracle, and they put forth efforts to cash in on its possibilities. Athelstan, knowing his congregation, doubts its authenticity. The relationship between Athelstan, who loves riddles and other cerebral conundrums, is the alter ego of Sir John, whom Harding describes as a man who loves "his wife, his twin sons, his dogs, and especially this gentle friar with the sharp brain and dry sense of humor." As Cranston tells his wife, "I can number my friends on one hand and still have enough fingers left to make a rude gesture at the Regent. Athelstan's my friend." And it is this relationship that is one of the major attributes of Harding's series. As in the previous two books, there is a question as to whether Athelstan will stay at St. Erconwald's (for one, he is immensely popular with his parishioners, and both the Bishop and the Regent fear this popularity; for another, the Bishop feels his brilliance would be better served lecturing to the students at Oxford). Another strong point of Harding's writing is the authentic description of the times, from the grime and refuse of the city's streets to its inhuman treatment of its poor and criminals to addressing health problems of the time, particularly the plague. He also scores points with his sensitivity of character construction: Benedicta the widow, Ursula the pig woman and her pet sow, the Fisher of Men, and Athelstan's devoted horse Philomel and cat Bonaventure. The author does not hesitate to put forth the goodness in Athelstan, who has the ability to see goodness in others, often in the least expected places. "The Assassin's Riddle" may well be the last of this series (one hopes not), but it is not a puzzle that goes unsolved. It's a quick read--as is the entire series-- but it is not a puzzle that goes unsolved. It's well worth the little effort it takes to read it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good book to read, and join with Athelstan and Cranston, 28 Dec 2001
By 
Ms. E. M. French "avid book reader" (Adelaid, South Australiae) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
With the death of Edward Chapler and others, only Brother Athelstan, with his sharp wit and brain, could come to the ultimate conclusion. Sir John Cranston is no slouch either, and in his own indomitable way, is the bow to Athelstan arrow. The perpetrator of the crimes will be a surprise. These books may be written to a formula however, I have read nine of them and enjoyed all immensely.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harding's Puzzle Is Well Played!, 21 May 1999
By A Customer
It's no riddle as to whether the seventh--and possibly final--episode of Paul Harding's "The Sorrowful Mysteries of Brother Athelstan" is an exciting read or not. It is! In "The Assassin's Riddle," Harding continues the escapades, adventures, and good deeds of Brother Athelstan, the Dominican friar of St. Erconwald's parish in Southwark in fourteenth century London. Harding forwards his usual cast of characters in this medieval mystery and, once again, we find them abroil in yet another set of mysteries. Someone is killing off the clerks at the Chancery of the Green Wax; someone has stolen a fortune in silver from the Crown, committing murder at the same time; there has appeared a holy mystery at the church: a crucifix that bleeds; and the Bishop is thinking of transferring Athelstan to Oxford. And who is better suited to solve these mysteries than Brother Athelstan, parish priest and secretarius to Sir John Cranston, the King's Coroner for the City of London! Naturally, pressure is applied from the Crown, in the form of the Regent, John of Gaunt, to have the killings stopped and (most important to John) to get the silver back. These murders are always accompanied by a riddle, the solution of which, as the good friar knows, will reveal the murderer...The relationship between Athelstan, who loves riddles and other cerebral conundrums, is the alter ego of Sir John, whom Harding describes as a man who loves "his wife, his twin sons, his dogs, and especially this gentle friar with the sharp brain and dry sense of humor." As Cranston tells his wife, "I can number my friends on one hand and still have enough fingers left to make a rude gesture at the Regent. Athelstan's my friend." And it is this relationship that is one of the major attributes of Harding's series. As in the previous two books, there is a question as to whether Athelstan will stay at St. Erconwald's (for one, he is immensely popular with his parishioners, and both the Bishop and the Regent fear this popularity; for another, the Bishop feels his brilliance would be better served lecturing to the students at Oxford). Another strong point of Harding's writing is the authentic description of the times, from the grime and refuse of the city's streets to its inhuman treatment of its poor and criminals to addressing health problems of the time, particularly the plague. He also scores points with his sensitivity of character construction: Benedicta the widow, Ursula the pig woman and her pet sow, the Fisher of Men, and Athelstan's devoted horse Philomel and cat Bonaventure. The author does not hesitate to put forth the goodness in Athelstan, who has the ability to see goodness in others, often in the least expected places. "The Assassin's Riddle" may well be the last of this series (one hopes not), but it is not a puzzle that goes unsolved. It's a quick read--as is the entire series-- but it is not a puzzle that goes unsolved. It's well worth the little effort it takes to read it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Fun but a bit repititive., 25 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Doherty's stories are full of atmosphere and provide a vivid picture of London in the 12th century. But he is so prolific as a writer that he falls into a repetitive pattern with the behavior of his character's becoming so predictable that the result is a bit of boredom.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Review, 14 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Assassin's Riddle: A Brother Athelstan Medieval Mystery 7 (Kindle Edition)
Love Paul Doherty,s books I look forward to more of these and all the other books that he writes, Bring them on
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Good read., 6 May 2014
By 
SuziB - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Assassin's Riddle: A Brother Athelstan Medieval Mystery 7 (Kindle Edition)
A really good read, if like me you love all things medieval & murder mysteries. Well written, historically accurate & keeps you guessing 'til the end.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars another good read, 23 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Assassin's Riddle: A Brother Athelstan Medieval Mystery 7 (Kindle Edition)
Once again this is a good read. Dont let the author's mistakes put you off the series. I wish I could contact him to discuss this
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Review No.6, 19 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Assassin's Riddle: A Brother Athelstan Medieval Mystery 7 (Kindle Edition)
Yet again a very good read, Paul keeps you interested throughout the book. I can recommend this to anyone who enjoys medieval mystery books.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars another good tale, 30 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Assassin's Riddle: A Brother Athelstan Medieval Mystery 7 (Kindle Edition)
another very good tale by Paul Doherty, he never fails to keep you interested in his characters.
If you are interested in medieval history his books are for you.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent read from Paul Doherty, 28 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Assassin's Riddle: A Brother Athelstan Medieval Mystery 7 (Kindle Edition)
The scene setting is, as usual, excellent, with great depth and character painting the streets of medieval London in full colour. The story is subtle and winding, leading you down dead ends and dark alleyways.
I would recommend this book to lovers of traditional murder mysteries of all ages
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews