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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical Intrigue Makes "Devil's Domain" Splendid!
Perhaps the secret of successful historical fiction lies in the fact that the author is able to write accurately, clearly, and convincingly of that particular era in time, to be able to afford the readers the luxury of feeling that they are actually back in that timeframe. Paul Doherty accomplishes these goals easily. And in this, the eighth, "sorrowful mysteries of...
Published on 24 May 1999

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars not a bad read
Once again this story does not disappoint, however, the same things which annoy me in all the books in this series so far is the fact that the author is slip-shod with his research. He uses words that had not been invented in the 14th century! It spoils the story or perhaps I am being a bit fussy. At least in this volume he did not get names wrong which he has done...
Published 14 months ago by Allybags


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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical Intrigue Makes "Devil's Domain" Splendid!, 24 May 1999
By A Customer
Perhaps the secret of successful historical fiction lies in the fact that the author is able to write accurately, clearly, and convincingly of that particular era in time, to be able to afford the readers the luxury of feeling that they are actually back in that timeframe. Paul Doherty accomplishes these goals easily. And in this, the eighth, "sorrowful mysteries of Brother Athelstan," the author sends us back to the 14th century once more in "The Devil's Domain." This time, instead of writing under one of his many pen names, he uses in own (the other Brother Athelstan adventures are written by "Paul Harding"). When we last saw Brother Athelstan in "The Assassin's Riddle," we find our erstwhile friar leaving London's Southwark and his beloved St. Erconwald's parish in the dead of night, accompanied by his saddened thoughts at leaving, his cat Bonaventure, and his horse Philomel. It seems the abbot has ordered him to transfer to Oxford to begin an academic life there. It is a powerful ending, as we know that Athelstan really wants to stay in London, where he is secretarius, friend, and super sleuth to the Crown's coroner Sir John Cranston. Athelstan is also leaving behind the only people he truly loves. It seemed the adventures of this duo were over. Alas, however, it's not so. Here in "Devil's Domain" we find Athelstan back once more in St. Erconwald's, and before you can say "Bob's your uncle," he and Cranston are once more in the middle of a royal conundrum (and in its ramifications, unrequited love, several murders, a plot against the Crown by a possible peasant revolt, and, of course, the obligatory puzzle to solve as to how the murders were committed). And so the story goes along the usual manner of Doherty/Harding. This is a book that proudly ranks besides its fellows in this series and one that Athelstan fans won't want to miss. The only disappointment, however, lies in the fact that the author merely has Athelstan reappear with little explanation (the abbot changed his mind and so Brother Athelstan turned around before he could really get started). As devotees of this series quite likely will be surprised in that a satisfactory reasoning is not offered, almost as if it was not of consequence and the reader shouldn't be bothered. In fact, the book almost seems an afterthought, a coda, to the entire series to tie up the loose ends. It's a pity. But don't despair! "The Devil's Domain" shouldn't be missed. It's a delight--and a relief--to see Athelstan and Cranston back on board!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars P.C. Doherty at his best, 15 Jan. 1999
By A Customer
Paul Doherty, England's most prolific writer of historical whodunnits, has done it again. Like all the other books in the Brother Athelstan series (the early volumes were published under one of Doherty's nomes de plume, Paul Harding), The Devil's Domain can boast of an intricate murder plot, lots of evil characters as well as many spleen-tickling conversations between the main characters -- the Dominican friar Brother Athelstan, and the fat, jovial coroner of London, Sir John Cranston -- and the likeable and laughable members of Athelstan's parish. Then, there's a lovelorn knight errant into the bargain, a greedy goat and and a merry, though valiant beggar, Godbless. As if that wasn't enough, the reader learns a lot about all manner of lethal poisons (you never know what that might be good for...). My only complaint is that Bendedicta, the beautiful widow Athelstan is secretly smitten with, plays no role in Doherty's latest mystery. However, if you enjoyed Paul Harding's books, go get this one!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Difficult One for Sir John and Brother Athelstan, 6 Nov. 2006
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This is the eighth 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.

In the summer of 1380 at Hawkmere Manor, a place known as the "Devil's Domain", a Frenchman lies dying - poisoned. He is one of five prisoners held by John of Gaunt, Regent of England. What little popularity John of Gaunt had with the English people is rapidly waning and he can ill afford a confrontation with the French over the death of one of their subjects.

Sir John Cranston and Brother Athelstan are summoned to investigate the death in the hope of it escalating into an international incident, but this could be their most difficult case yet.
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3.0 out of 5 stars not a bad read, 23 April 2014
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This review is from: Devil's Domain: A Brother Athelstan Medieval Mystery 8 (Kindle Edition)
Once again this story does not disappoint, however, the same things which annoy me in all the books in this series so far is the fact that the author is slip-shod with his research. He uses words that had not been invented in the 14th century! It spoils the story or perhaps I am being a bit fussy. At least in this volume he did not get names wrong which he has done before.

On the whole it is a good read though.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Series !!!!!, 21 Jun. 2013
By 
T. M. Neilson "ezri4of4" (Glossop, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This was my first taste of the Brother Athelstan series. I love the characters, especially Sir John Cranston. He is a wonderful larger than life character. Just like another reviewer said, Brian Blessed would suit his character perfectly. I am looking forward to reading more of this series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars very good, 6 May 2013
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This review is from: Devil's Domain: A Brother Athelstan Medieval Mystery 8 (Kindle Edition)
if you like both history and mystery Paul Doherty is the author for you. You can live the smells and sounds of the time.
if you have never read him give his books a go.
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5.0 out of 5 stars devil's domain, 20 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Devil's Domain: A Brother Athelstan Medieval Mystery 8 (Kindle Edition)
brilliant. As are all the Brother Athelstan. I would recommend these to people who enjoy medieval murder mystery's.allso I would recommend the Sir Hugh Corbett mystery's
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4.0 out of 5 stars Usual interlinked Doherty plot., 18 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: Devil's Domain: A Brother Athelstan Medieval Mystery 8 (Kindle Edition)
It met my expectations. Doherty's plots always nicely interweave with each other and produce a satisfying conclusion. A pleasant, relaxing read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, 20 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Devil's Domain: A Brother Athelstan Medieval Mystery 8 (Kindle Edition)
If you like reading about medieval London with a crime thriller added to the equation this series of books will keep you entertained for hours.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Review, 17 April 2014
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This review is from: Devil's Domain: A Brother Athelstan Medieval Mystery 8 (Kindle Edition)
These books are great the charchters are very real the plots are good hope there is more of these as I like to guess thr murderer
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