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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Murder, mystery, necromancy - and science!
Having read this latest Gil Cunningham mystery, I think it may be the best yet - although I can't quite figure out how it is Book 10 but Mystery 11, and the last one, 'The Fourth Crow' is 'Book 9; Mystery 10', unless there's a short story somewhere???

This time, we're given a change from the usual Glasgow setting, and are off with Gil and Alys to Perth. They...
Published 8 months ago by Annie W

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3.0 out of 5 stars A fifteenth century Taggart
Pat McIntosh creates a flavour of 15th century Glasgow crime and religion set in a Dominican Abby in the Kong's Corridian. Girl and Alys crack the case with ease aided by her early forensic science and his persistence. A good read, When will BBC Scotland discover this Taggart prequel ?
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Published 2 months ago by Frank


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Murder, mystery, necromancy - and science!, 17 Aug 2013
By 
Annie W "bookworm" (Aberdeenshire, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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Having read this latest Gil Cunningham mystery, I think it may be the best yet - although I can't quite figure out how it is Book 10 but Mystery 11, and the last one, 'The Fourth Crow' is 'Book 9; Mystery 10', unless there's a short story somewhere???

This time, we're given a change from the usual Glasgow setting, and are off with Gil and Alys to Perth. They have taken with them only the essential members of their household, including the redoubtable Sophocles, who is very lucky he's a good hunting dog, even though his most valuable contribution to this tale is probably his finding of a foot in a shoe. Deep in the rivalries of different monastic houses, blackmail, theft, murder, suspicions of necromancy, Alys has little time to fret about her continued inability to conceive a child, as she pursues her own ideas (and scientific experiments) about how a man has apparently been seized by the Devil, leaving behind the ashes of a fire which has only affected part of a room, a floor covered in grease, and a barred door. Gil, at the same time, is helped, hindered, and distracted by several plots at one time, involving some delightful characters whom I'd enjoy meeting again, and some others who get the come-uppance they deserve.

The book's pace is fast and furious, and, although I'd worked out one of the more minor plots shortly after its introduction, it was so well-thought-out that I loved every minute of its progress. The main story was a fascinating insight into the running of a Dominican House even as the number of dead bodies grew, the strengths and weaknesses of the various Religious and the novices were explored - although I think I'd have rapidly tired of a diet consisting all too frequently of stewed kale and stockfish, especially when considering the likely atmosphere which would pervade the establishment as a consequence!

As ever, the characters are believable, as are their flaws and foibles. Gil and Alys have reached a very good understanding of each other, having apparently negotiated their way through the initial pitfalls of their marriage, to the point that Gill goes freely about his investigations even as Alys pursues her own theories and experiments, much disconcerting an assortment of males, whose views of a woman's place and abilities are severely shaken by her undoubted talents and failure to fit into their expectations. Those household members whom they have brought with them remain true to the mannerisms they've had throughout the series, and the messages passed by unusual means to Alys hint at a change in her future relationship with her father, his second wife, and their expected baby.

This is an extremely well-written book, with several interwoven plots reaching a satisfying conclusion, and I am left longing for the next one.

The only slight disappointment is in the production of the Kindle edition, where the formatting has left several words with gaps 'exclam ations'; 'kit chens'; baron ial', etc, and, for some reason 'sat down with a ru?e (rustle?) and hush of heavy woollen fabric'. Don't let that put you off, though: the book is worth every penny of its rapidly-decreasing price!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From a mediaeval viewpoint...., 25 Oct 2013
By 
BM COOK (OLD PORTSMOUTH, HANTS United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
One of the things I like about the Gil Cunningham adventures, is that Pat McIntosh sometimes takes a well-known phenomenon and gives it a mediaeval twist and interpretation. In "The Rough Collier" a pagan bog burial ended up as a Christian holy relic. In "The King's Corrodian" we have a case of the controversial so-called "spontaneous combustion" which is initially interpreted as the work of the Devil. How Gil - and Alys - sort THIS one out is the story, but they also track down a serial killer on the way. And there is another McIntosh hall mark - a whiff of the supernatural that is wholly benign - and an ending which is gentle, healing and quite beautiful. A first rate addition to an addictive series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous series of books., 6 Dec 2013
By 
opal (Uddingston, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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Love, love love these books! Love the characters, the settings and the "who dun it" crime solving. I had never heard of this author until i got my Kindle, and am so glad I "discovered" her. Scottish writing at it's best! Had to be 5 stars. Always feel sad when I finish one of the Gil Cunningham books,as I feel I've lost touch with friends.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good read, 11 Oct 2013
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I always feel a real sense of travelling back in time in these novels. I like the characters and the settings. Other people have complained about the scattering of Gaellic language etc in the books but that hasn't been a problem for me. Please continue!
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5.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing mystery, 12 Mar 2014
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A well woven tale which kept me guessing to the end , Gil and Alys contributing to the unexpected denouement. Enjoy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A change of scenery, 26 Feb 2014
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This time set in Perth instead of Glasgow but none the worse for that. This is a delightful series. Gil and his wife Alys go well together and the supporting cast of family, friends and staff do their job superbly. The opening plot line of the death of the corrodian was a bit long winded; the tale of the other murders which ran alongside would have been helped by getting the first one wrapped up a bit quicker.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A fifteenth century Taggart, 19 Feb 2014
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Pat McIntosh creates a flavour of 15th century Glasgow crime and religion set in a Dominican Abby in the Kong's Corridian. Girl and Alys crack the case with ease aided by her early forensic science and his persistence. A good read, When will BBC Scotland discover this Taggart prequel ?
.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read, 16 Feb 2014
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I just can't wait for the next book to hit the shelves ( well kindle ), hope it's not too long.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The latest Gil Cunningham mystery, hopefully not the last!, 13 Feb 2014
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Gil and Alys find themselves in Perth sorting out mysterious death and murder, with the usual cast of quirky characters and some entertaining sub-plots. I guess these stories are not going to appeal to everyone, set as they are in 15th century Scotland, but I find them fascinating, and enjoy the use of old Scots dialect throughout. I've read them all now and am looking forward to the next adventure, so I hope Pat McIntosh is busy writing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very delightful murder mystery!, 18 Jan 2014
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This wonderful book by Pat McIntosh is the 10th volume of the amazing Gil Cunningham series.
The book is set in the late 15th Century of the Scottish history and in a place called Perth, instead of the native Glasgow where Gil Cunningham usually do his investigating, where Cunningham and his wife Alys find themselves in a place where murder and blackmail rule the day, also important to notice is that the book also includes the languages Scots and Gaelic (which was called Ersche at that time) which give this story a real authentic and atmospheric feel of that particular time.
The story itself is about Leonard Pollock, a disliked pensioner who lives in the Dominican's house in Perth and who has now vanished while at the same time a local knight and his mistress claim to have seen the devil.
In Pollock's lodgings they find documents suggesting he was blackmailing someone and so Gil Cunningham is called in to investigate where he discovers theft, ancient murder and dark secrets.
After two more deaths Gil Cunningham finally discovers some of the truth of this mystery but it's Alys who finally discovers the truth of it all and thus the culprit of all these evil and crimes.
I really hope that Pat McIntosh will continue with these stories for these books are a fantastic read.
This is another very delightful Gil Cunningham murder mystery!
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