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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Father Anselm gets a helper
Not quite at his best but Brodrick shows his usual mastery of the moral dilemma. Was the paraplegic wife, suffering from cancer, murdered by her husband or not and can revenge by her father on the supposed murderer be prevented? Can justice be tempered with mercy, and where does Anselm's jazz playing friend fit in to a rather complicated plot?
Published 14 months ago by John Dale

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as enjoyable as his previous books
I have enjoyed the Anselm series immensely, but the Discourtesy of Death felt a bit laboured compared with the free flowing volumes that came prior to it. It felt as if the author was trying a little too hard. I was really looking forward to its release, but in the end I was a little disappointed by it.
Published 15 months ago by Neil Wootten


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Father Anselm gets a helper, 7 Dec. 2013
By 
John Dale - See all my reviews
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Not quite at his best but Brodrick shows his usual mastery of the moral dilemma. Was the paraplegic wife, suffering from cancer, murdered by her husband or not and can revenge by her father on the supposed murderer be prevented? Can justice be tempered with mercy, and where does Anselm's jazz playing friend fit in to a rather complicated plot?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtle, yet clear portrayal of the human condition., 6 Feb. 2014
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Admire limpid style, which holds together the twists and turns of the choices made by well drawn and sensitively portrayed characters.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as enjoyable as his previous books, 5 Dec. 2013
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I have enjoyed the Anselm series immensely, but the Discourtesy of Death felt a bit laboured compared with the free flowing volumes that came prior to it. It felt as if the author was trying a little too hard. I was really looking forward to its release, but in the end I was a little disappointed by it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A most engaging read, 11 Mar. 2014
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A truly splendid piece of writing; William Brodrick has become probably my favourite author. Try it and see for yourself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr Brodrick writes very good, very detailed novels, 2 Aug. 2014
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Mrs. P. M. Spink (Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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Mr Brodrick writes very good, very detailed novels. His stores are intricate and believable (although Father Anselm does spend a lot of time away from his priory). His descriptions of Larkwood make the place come alive in my mind and although I find his subject matter heart wrenchingly sad at times (A Whispered Name) I cannot put his books down once I start to read them. Please keep writing Father Anselm Novels Mr Brodrick
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars William Broderick is my favourite author. I find the writing beautiful - you ..., 22 Aug. 2014
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William Broderick is my favourite author. I find the writing beautiful - you can enjoy the journey through his books not just be concerned about getting to the end for the conclusion. I read them again and again and still find things to ponder on and enjoy. The journey is as good as the destination!
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delighted to find a new high quality English detective series, 13 Nov. 2013
By 
Thomas Cunliffe "Committed to reading" (Sussex, England) - See all my reviews
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The Discourtesy of Death is the fifth novel in Matthew Brodrick's Father Anselm series in which Anselm, the barrister turned monk takes on an investigation into the death of a famed ballet dancer. Did she die of the bowel cancer that was bound to take her in a few months time anyway, or was she helped to her grave by a concerned (or malicious) relative?

I have never read a Father Anselm novel before and was pleased to find that enough background material was provided in the earlier chapters for me to pick up his back-story without any difficulty. In this book, we see Anselm's detective work receive a broader commission from the prior; he is to take the "light of the monastery beyond the enclosure wall" by taking on cases "from anyone who contacts you, particularly regarding those who are on the margins of hope".

Soon Father Anselm finds himself deeply involved with the families of two brothers, one of whom, Michael, is the bereaved father of the ballet dancer. Why is Michael on a mission with a Browning Hi-Power 9mm pistol? And what does his brother Nigel know about this? Michael had to confront his own demons while serving with the Army in Northern Ireland as an intelligence officer and still bears the scars resulting from terrible decisions he had to make back then. Is history repeating himself as he seeks the alleged killer of his daughter? Will Father Anselm be able to move the case forward quickly enough to prevent another disaster from happening?

Novels like this depend on good characters - it's no good just having a clever story, you have to believe in the people involved. I very much enjoyed reading about Father Anselm and his trusty side-kick, aging jazzman Mitch Robson, a valuable companion who occasionally confounds Anselm with his "outside the box" ideas which yield up rich rewards in new information.

I also liked the way the novel explored the themes of mercy killing and even the bigger theme of is it right to kill someone such as Adolf Hitler in order to avoid the murders of millions later? With William Brodrick's background a a monk, then a barrister, he shows himself highly qualified to bring such complex themes into his novels.

I always enjoy it when novels are set in real places with recognisable locations. The descriptions of Southwold and Alderburgh make the places instantly recognisable to anyone who has been there. I wonder if there will be a Father Anselm trail in future tourist board brochures? William Brodrick's charming descriptions of the little towns and villages of Suffolk would certainly make that possible.

Altogether a highly readable and enjoyable novel. I am a great fan of classic English detective novels by writers like Ruth Rendell, Frances Fyfield etc. I am delighted to have discovered a writer os similar class in William Brodrick and I now look forward to delving into the previous four Father Anselm novels.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I decided to read this because I had read his previous books and instead came upon a wonderful discussion of the issues surround, 6 July 2014
This is not your average read - it's not gripping and the story line is limited. The characterisation is minimal. So why 4 stars? I decided to read this because I had read his previous books and instead came upon a wonderful discussion of the issues surrounding assisted death - illustrated by a story. It should be compulsory reading for legislators and all with a concern about euthanasia. The story leads us through all the twists and turns and possible outcomes - and in so doing we realise how complex and multilayered the issue is - and how difficult it is to pin down what we mean by consent - and how we convey that to family and friends.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Just a little too complicated and contrived, 29 May 2014
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Always beautifully written the Anselm books address complicated issues...this story does seem to have just too many strands and keeping them all running simultaneously seems a little contrived and not as natural as some of the other books...still well worth reading.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 3 Dec. 2013
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I enjoyed this book as William Brodrick is one of my favourite authors but it isn't my favourite of his books. It was as usual, well written and thought provoking, probably one for Williams fans rather than a Brodrick newbie.
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