2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Simply too slow moving for me.,
This review is from: A Play of Knaves (Joliffe Mysteries) (Mass Market Paperback)
I've been on a binge lately with reading medieval mysteries. I kept seeing the books by Margaret Frazer so finally settled on this book to try. The writing is very good. I liked the way the characters where portrayed, especially the closeness of the troupe of actors who spent pretty much twenty-four hours a day together. I also thought the descriptions of the area surrounding the chalk horse in White Horse Vale was wonderfully written. Life in England in 1435 was not easy, yet these actors really made the best of what was available to them and with the help of their patron and protector, Lord Lovell, seemed to thrive in their chosen life.
My problems with the book came about from the fact that it seemed to literally take forever for anything to happen. As a reader I was treated to at least four performances by the group, along with all the minute staging, script writing or revisions, and costumes so these portions of the novel were simply too slow moving for me. I had seen that Joliffe was the featured character in the novels (it mentions him in the title description) and yet there was just as much focus on Bassett, Rose, Gil, and Ellis. Not until over halfway into the novel did any crime take place which had Joliffe taking center stage to solve it. Perhaps this novel falls more into a study of characters and how they interact with each other than it does a mystery. Once the mysteries began to happen it was really quite simple to figure out who the villain was. Unfortunately, I don't think I will be trying any further novels in this series.