Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad book, could do with picking a genre...., 16 Feb 2012
This review is from: The Crown (Hardcover)
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As other reviewers have said, it's a fairly fast-paced run through a Tudor-based murder mystery. I'll leave aside the likelihood of a minor noblewoman in her novitiate being able to gaily escape her convent to watch her cousin burn, and the even more unlikely scenario of said novice being, if not warmly welcomed back, then at least allowed to return without punishment. I suspect though that given the proliferation of historical mysteries, it's getting harder and harder to find a new angle.

Sister Joanna, the novice, is a member of the more-aristocratic-than-thou Staffords. With somewhat unfortunate timing, she has chosen to become a novice at Dartford priory, formerly the home of one of Elizabeth Woodville's several daughters just as fat Henry starts coveting both his mistress's sister and the wealth of the church. The mystery (searching for Athelstan's eponymous crown) The mystery (searching for Athelstan's eponymous crown) is not entirely sure whether it wants to be a more traditional historical mystery or one of the more recent type of missing, unknown-save-by-a-special-few-but-hugely-powerful-and-important-relic mystery. Luckily the mystical relic side of things can be almost ignored, although it gets a bit more prominent towards the end.

Important items aside, the plotting is solid and the characters mostly fairly well drawn. Joanna finishes the book both with a ready made sidekick or two for future books and with more independence that she would have had pre-dissolution. It will be interesting to see how Nancy Bilyeau preserves this in future books. If the books steer more away from the powerful lost artefact genre, I'll buy more: she's covering a really interesting (if well-worn)piece of English history.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Dec 2013 15:57:15 GMT
Bookwoman says:
Nice summary: I could have done without the 'mysterious lost artefact that endangered the throne' elements of this book altogether, though I suspect this angle will continue - shame, I'd prefer a straightforward historical murder mystery, too, and this one wasn't bad.
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