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A Maze of Murders (Kathryn Swinbrooke Mysteries) Hardcover – 13 Mar 2003

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St Martin's Press; 1 edition (13 Mar. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312290160
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312290160
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 2.4 x 21.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,041,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

C. L. Grace is the pseudonym of Paul Doherty, author of five previous Kathryn Swinbrooke mysteries as well as numerous books in other series. He holds a doctorate from Oxford and lives in England.

Customer Reviews

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A sacred relic, a giant ruby called the Lacrima Christi, has disappeared from Greyfriars church in Canterbury. Then the owner of the ruby, Sir Walter Maltravers, is brutally murdered in the maze at his home, Ingoldby Hall. Kathryn Swynford, physician and apothecary, finds herself having to investigate both murders, while at the same time preparing for her wedding to her rugged Irish boyfriend, Colum Murtagh. Things take a turn for the worst at Ingoldby Hall as more murders occur. And then there is Kathryn's worry about her violent, abusive husband, is he really dead, or will he come back to spoil things? This is another enjoyable mystery, with interesting characters, an ingenious plot, and plenty of vivid details of medieval life. Great fun.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love C.L. Grace's heroine and all her books. For those who enjoy medieval whodunits. Katherine's adventures are compelling and entertaining
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Does not disappoint
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Medieval Murder 14 Mar. 2004
By S. Feicht - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Physician, Kathryn Swinbrooke with fiance Colum Murtagh, King's Commissioner, must unravel the theft of a priceless ruby, a murder of a wealthy lord, and various other murders. Using logic Swinbrooke delves into murderous vendettas. The mystery is interwoven with the everyday life of 14th century England. Just like the maze where the murder of Sir Maltravers takes place, the plot weaves and crosses itself to a satisfying conclusion. If you like Candace Robb's Owen Archer series, Kathryn Swinbrooke will be an enjoyable read.
4.0 out of 5 stars England 1473 17 May 2009
By Lyn Reese - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Incongruously, Kathryn Swinbrooke is a physician, an apothecary, and holder of an indenture with the Archbishop and the Crown which gives her the right to investigate untoward matters, including murders. This story presents her with a series of grizzly murders to solve, starting with the beheading of Sir Walter Maltravers, found in the middle of the elaborate maze next to his manor. During her investigations, which include the mysterious disappearance of the "Lacrima Christi," a jewel relic looted from Constantinople, Katherine herself becomes the assassin's target.

The book's theme of revenge and blood feuds accurately reflects England's civil war between the houses of Lancaster and York when vendetta became a way of life. There is solid information as well about the role of English knights forced to flee from Constantinople when it fell to the Ottoman Turks, and the massacre of the Provencales at Towton. one of the most violent, bloody battles of the Wars of Roses. Extensive descriptions of the exterior and interior of buildings, such as Sir Walter's manor, the Franciscan church at Greyfriers, and Canterbury Cathedral, bring the story to life as do the earthy sights and sounds along Canterbury's narrow streets and marketplaces. A fault is Katherine's rapid fire, convoluted, solution to the book's mysteries. Although the author tells us that the medieval method of investigating a crime was by deploying a hypothesis and applying logic rather than proof, the ending stretches the one's credulity.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good, sound medieval mystery 28 Nov. 2003
By Valerie Fletcher Adolph - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is the fifth in the series of historical mysteries featuring medieval doctor Kathryn Swinbrooke and, while Kathryn herself is fictional, the concept of women doctors in medieval England is entirely true. Kathryn and her Irish warrior fiance Colum Murtagh are asked to investigate the disappearance of the fabulous ruby "Lacrima Christi" from a locked ans secure area in the Greyfriars Church in Canterbury. It had been lent tot the church by Sir Walter Maltravers who is beheaded in the heart of his private maze.
A deeply-religious ex-warrior, Sir Walter believed that vengeful Turkish "Athenatoi" had been tracking him but Kathryn looks at his household and sees that the evil came from much closer to home. His beautiful young wife, his secretary, his priest, the madwoman and her daughter that he had helped all bear him ill will. The list of suspects is long and the connection between the disappearance of the ruby and the death of Sir Walter is as complex as the maze itself.
The writer has a deft hand with character and plot and his depiction of medieval life is detailed and accurate. He brings this period to life as few writers have been able to do (and let's face it, he's had lots of practice, writing also under the name of P. C. Doherty).
This is a good addition to the Swinbrooke series; not only are the characters well developed but the social interactions - the gulf between rich and poor, educated and superstitious - work well in this setting.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good, sound medieval mystery 28 Nov. 2003
By Valerie Fletcher Adolph - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is the fifth in the series of historical mysteries featuring medieval doctor Kathryn Swinbrooke and, while Kathryn herself is fictional, the concept of women doctors in medieval England is entirely true. Kathryn and her Irish warrior fiance Colum Murtagh are asked to investigate the disappearance of the fabulous ruby "Lacrima Christi" from a locked ans secure area in the Greyfriars Church in Canterbury. It had been lent tot the church by Sir Walter Maltravers who is beheaded in the heart of his private maze.
A deeply-religious ex-warrior, Sir Walter believed that vengeful Turkish "Athenatoi" had been tracking him but Kathryn looks at his household and sees that the evil came from much closer to home. His beautiful young wife, his secretary, his priest, the madwoman and her daughter that he had helped all bear him ill will. The list of suspects is long and the connection between the disappearance of the ruby and the death of Sir Walter is as complex as the maze itself.
The writer has a deft hand with character and plot and his depiction of medieval life is detailed and accurate. He brings this period to life as few writers have been able to do (and let's face it, he's had lots of practice, writing also under the name of P. C. Doherty).
This is a good addition to the Swinbrooke series; not only are the characters well developed but the social interactions - the gulf between rich and poor, educated and superstitious - work well in this setting.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling historical detail 8 Feb. 2003
By booksforabuck - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Sir Walter Maltravers is haunted by the memory of his failure during the fall of Constantinople, and by his failure at the Battle of Towton. Despite his wealth, his beautiful wife, and the holy Lacrima Christi--a ruby said to have been formed from the blood of Jesus--he lives in agony and in guilt. When he is found dead and his jewel is stolen, Kathryn Swinbrooke is called in to administer the King's justice.
Danger, more murder, and more locked room mysteries confront Kathryn as she investigates. Maltravers was killed in the middle of a maze to which only he knew the secret. The jewel was kept in a locked room in a guarded monastery. A thief vanishs from a locked church. It seems that perhaps the avenging angels truly have stepped in. Certainly all of the suspects have alibies that cannot be shaken. Yet Kathryn diagnoses murder, not God's justice. She's determined to unravel the maze of death and murder and find the killer hiding in its depths.
Author C. L. Grace makes the middle ages come alive. Set during the English War of the Roses, A MAZE OF MURDERS convincingly describes English justice of the time, the (mixed) role of women, contemporary medicine, and the ambiguous nature of justice in a time when patriotism and treason are distinguishable only after a battle is fought and lost. Kathryn's dogged determination to solve a host of locked room mysteries is admirable and sympathetic.
I would have preferred to see better motivation for the final murder--which seems to exist only to give Kathryn the final clues she needs to the solution. Also, I suspect that Kathryn's mild flirtation with her fiance, Colum Murtagh, is intended to humanize Kathryn. Instead, it seemed cloying, distracting from the murder without adding anything to the story. Notwithstanding these flaws, A MAZE OF MURDER makes enjoyable reading.
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