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The Wine of Angels (Merrily Watkins 1) (Merrily Watkins Mysteries) (Merrily Watkins Series) Paperback – 1 Apr 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 258 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Corvus; Main edition (1 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857890093
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857890092
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 4.6 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (258 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 66,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Ancient history, violent deaths, feuds, intrigues and murder. A most original sleuth. The Times First rate crime with demons that go bump in the night. Daily Mail Compassionate, original and sharply contemporary, Rickman's crime series is one of the best around. Spectator Few writers blend the ancient and supernatural with the modern and criminal better than Rickman. Guardian Phil Rickman is one of my all-time favourites. I love everything he's done, from horror to mystery to supernatural thriller - often all in the same book. -- Diana Gabaldon

Book Description

The Revd Merrily Watkins had never wanted a picture-postcard parish - or a huge and haunted vicarage. Nor had she particularly wanted to walk straight into a local dispute over a controversial play about a strange seventeeth-century clergyman accused of witchcraft ... a story that certain old-established families would rather remained obscure. But this is Ledwardine, steeped in cider and secrets. A paradise of cobbled streets and timber-framed houses. And also - as Merrily and her teenage daughter Jane discover - a village where horrific murder is a tradition that spans centuries. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When you are SO bored of "Da Vinci Mode" books, badly written with vapid and badly drawn out female characters come home to Britain with possibly the best series of mystery/thrillers being written today. I happened across this book in a second hand book shop one summer and spent a cracking weekend sitting in the garden getting to know Merrily, Jane and Ledwardine.
Since then I have read all of the series and like all sustained efforts at writing it had its ups and its downs, but above and beyond that if you, like me, think that entertaining reading does not have to be simplistic this is the book for you. I envy you if you are about to click and hit the basket because going to Ledwardine for the first time is always the best. Turn down the lights, put another log on the fire and have a frothy mug of hot chocolate at the ready...Wine of Angels will keep you up late!
Possibly the most innovative and unique thriller writer working in the UK today. I often used to get confused on the series order...I would say read them in order if you can...it doesn't matter if you can't but the growth of the characters is so much clearer!

The Wine of Angels (1998)
Midwinter of the Spirit (1999)
A Crown of Lights (2001)
The Cure of Souls (2001)
The Lamp of the Wicked (2002)
The Prayer of the Night Shepherd (2004)
The Smile of a Ghost (2005)
The Remains of an Altar (2006)
The Fabric of Sin (2007)
To Dream of the Dead (2008)
The Secrets of Pain (2011)
The Magus of Hay (2013)
The House of Susan Lulham (2014) = KINDLE SINGLE = NOVELLA (Previously a short story for Oxfam but expanded here)
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Format: Paperback
This is a very welcome re-issue of the first in Phil Rickman's Merrily Watkins series.
Here Merrily, as the new 'priest in charge' in the picturesque Herefordshire Village of Ledwardine, finds herself in the middle of a local disagreement about the possibility of using the church to stage a new play - about a previous incumbent who was accused of witchcraft - and more.
She also has to contend with a possibly haunted vicarage and problems with her teenage daughter Jane, who has Pagan tendencies and isn't at all happy about her mother's vocation.
And all this is before the killings start!
A marvellous, richly atmospheric story which will keep you enthralled right to the end. If you've never read a Merrily novel, this is the ideal place to start - but, if you have read any of the later books, do buy this one and find out how it all began.
Once you're hooked - and you will be - don't despair if you can't find the rest of the series, they are all to be republished at bi-monthly intervals.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am new to Phil Rickman and have just spent two days completely absorbed within the pages of this, the first of the Merrily Watkins series. As the story has been excellently reviewed by other readers all it leaves me to say is firstly, why does this author not have a more public profile and thank God for Amazon, otherwise I would never have discovered him! It drew me in from the opening first paragraph and I've hardly drawn breath until the final pages at 5.30am today! All my interests were covered here; Celtic myths and legends, spooks and spirits, jucy murders, Paganisim, a beguiling main protagonist and sidekick(Jane) and enough crazy villagers to make you think you've entered Dibly on crack! Totally absorbing, witty and enthralling...I am officially a fan..bring on book 2, Midwinter of the Spirit! Top of my list for book of the year..fabulous!!
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Format: Paperback
Rickman seduces you into his sleepy, pastoral village of Ledwardine with promises of home brewed cider and fairies at the bottom of the orchard. Only when it's too late for the reader/listener to catch the last bus home does he scratch away the surface to reveal the sordid underbelly of English country life doused in incest, blood-feuds, rape and murder.

This, the first of the Merrily Watkins procedurals is a ghost story wrapped inside a mystery and bound tightly together with the twine of dark folklore. It also delivers a plot twist that gives the sort of jolt you would normally only expect from a gibbet trapdoor.

As always Rickman's dialogue is a joy as he fleshes out the various suicidal dreamers, quirky eccentrics and sexual predators who inhabit his strange little village. As Nick Drake, the quintessential lost soul himself, who makes an eerie cameo role in the book says - The Pink Moon is gonna get you all!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Downloaded onto my Kindle after I read the original hardback several years back, I was again captivated by the extraordinary tale - teller, Phil Rickman. His character, Merrily Watkins, tries so hard to have an ordinary life but life never turns out like that for her. This is a great book and will lead you into other realms. Unputdownable.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Merrily Watkins is the new ‘Priest in charge’ in the seemingly sleepy Herefordshire village of Ledwardine. She soon discovers the village’s maggot-ridden underbelly however, and her attempts to forge a link between the church and the village quickly becomes a dangerous battle of wits and wills. Along with her daughter Jane, and reclusive ex-singer songwriter Lol Robinson, Merrily starts to dig into the village’s history in order to uncover the truth behind the fate of her seventeenth century predecessor Wil Williams, allegedly a witch who was driven to hang himself after being accused of dancing with familiars in the churchyard some four hundred years ago, but meets some lethal resistance from those who want the truth to remain buried. The supernatural dimension to the book occasionally feels forced, but the characters are brilliantly drawn, and the plotting excellent – I’ll certainly be checking out the second Merrily Watkins novel in due course…
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