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The Plague Maiden: Number 8 in series (Wesley Peterson) Hardcover – 29 Jan 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Piatkus (29 Jan. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749906685
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749906689
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.4 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,043,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

'a beguiling author who interweaves past and present. Like its predecessor... the book works well on both levels' The Times 'detective fiction with a historical twist - fans? will love it.' Scotland on Sunday 'moody mystery...a splendid piece of whodunnit, and when?' Newcastle Evening Chronicle 'a satisfying and enjoyable read' Martin Edwards

Book Description

8th in Kate Ellis' series, starring Wesley Peterson

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 Sept. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A middle-aged woman comes forward twelve years after a murder to say that she was with the convicted murderer on the night in question. Janet Powell left for the USA within a few days after the murder and had not been aware that anyone had been convicted until she saw a programme about prisons on television.

A local supermarket receives a letter saying that products have been tampered with and people will die. Neil Watson, archaeologist, has uncovered a plague pit where the victims of the Black Death were buried but a skeleton near the top of the excavation has clearly been murdered. Then Neil is attacked and injured when he sleeps overnight on site to deter Nighthawks who have been targeting the site.

This is a complex plot with many intertwining strands - murder both ancient and relatively modern - as well as a death from contaminated jam. Plenty of people with a grudge against the local businessman who owns the chain of supermarkets and plenty of people who might have committed the murder of the clergyman twelve years ago now that the case needs to be re-opened. Gerry Heffernan and Wesley Peterson start to suspect a police cover up with the murder of the clergyman and need to tread carefully to avoid a public relations disaster.

I enjoy the way the characters are developing in this series; Wesley with his growing family and the tensions between his job and his home life; the interactions between the various police characters; the way Neil is becoming, to me, less and less likeable. This is an enjoyable and interesting series with its historical backgrounds showing how present day actions and crimes are not so very far removed from those in the past. The series can be read in any order but the if you read them in the order in which they were published you can follow the development of the series characters.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First Sentence: The intruder stood quite still and listened.

In 1991, a man was convicted of murdering the Reverend Shipbourne during the course of a robbery. Now, many years later, a letter appears at the police station addressed to the former Chief Inspector claiming there is evidence the man was innocent. The police already have one case on their hands of someone placing tampered, poisoned food on the shelves of the local supermarket, and another case where a quite recent body is found during the archaeological dig of a plague pit.

The story does open with a prologue—suspenseful, thrilling, and compelling without giving anything away or having been lifted from the middle of the story. Instead, it sets the stage and carries us willingly forward into the first chapter. At the same time, contrary as this seems, the book also could have done without it as the opening chapter also performs the same function.

Although the book is designated as a “Wesley Peterson murder mystery,” this really is an ensemble cast. What’s nice is that they are individuals, each with their own strengths, weaknesses, personal issues, and habits. In other words, they are very human. How can one not like a pathologist who insists on a cuppa and biscuit before discussing autopsy findings?

Ellis does have a very good ear for dialogue, adding just the right touch of wryness…”Perhaps we should have a word with ex-DCI Norbert, then.” “That’d be difficult unless you’re thinking of holding a séance…”

There are three threads, from three periods of time but all woven together in the present. The historical and archaeological information is fascinating, including the chapter-opening diary excerpts. The plot twists are very well done and the conclusion effective.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Kate Ellis presents us with a very complicated plot involving numerous suspects yet she crafts it magnificently with no loose ends. Again the mystery involves Neil Watson but on this occasion there is some friction between him and Wesley. Pam is still miserable but very pregnant so perhaps one should feel for her but the relationship between Wesley and Rachel seems to have some pull beneath the surface, so Pam needs to try a little harder. This grips throughout with most of the characters very three-dimensional. Ellis intertwines her period signature piece with Wesley Patterson concentrating on a current crime and their solutions meet somewhere in the middle with a neat denouement. This is a fabulous series with well-constructed plots, complex but well-developed characters and the whole makes for compelling reading.
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I have just found Kate Ellis and lve her books.They are so well written and once I started reading any of them I could not bear to put them down.Where possible I read a book in a day.Cannot say better than that
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Couldn't put this book down once I started it. Wesley has several difficult cases on his hands as well as a wife who is due to give birth very shortly.
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#8 in the series and the first I have read - must start working my way through books 1 to 7. Numerous dark deeds and suspects are all woven together with consummate skill. Just when you think you know who did what,another twist in the tale flummoxes you.One of the ne'er do wells has a dog named Fang,as did another in book two.
Would make an excellent television series. Highly recommended reading.
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