Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Caveat Emptor- Medicus Book #5- Ruth Downie

A very historically correct Medicus mystery taking place in Londinium and Verulamium. Slow in some places but a good steady read with glimpses of relationships in Roman Britain.

Ruth Downie has great characters with depth and humor. So enjoyable.

Coinage and politics also come into play. If you like very early history, this one is for you..Loved the ending! looking forward to book 6 and then 7 is coming? For joy! 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Laws in Conflict - A Burren Mystery -Cora Harrison..Finishing the Series ~

  What a fine fine book about Galway Ireland in the late 15th century. Cora Harrison is marvelous in her work. What really happened to Walter Lynch? Hmmm.. Sending this book on to my Irish cousin.. We have two Lynch great grandmothers, fortunately not from Galway.

"February, 1512. Mara, Brehon of the Burren, judge and lawgiver, has been invited to the magnificent city state of Galway, which is ruled by English laws and a royal charter originally granted by Richard III. Mara wonders whether she can use her legal knowledge to save the life of a man from the Burren who has been caught stealing a meat pie, but events soon take an even more dramatic turn when the mayor’s son is charged with a heinous crime. Sure there is more to the case than meets the eye, Mara investigates" 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Come the Fear - A Richard Nottingham Mystery- always superb!

"With the discovery of a young woman’s charred and blackened body, Richard Nottingham tackles his most disturbing case yet March, 1733." 

As always, this series is just superb, so very riveting  to read.  The period detail is fine and surely all the Leeds city history is perfect. As Chris Nickson says: "Why Leeds? It's where I was born and raised, and that puts a place in your bones."

He also says: "The books are about more than murder. They're about the people of Leeds and the way life was - which means full of grinding poverty for all but the wealthy."

I now have to skip back one book further to finish the series. That may be a good thing as Richard Nottingham had some bad things happen later in the series and I really like him. What wonderful character development! 

Recommended to all..

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Noble Outlaw - Bernard Knight- Crowner John is the best series

Renovations of a school in 12th-century Exeter are disrupted by the shocking discovery of a partially mummified corpse hidden in the rafters, and the county coroner Sir John de Wolfe is called in to investigate. Richard de Revelle, Sir John's brother-in-law and founder of the school, immediately blames Nicholas de Arundell, a young outlawed knight. As Sir John discovers, Nicholas has good reason to bear a grudge against the unscrupulous de Revelle. With the victim's identity unknown and the motive a mystery, however, the murder remains unsolved. But then comes news of a second violent death, and Sir John is forced to track down the culprit in order to find the answers.

My favorite series, as usual, such a great read. Two more left but I now have them all for rereading. Bernard Knight is a great writer and accurately depicts this era.

I especially like that Richard de Revelle, John de Wolfe's brother in law, was forced out of his Sheriff of Devon's role some time ago. He continues to try to conspire with Prince John and other cohorts for purposes of rebellion and what we might now call "White collar crime"

Recommended for all Medieval Mystery fans as well as early Plantagenet novels.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Betrothed Sister- Book Three -The Daughters of Hastings Trilogy - Carol McGrath ~ Magical!

A spectacular book that I read carefully and with relish. I am so sorry it is finished but I will now begin to reread the first book in the trilogy.( which I also loved) Carol McGrath is a marvelous historian and an even better writer. I wish there were more books in this series.

 I knew little about Russia at any period, even less about this period. I had no idea that the society and the city of Kiev rivaled European capitals like Paris in sophistication. I am happy to realize that Thea/Gytha and Vladimir's descendants were rulers in England. Perhaps that is the part of the story that I like the best,and it is factual.

 What else? I do so enjoy reading about this period both before and after the Norman Conquest I am, therefore, quite pleased that this daughter of Hastings went on to have a marriage that was happy and satisfying, at least up until the time the author ends the narrative. Her quite excellent end notes tie all the loose ends that I would need to know so very succinctly.

 I received an ARC for this review but I would have purchased regardless as I did for the first two books. I am honored to have been able to read this fine novel and recommend it so very highly. Fine and scholarly research and riveting storytelling win every time!

Prepublication summary:""It is September 1068. Thea, also known as Gytha, the elder daughter of King Harold II, travels with her brothers and grandmother into exile carrying revenge in her heart. She is soon betrothed to a prince of Kiev. Will her betrothal and marriage bring her happiness, as she confronts enemies from inside and outside Russian territories? Will she prove herself the courageous princess she surely is, win her princely husband's respect and establish her independence in a society protective towards its women?"

Friday, September 4, 2015

Murder in Megara - John the Lord Chamberlain Mystery - Mary Reed and Eric Mayer

Very enjoyable visit with John and Cornelia as he returns to his boyhood hometown, Megara and actually takes up residence near his parent's farm. Adjacent to the farm is a monastery where some of the action takes place and the farm itself has a ruined temple.

These edifices will become important as will John's childhood friends.
His servants Hypatia and Peter play a large part as do innumerable laborers on his estate.

Since he is in actuality, exiled to this estate and since the citizens of the town land are less than thrilled about that fact, he becomes suspect in myriad crimes that are committed. One such crime is the death of his detested stepfather but John, of course is able to tie everything up in a neat bundle.

Recommended for those who enjoy this series and others about the Roman Empire.