The Reeve's Tale

The Reeve's Tale

eBook - 2015
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A PLAGUE OF MURDERSThe village of Prior Byfield is blighted with famine, devastated by plague, and cursed with ill-fortune. Simon Perryn, the poor reeve of the village, is driven to distraction by the petty rivalries and hopeless troubles of his neighbors. His adulterous sister and her dolt of a husband have entangled their affairs with Gilbey Dunn, the richest man of the village, and Elena, the beautiful and seductive woman that he calls his wife. With wealth on the line and lives at the stake, old quarrels and ancient angers are boiling over into the once-quiet streets of the village. That's when things get even worse for Simon: A horrid scandal curses him with a pair of nuns, sent from the nearby nunnery of St. Frideswide's to make sure all is kept right in the village. Dame Frevisse, however, suspects that the scandal which has drawn her and the innocent Sister Thomasine from the safety of the priory is but the tip of a terrible intrigue which threatens both nunnery and village alike: The good, kind, and honest Master Naylor stands accused of a crime which threatens to strip him and his entire family of their freedom. Who could stand to profit from his loss? Is it the same silent killer who stalks the village youth? Or are they all being played like fools? Yet even if Frevisse's keen wit can lay bare the ugliness in the hearts of men, she fears that no amount of prayer will serve to cleanse her own soul of that sickly hate. Can even God pardon one who has turned from a holy path? PRAISE FOR THE REEVE'S TALE"Everything about it bespeaks quality and care. . . Frazer draws us into a medieval village in England with a story of lust, greed and murder." - St. Paul Pioneer Press"Exquisitely written, the novel offers a brilliantly realized vision of a typical medieval English village, peopled with full-blooded men and women who experience the human range of joys and sorrows. Suspenseful from start to surprising conclusion, this is another gem from an author who's twice been nominated for an Edgar." - Publisher's Weekly"This tale is a trip back in time, a time when your personal wants had to be satisfied with what could be found in your immediate surroundings. You will appreciate the intense need for each village and villager to be self-sufficient. You experience the terror caused when children fall ill. The Reeve's Tale is a fascinating one." - Martha's Vineyard Times"Frazer [turns] the screw of the mystery. . . The looming threats guarantee suspense. . . Greed and self-interest lurk beneath marital agreements knotted to land contracts, reminding God's virgins just who feeds them." - Kirkus Review PRAISE FOR THE DAME FREVISSE MEDIEVAL MYSTERY SERIES"Within the graceful prose rhythms that have garnered her two Edgar nominations, Frazer's 10th tale of 15th-century nun Dame Frevisse transports the reader to a medieval England made vivid and a world of emotions as familiar then as now." - Publisher's Weekly"Frazer's quiet yet intense medieval mysteries are so vividly and gracefully written you just float back in time. . ." - The Poisoned Pen"Those who meet Frevisse here for the first time will want to get to know more about more." - Detroit Free Press"Ms. Frazer provides a real treat for lovers of all things medieval." - Romantic Times"Frazer is a master because she combines her love and knowledge of history with the true skills of a mystery writer." - Aunt Agatha's A Romantic Times Top Pick. Twice nominated for the Minnesota Book Award. Twice nominated for the Edgar Award.--Provided by publisher
Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] : Justin Alexander, 2015
ISBN: 9781310289156
Branch Call Number: EBOOK ENKI
Characteristics: 1 online resource
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Additional Contributors: enki Library

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bugmansdaughter
Mar 28, 2019

Excellent novel; one of the best in this series by Margaret Frazer. Gives one a pretty good image of life in a small 15th century English village. Build up to the murder also helps personalities of the characters become more revealing.

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peachmcd
Dec 02, 2017

I didn't get far with this book. I enjoy historical fiction and historical mysteries (e.g., Bro Cadfael) but this author's prose felt precious and pretentious to me. Moved on to another similar series (Lady Susanna and her Face Down murders) with less focus on prose stylings and more focus on character/plotting.

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miaone
Mar 28, 2014

I love this book. The story is fascinating for anyone who is interested in the history of 15th century England. The author's scholarship shows on every page.
Yet she has drawn believable characters, some of which readers of the Dame Frevisse series have followed all along, others of which we meet here for the 1st or 2nd time. One of the things I love about Frazer is her ability to show real, flawed characters in their best and less good moments. Her characters are not shallow or 2-dimensional; they often hesitate and think things over. Especially the protagonist Frevisse; she is a thinker AND a doer.
I have bought my own hardback copies of all 26 novels by this author and have re-read them several times. This one is my favorite of the ones that feature Dame Frevisse as the central character.

EuSei Jul 02, 2013

Very disappointing, the real “action” only starts way passed half of the book. I managed to read the whole book (although, I confess, I started skipping paragraphs near the end), but the scene where the culprit was discovered, was analyzed, its reasons and modus operandi repeated ad nauseam. Sister Frevisse is constantly considering her own feelings, how she should think—like a novice would have done—and either acting like an individual with lots of power or devoid of it, very contradictory. Mrs. Frazer was a good writer and certainly did a lot of research about that era, but I will stick with the Brother Cadfael series by Ellis Peter.

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