The Novice's Tale

A Dame Frevisse Mystery

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It is the year of Our Lord's grace 1431, and the nuns of England's St. Frideswide sweetly chant their Paternosters behind gracious, trellised walls. But their quiet lives are shattered by the unwelcome visit of the hard-drinking, blaspheming dowager Lady Ermentrude, with her retinue of lusty maids and men, baying hounds, and even a pet monkey in tow. The lady demands wine, a feast, and her niece, the frail and saintly novice Thomasine.

What she gets is her own strange and sudden death.

Sister Frevisse, hosteler of the priory and amateur sleuth, fears murder. The most likely suspect is pious Thomasine . . . but Frevisse alone detects a clever web spun to entangle an innocent nun in the most unholy of passions—and the deadliest of deeds.

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About the author

Margaret Frazer is the author of the Sister Frevisse series (including The Traitor's Tale, The Sempster's Tale, and The Hunter's Tale) and the Joliffe the Player series (including A Play of Heresy, A Play of Piety, and A Play of Treachery). She is a two-time Edgar Award nominee and lives in Minnesota.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Nov 1, 1993
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Pages
240
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ISBN
9781101651445
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Historical / General
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Women Sleuths
Fiction / Thrillers / Historical
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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"MAY GOD STRIKE ME DOWN WITHIN THE HOUR!"

To the guests at the mourning feast for Thomas Chaucer, the last words of Sir Clement Sharpe had been enough to damn him in the eyes of God. Detested by all who knew him, his final blasphemy had turned even God's anger against him and his death would be a lesson well-remembered. None among them would ever forget the sight of God striking down a sinning man, and each would keep in their heart the need to honor God's charity and love in all the hours of their lives.

But the crafty Dame Frevisse and cunning Bishop Beaufort suspect that there may be an all-too-mortal hand at work in Sir Clement's death. If their suspicions can be proved, then the only lesson to be learned is the bleakest secret of the blackest heart.

PRAISE FOR THE BISHOP'S TALE

"The setting for another tale of mystery, intrigue, jealousy and ambition, well drawn, well paced, and a pleasure to read." - Historical Novels Review

"Rich period detail, canny characterization, and a lively plot should endear Sister Frevisse and her tales to anyone who enjoys historical mysteries." - Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Truly this is a winter's tale, wintry in setting and in themes. The most powerful emotions are chilled and subdued: Cool authority, icy determination, cold despair - these are stronger than the widow's stormy, self-pitying grief, the petulant anger of a pair of young lovers, the heat of a proud man's anger, and the fiery rash which clutches and kills him." - Jeanne M. Jacobson, Drood Review of Mystery

PRAISE FOR THE SISTER FREVISSE MEDIEVAL MYSTERY SERIES

"Frazer is writing one of the most consistently excellent historical series in print today." - Murder Ink

"Frazer successfully captures the essence of 15th century England - the sights, smells, and sounds fill the pages, drawing us in as we become immersed in the language, manners, and customs of a far off time and place." - Rendezvous

"Dame Frevisse, the pious and perspective nun gives focus to this sober series... [Frazer] shows a meticulous detail that speaks of trustworthy scholarship and a sympathetic imagination." - New York Times Book Review

"Once you begin to read this series, you will want to follow your new friends to the end of their personal story." - Cross Point Book Reviews
"Exquisitely written... A superbly researched medieval mystery series!" - Publisher's Weekly
"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

A Romantic Times Top Pick.

Twice nominated for the Minnesota Book Award.
Twice nominated for the Edgar Award.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Before The Dante Chamber, there was The Dante Club: “an ingenious thriller that . . . brings Dante Alighieri’s Inferno to vivid, even unsettling life.”—The Boston Globe

“With intricate plots, classical themes, and erudite characters . . . what’s not to love?”—Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code and Origin

Boston, 1865. The literary geniuses of the Dante Club—poets and Harvard professors Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, and James Russell Lowell, along with publisher J. T. Fields—are finishing America’s first translation of The Divine Comedy. The powerful Boston Brahmins at Harvard College are fighting to keep Dante in obscurity, believing the infiltration of foreign superstitions to be as corrupting as the immigrants arriving at Boston Harbor.

But as the members of the Dante Club fight to keep a sacred literary cause alive, their plans fall apart when a series of murders erupts through Boston and Cambridge. Only this small group of scholars realizes that the gruesome killings are modeled on the descriptions of Hell’s punishments from Dante’s Inferno. With the lives of the Boston elite and Dante’s literary future in the New World at stake, the members of the Dante Club must find the killer before the authorities discover their secret.

Praise for The Dante Club

“Ingenious . . . [Matthew Pearl] keeps this mystery sparkling with erudition.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“Not just a page-turner but a beguiling look at the U.S. in an era when elites shaped the course of learning and publishing. With this story of the Dante Club’s own descent into hell, Mr. Pearl’s book will delight the Dante novice and expert alike.”—The Wall Street Journal

“[Pearl] ably meshes the . . . literary analysis with a suspenseful plot and in the process humanizes the historical figures. . . . A divine mystery.”—People (Page-turner of the Week)

“An erudite and entertaining account of Dante’s violent entrance into the American canon.”—Los Angeles Times

“A hell of a first novel . . . The Dante Club delivers in spades. . . . Pearl has crafted a work that maintains interest and drips with nineteenth-century atmospherics.”—San Francisco Chronicle
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