The Novice's Tale

A Dame Frevisse Mystery

Book 1
Sold by Penguin
Free sample

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.

Read more

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.
Read more


10 total

Additional Information

Read more
Published on
Nov 1, 1993
Read more
Read more
Read more
Read more
Read more
Fiction / Historical
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Women Sleuths
Fiction / Thrillers / Historical
Read more
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.

"Sanctuary! In God's name you must give it!"

A dark lady rides back into the life of Dame Frevisse, bearing with her two small boys haunted by the touch of death and scandal. Nine men lie dead on the road behind them, victims of the grim fate which relentlessly pursues them. Some seek to turn them away, but when they request sanctuary Frevisse is bound by her holy oaths to grant it.

But in welcoming them within the walls of St. Frideswide, has Dame Frevisse allowed death to stalk the nunnery's halls? When she begins to untangle the mystery of these strange guests, the truth she discovers may be enough to doom them all. Forced to keep secrets better left untold even from the nuns of her own order, Frevisse is caught in a crucible between faith and duty.

To learn the boy's name is to be drawn into a conspiracy of shame. To hear the boy's tale is to face death.


"Frazer's writing is both erudite and vivid, and she has the ability to bring characters to life within a strong, clear story." - The Drood Review of Mystery 

"Seeing events through the eyes of small children not understanding royal politics was an especially pleasing part of experiencing this story." - Books 'n Bytes

"Frazer starts to glow. Each action is a natural progression. Each character has wants, needs, and desires. The mystery is engaging. It brought tears to my eyes." -

"This fast-paced historical mystery comes complete with a surprise ending - one that will hopefully lead to another Tale of mystery and intrigue." - Affaire de Coeur


"This series is full of the richness of the fifteenth century, handled with the care it deserves. Margaret Frazer's tales are charmingly and intelligently contrived." - Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Accurate period detail, adroit characterization, and lively dialogue add to the pleasure." - Publishers Weekly

"Sister Frevisse is a stalwart, appealing sleuth." - Mostly Murder

"Truly shocking scenes and psychological twists." - Mystery Loves Company

"Frazer uses her extensive knowledge of the period to create an unusual plot ... appealing characters and crisp writing." - Los Angeles Times

Twice nominated for the Minnesota Book Award.
Twice nominated for the Edgar Award.
In this stunning follow-up to the global phenomenon The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown demonstrates once again why he is the world's most popular thriller writer. The Lost Symbol is a masterstroke of storytelling—a deadly race through a real-world labyrinth of codes, secrets, and unseen truths . . . all under the watchful eye of Brown's most terrifying villain to date. Set within the hidden chambers, tunnels, and temples of Washington, D.C., The Lost Symbol accelerates through a startling landscape toward an unthinkable finale.

As the story opens, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned unexpectedly to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol Building. Within minutes of his arrival, however, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object —artfully encoded with five symbols—is discovered in the Capitol Building. Langdon recognizes the object as an ancient invitation . . . one meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of esoteric wisdom.

When Langdon's beloved mentor, Peter Solomon—a prominent Mason and philanthropist —is brutally kidnapped, Langdon realizes his only hope of saving Peter is to accept this mystical invitation and follow wherever it leads him. Langdon is instantly plunged into a clandestine world of Masonic secrets, hidden history, and never-before-seen locations—all of which seem to be dragging him toward a single, inconceivable truth.

As the world discovered in The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, Dan Brown's novels are brilliant tapestries of veiled histories, arcane symbols, and enigmatic codes. In this new novel, he again challenges readers with an intelligent, lightning-paced story that offers surprises at every turn. The Lost Symbol is exactly what Brown's fans have been waiting for . . . his most thrilling novel yet.

It is an hour of desperate need for St. Frideswide's. Thrust into financial ruin by the incompetence and corruption of their former prioress, the nuns have become trapped under the thumb of Abbott Gilberd as he pries into every possible corner of the priory's life.

In an effort to escape their desperate straits, Dame Frevisse is forced to journey to London in order to seek both a new prioress and financial aid for her beleaguered sisters. Once there, she turns to her wealthy cousin Alice, lady wife of the influential earl of Suffolk. But with a new Parliament warming to its arguments, Frevisse discovers that Alice's need may be even greater than her own. Caught between the powerful Gloucester, the machiavellian Bishop Beaufort, and the darkly handsome Duke of Orleans, Alice is torn by the broken loyalties of those she loves the most.

Before she can unravel the twisted turns of romance and deception, Frevisse herself is caught up in the intrigue, carrying secret messages which will determine England's future. But the mystery deepens when one of the other messengers is killed, and Frevisse must solve the murder in order to save not only herself, but Alice's immortal soul.


“Frazer’s books will be among those I read as soon as I see them…” – Houston Facts

“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

“It’s a fine time to introduce yourself to this smart and sensible nun… Weaves a budding romance and a grand, unrequited passion with a bold and dangerous plot… A historical tale that teems with period detail. Great fun for all lovers of history with their mystery!” – Alfred Hitchcock Magazine


"Dame Frevisse, the pious and perceptive 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

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

"Frazer uses her extensive knowledge of the period to create an unusual plot ... appealing characters and crisp writing." - Los Angeles Times

"Within the graceful prose rhythms that have garnered her two Edgar nominations, Frazer's 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
©2018 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.