The Servant's Tale

A Dame Frevisse Mystery

Book 2
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Sister Frevisse is sinfully good at discerning the mysteries of the soul—and solving the crimes of the human heart in this charming series.

It's Christmastime, and the sisters of St. Frideswide cannot turn away travellers, even the players knocking at the nunnery door. But along with the motley troupe comes the grievously wounded husband of the cloister's scullery maid, Meg. They swear they found the drunken wastrel in a ditch, but the tale sounds like another song and dance. Especially when two dead bodies are waiting in the wings....

Now Sister Frevisse must find out if one of the actors is a murderer in masquerade—or face a very unmerry Yuletide season.


From the Paperback edition.
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About the author

Margaret Frazer is the author of the Sister Frevisse Medieval Mysteries, including The Servant's Tale and The Prioress' Tale, which were both finalists for the Edgar Award for Best Original Paperback. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


From the Paperback edition.
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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
9781101651483
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Historical
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Women Sleuths
Fiction / Religious
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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.
"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.
SUFFER THE LITTLE CHILDREN...

"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.

PRAISE FOR THE BOY'S TALE

"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." - Epinions.com

"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

PRAISE FOR THE SISTER FREVISSE MEDIEVAL MYSTERY SERIES

"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.
THROUGH A MURDERER'S EYES...

Caught under the tyrannical thumb of her new prioress, Dame Frevisse finds welcome relief in leaving St. Frideswide nunnery on pilgrimage. But the road brings with it unwelcome company: The wealthy Lionel Knyvet has been possessed by a foul demon. Seeking relief from the horrific terrors visited upon his body each fortnight, Lionel has dragged his entire household on an endless pilgrimage across the breadth and length of England. Frevisse wants nothing more than the peaceful bliss of travel, but must instead endure the incessant chattering of a mob.

Lionel's possession, however, may only mask a darker sin. When the pilgrims make their way to the manor house at Minster Lovell, Frevisse begins to unwind the bitter poisons of jealousy and betrayal eating at the hearts of both Lionel and his brother Giles. Against her will, the innocent nun is drawn into the vilest depths of the human soul and there she unlocks the mysteries of a blackened heart. But even when the truth comes out, can justice be done? The pure of heart will find no peace when murder and death come knocking at the manor's door...

PRAISE FOR THE MURDERER'S TALE

"Frazer has created the most despicable villain since Iago." - Patricia W. Julius, Detective as Historian

"Historical readers will be charmed with the story; feminists will be delighted with the strong female characters. Ellis Peters has a worthy successor in Margaret Frazer." - Meritorious Mysteries

"Expertly captures the flavor of the period with vivid descriptions and creates dimensional characters true to the times." - Rendezvous

"A diabolically smooth and logical frame-up... Frazer springs substantial surprises. A moving portrait of how afflictions torment body and mind and a meditation on selfless friendship. It's a treat, with memorable characters and a thoughtful, bittersweet ending." - S.M. Tyson, The Armchair Detective

PRAISE FOR THE SISTER FREVISSE MYSTERIES

"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

"Mystery... Suspense... Frazer executes with audacity and ingenuity." - Kirkus Reviews
"Margaret Frazer is on a rip. Each book is better and stronger than the last, and it's almost a privilege to be on the journey as the skillful Frazer takes her heroine, Dame Frevisse, all over Britain solving crimes." - Aunt Agatha's

"There is action aplenty and intrigue in abundance." - Historical Novels Review

A Romantic Times Top Pick.
Twice nominated for the Minnesota Book Award.
Twice nominated for the Edgar Award.
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