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The Prioressís Tale
Dame Frevisse Mysteries, #7

by Margaret Frazer

    Things are not at all well at St Frideswideís Priory.† The old prioress has died, and in her place is bustling, vindictive and relative-ridden Domina Alys.† The old rules are relaxed, services a muttered muddle, and what money the priory has is being spent either on lavish new building projects or on Alysí large Godrey family.† The Godfreys are bitter enemies of the Fenners, and soon this quarrel is going to disturb the peace in spectacular fashion.

First published back in 1997, this is the first edition for the UK market of this popular series.† It is one of my favorite series of historical mysteries, and cannot be bettered for a real sense of time and place.† Dame Frevisse is a very real-seeming woman, very much of her times, and devoted to her calling.† Reading this novel is akin to opening a window onto the distant past and looking through, seeing the minutiae of daily life.† The past really is a different country here, and that is brought to vibrant life in this tale of unpaid masons, vicious rivalries, and bloodthirsty action.† It is not a pacy tale and the murder happens more than halfway through the story, but this does not matter, as this is such an absorbing tale for the reasons outlined above.† If you think that historical novels are too often about modern people in period costume, then you need to read this series.

Reviews of other titles in this series

The Servant's Tale, 2
The Outlaw's Tale, 3
The Bishop's Tale, 4
The Prioress’s Tale, 7
The Bastard’s Tale, 12
The Hunter's Tale, 13
The Sempster's Tale, 15
The Traitor’s Tale, 16

The Book

Robert Hale
31 August 2009
0709088485 / 9780709088486
Historical Mystery / 1439 Oxfordshire, England
More at US || UK

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2009
© 2009