Review: The Novice’s Tale

The Novice's TaleThe Novice’s Tale by Margaret Frazer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A thoroughly enjoyable little murder mystery (yes, I know that sounds macabre) set in a late medieval Benedictine priory. The historical context is that of the early reign of Henry VI, though it is only through references to known historical events on the mouth of the book’s characters that his becomes obvious.

This wasn’t a challenging read, which made it so very enjoyable in the context of my present holiday, and its length made it easy to complete in a relatively short period. The greatest attraction, however, was the quality of the story and writing, which were of such a standard as to keep me glued to the pages of the book – not to mention sleepless as I got closer to the end and the revelation of the perpetrator.

Like the Brother Cadfael series, I was attracted by the setting of the novel in a Benedictine context. As far as can be ascertained, the author has done well to capture the nature of the daily life of a Benedictine house while weaving her mystery and story in and around the structure and rhythm of the Benedictine day.

A very enjoyable and engaging story, I look forward to reading the rest of the books in the series.

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