FRAZER, MARGARET SERIES:

    5 The Boy's Tale

      Frazer, Margaret

5 The Boy's Tale

Who could ever want to harm two young boys, ages five and six? When the boys are half brothers to Henry VI, King of England, the list is long and distinguished. A lady in their mother's household flees with the boys to St. Frideswide's and asks Sister Frevisse to offer then sanctuary. Unable to refuse children, she takes them in and conceals them. But as attempts are made on the boys' lives inside St. Fridewide's walls, Sister Frevisse realizes that from the ambitious and the wicked, there is no sanctuary...

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    7 The Prioress' Tale

      Frazer, Margaret

7 The Prioress' Tale

After Domina Alys is made prioress, St. Frideswide becomes nothing more than a guest house for her relatives, the Godfreys, and when a long-standing family rivalry ends with murder, it is up to Sister Frevisse to rid the nunnery of its unwelcome--and dead

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    2 The Servant's Tale

      Frazer, Margaret

2 The Servant's Tale

From Publishers Weekly

Frazer's ( The Novice's Tale ) second Sister Frevisse mystery returns to St. Frideswide's, the 15th-century English nunnery, where the priory's hosteler and amateur sleuth has three murders on her hands between Christmas and Epiphany. First is villager Barnaby Shene, brought to St. Frideswide's by a troupe of traveling players claiming to have found him in a ditch. Barnaby's son Sym accuses the players of robbing his father in ambush, and when Sym turns up dead, the players are further suspect. Finally, the murder of Sister Fiacre, fast upon the revelation of a bitter old quarrel between her brother and the players, throws Sister Frevisse into despair. She likes the players and yearns to dispel the suspicion that surrounds them. On the other hand, their defense is weak, and no other likely suspects exist. Can Frevisse solve the triple mystery and exonerate the players before the coroner has them hanged? And what will become of Barnaby's long-suffering widow, Meg, and her remaining boy, 13-year-old Hewe? Their plight forms a compelling subplot, while accurate period detail, adroit characterization and lively dialogue add to the pleasure of this labyrinthine tale.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Margaret Frazer was a finalist for an Edgar Award for Best Original Paperback for both The Servant’s Tale and The Prioress’ Tale. The Sister Frevisse series includes The Novice’s Tale, The Servant’s Tale, The Outlaw’s Tale, The Bishop’s Tale, The Boy’s Tale, The Murderer’s Tale, The Prioress’ Tale, The Maiden’s Tale, The Reeve’s Tale, and The Squire’s Tale. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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    9 The Reeve's Tale

      Frazer, Margaret

9 The Reeve's Tale

From Publishers Weekly

Here's the latest excellent installment in Frazer's superbly researched medieval mystery series featuring Dame Frevisse, a nun of the order of St. Frideswide, who, along with her godly duties, relishes the occasional opportunity for amateur sleuthing. In her ninth outing (after The Maiden's Tale), Frevisse is ordered to temporarily take over the duties of Master Naylor, the convent's steward. She finds herself in the middle of a land dispute when Matthew Woderove, a convent serf, is found dead and his widow, Mary, along with her new beau, Tom Holcote, tries to claim his land rights. Disputing the claim is wealthy villein Gilbey Dunn, who wants to add to his hefty holdings. The argument is quickly set aside when Matthew's death turns out to be murder and most of the village children come down with sometimesfatal cases of measles. Aided by a neighboring reeve, Simon Perryn, whose own children are among the sick, Frevisse seeks to untangle the roots of the crime, which grow to claim a second murder victim. Exquisitely written, the novel offers a brilliantly realized vision of a typical medieval English village, peopled with full-blooded men and women who experience the human range of joys and sorrows. Suspenseful from start to surprising conclusion, this is another gem from an author who's twice been nominated for an Edgar. (Dec.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Landholdings in the village of Prior Byfield belong either to the St. Frideswide nunnery or to Lord Lovell. Simon Perryn acts as Lovell's agent (or reeve) in village matters, while Master Naylor represents the nunnery. Here, however, Sister Frevisse subs for Naylor. Unfortunately for her, two similar murders stem from arguments over who will control certain parcels of land--one unpopular rich man or others less fortunate. When circumstantial evidence points to Simon as the suspected killer, Sister Frevisse intervenes. Fans of historicals will love the passionate attention to detail in character, custom, and setting, and the sympathetic creation of believable people and events. This is the first in the popular medieval series to be published in hardcover. Essential.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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    15 The Sempster's Tale

      Frazer, Margaret

15 The Sempster's Tale

From Publishers Weekly

In Frazer's engrossing 15th historical (after 2005's The Widow's Tale), Dame Frevisse leaves her rural convent for London in the summer of 1450 to procure some vestments from the titular sempster ("seamstress," as Frazer explains in an author's note, didn't come into use until the 1600s). But on arrival in London, she learns that her errand is twofold: in addition to the vestments, she must convey a secret stash of gold from the sempster, a widow named Anne, to Frevisse's cousin, Lady Alice. Alice has more to hide than gold. She's having an affair with Daved, a Jewish merchant. Because Jews have been long expelled from England, Daved pretends to be Christian, while continuing to practice Judaism behind closed doors. Frevisse is drawn ever deeper into intrigue when she accompanies Anne to identify a body that some priests believe shows the marks of a Jewish ritual killing. As usual, Frazer offers careful historical detail and characters you'll want to befriend. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

What Frazer...gets absolutely right in The Sempster's Tale are the attitudes of the characters. (Detroit Free Press)

Engrossing...Frazer offers careful historical detail and characters you'll want to befriend. (Publishers Weekly)

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    12 The Bastard's Tale

      Frazer, Margaret

12 The Bastard's Tale

From Publishers Weekly

While the slow unfolding of the plot and the shortage of crime solving may put off some readers, anyone who values high historical drama will feel amply rewarded by Edgar-nominee Frazer's latest Dame Frevisse mystery (The Clerk's Tale, etc.). In 1447 the powerful men of England gather in the town of Bury St. Edmond's for a session of Parliament. However, a few nobles have decided that this particular session will not see business as usual. The bishop of Winchester summons Dame Frevisse from her nunnery to go to Bury St. Edmonds and report to him all that she sees and hears. With the aid of an old friend, the player Joliffe, and new friends Bishop Pecock of St. Asaph's and Arteys, the duke of Gloucester's illegitimate son, she uncovers a political plot of treason and murder. Arteys stands out as one of several historical figures in the story who become fully human. Despite his tenuous position as a bastard, he genuinely loves and admires his father. Also of note is the poignant and amusing relationship between Joliffe and Dame Frevisse. History fans will relish every minute they spend with the characters in this powerfully created medieval world. Prose that at times verges on the poetic is another plus, as is the inviting jacket art depicting a river flowing through a town of thatched-roof houses.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Margaret Frazer was a finalist for an Edgar Award for Best Original Paperback for both The Servant's Tale and The Prioress' Tale. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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    4 The Bishop's Tale

      Frazer, Margaret

4 The Bishop's Tale

Review

"'History fans will relish every minute.' Publisher's Weekly 'Exquisitely woven.' The Cleveland Plain Dealer 'Executes her exercise...with audacity and ingenuity.' Kirkus Review 'A good mystery...excellently drawn.' Anne Perry"

About the Author

Margaret Frazer was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Original Paperback for The Servant's Tale and The Prioress' Tale. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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    16 The Traitor's Tale

      Frazer, Margaret

16 The Traitor's Tale

From Publishers Weekly

As the Hundred Years' War against France approaches a resolution in 1450, Frazer's clever Benedictine nun, Dame Frevisse, emerges from her Oxfordshire abbey to solve a string of politically motivated murders in this illuminating but dialogue-heavy 16th installment (after 2006's The Sempster's Tale) in the author's medieval mystery series. Dame Frevisse joins forces with her old partner in sleuthing, Master Joliffe Norreys, when the duke of Suffolk, husband to her cousin Lady Alice, is killed. Several more men under Suffolk die or disappear, and Dame Frevisse links their fates to a sensitive missing letter from the duke of Suffolk to the duke of Somerset, that may hint the British lost Normandy by "deliberate treachery." As always, the pious Dame Frevisse wishes to be left in peace, but fraught circumstances compel her to do her best to help achieve justice. Although this slow-moving tale is not quite up to Frazer's usual standard, the author provides an interesting history lesson.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"An exceptionally strong series...full of the richness of the fifteenth century, handled with the care it deserves."
-MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE

"Plenty of real history presented to the reader in the most enjoyable way."
-MYSHELF.COM

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    6 The Murderer's Tale

      Frazer, Margaret

6 The Murderer's Tale

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.

Review

'Engrossing' - Red Roses for Authors 'History fans will relish every minute' - Publisher's Weekly 'Appealing characters and crisp writing' - Los Angeles Times

About the Author

Margaret Frazer was a finalist for an Edgar Award for Best Original Paperback for both The Servant’s Tale and The Prioress’ Tale. The Sister Frevisse series includes The Novice’s Tale, The Servant’s Tale, The Outlaw’s Tale, The Bishop’s Tale, The Boy’s Tale, The Murderer’s Tale, The Prioress’ Tale, The Maiden’s Tale, The Reeve’s Tale, and The Squire’s Tale. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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    3 The Outlaw's Tale

      Frazer, Margaret

3 The Outlaw's Tale

ACT OF MERCY, ACT OF MURDER

Leaving the safety of her nunnery walls behind, Dame Frevisse is drawn into an unholy web of treachery and deceit. Waylaid on the King's Highway by a band of outlaws, Frevisse is shocked to discover that their leader is her long-lost cousin Nicholas. When he pleads with her to help him obtain a pardon for his crimes, she finds herself trapped between the harsh edicts of the law and the mercy of her vows.

But even as she struggles to restore his fortunes, Frevisse must fight to save his soul... and his life. Before the outlaw's tale can be told, the saintly nun will find herself trapped in a manor house of murder, caught between the holy passions of the heart and the sinful greeds of man.

PRAISE FOR THE OUTLAW'S TALE

"A tale well told, filled with intrigue and spiced with romance and rogues." - School Library Journal
"...a meticulous recreation of not only how people lived more than five hundred years ago, but how they loved, suffered and sinned. Just the thing for anybody who usually disparages the genre to show how well it can be done, in the right hands." - Myshelf.com

"Dame Frevisse is well-born, well-educated, and not at all afraid to stick her inquisitive nose into anything which just does not seem right." - Tower Books Mystery Newsletter

PRAISE FOR THE SISTER FREVISSE MEDIEVAL MYSTERY SERIES

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

"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

A Romantic Times Top Pick.

Twice nominated for the Minnesota Book Award.
Twice nominated for the Edgar Award.

From School Library Journal

YA-A tale well told, filled with intrigue and spiced with romance and rogues. Sister Frevisse and Master Naylor journey with Sister Emma toward her godchild's christening. Their trip is interrupted by Nicholas, Frevisse's cousin, who seeks her assistance in obtaining a pardon for him and his band of outlaws. Teens who like their violence offstage and their heroines strong and smart will enjoy the story, and they are likely to learn quite a bit about daily life in 1434 as they join Frevisse's quest for truth.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"'History fans will relish every minute.' Publisher's Weekly 'Exquisitely woven.' The Cleveland Plain Dealer 'Executes her exercise...with audacity and ingenuity.' Kirkus Review 'A good mystery...excellently drawn.' Anne Perry"

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    8 The Maiden's Tale

      Frazer, Margaret

8 The Maiden's Tale

Review

"'History fans will relish every minute.' Publisher's Weekly 'Appealing characters and crisp writing.' Los Angeles Times"

About the Author

Margaret Frazer was a finalist for an Edgar Award for The Servant's Tale and The Prioress' Tale. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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    The Widow's Tale (Sister Frevisse Medieval Mysteries Book 14)

      Frazer, Margaret

The Widow's Tale (Sister Frevisse Medieval Mysteries Book 14)

A WIDOW'S LAST HOPE...

In the spring of 1449, widow Cristiana Helyngton has been kidnapped, defamed, and imprisoned in a nunnery - as her late husband's duplicitous relatives seek to obtain control over her lands and children. To secure her freedom and save her daughters, Cristiana must use a secret entrusted to her by her husband as he was dying - a secret that could bring down those lords nearest the king and destroy those most dear to her.

Dame Frevisse of St. Frideswide's nunnery must decide where her loyalties lies - to the crown, to the truth, or to England's peace. And whatever she chooses, in the end her help may be of little use against the ruthless men threatened by the secret on which all of Cristiana's hopes depend...

*"The suspense builds steadily ... in this well-wrought tale involving murder, treason, and 'layers of ambition and betrayal'." - Publishers Weekly

"[Frazer] uses many real historical persons in her books, deftly and flawlessly weaving them into the story. Her fictitious characters are also well-defined, and Cristiana will break the reader's heart." - Romantic Times*

**

From Publishers Weekly

Don't be discouraged by a confusing hawk-hunting scene introducing numerous characters at the start of Frazer's 14th Dame Frevisse mystery (after 2004's The Hunter's Tale), because what follows is a smooth and absorbing saga of conspiracy and treachery in 15th-century England. In 1449, landowner Edward Helyngton lies on his deathbed while his jealous cousin Laurence waits raptor-like to swoop down and seize his estate. Soon after Edward's demise, his widow, Cristiana, is banished to St. Frideswide's nunnery, where she's forced to do penance face down on the cold chapel floor for unspecified sins alleged by Laurence's agents. Living on bread and water, the embittered Cristiana eventually tells her sad tale to Dame Frevisse, who is at first only a sympathetic listener, but later takes a more active sleuthing role. A tantalizing secret confided to Cristiana by her dying husband turns out to have stunning political implications. The suspense builds steadily toward a visit from King Henry VI in this well-wrought tale involving murder, treason and "layers of ambition and betrayal." FYI: A two-time Edgar nominee, Frazer is also the author of A Play of Isaac (2004), the first in a new medieval mystery series. "Margaret Frazer" is the pseudonym of Gail Frazer, who collaborated with Mary Pulver Kuhfeld on the first six books in the series.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"'History fans will relish every minute.' Publisher's Weekly 'Exquisitely woven.' The Cleveland Plain Dealer 'Executes her exercise...with audacity and ingenuity.' Kirkus Review 'A good mystery...excellently drawn.' Anne Perry" 

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    10 The Squire's Tale

      Frazer, Margaret

10 The Squire's Tale

From Publishers Weekly

Written with the graceful prose rhythms that have garnered her two Edgar nominations, Frazer's 10th tale of 15th-century nun Dame Frevisse (following The Reeve's Tale) transports the reader to a medieval England made vivid and a world of emotions as familiar then as now. Despite Frevisse's devotion to the religious routine of prayer and silence (not absolute) and her infrequent contact with those outside the nunnery of St. Frideswide, she remains an astute observer and interpreter of what she does see. Duty sends her into the troubled household of Squire Robert as companion to Dame Claire, who is asked to minister to Robert's pregnant wife, Blaunche. A dispute over a manor claimed by Lady Blaunche before she wed Robert threatens to erupt into armed conflict. Robert, against Blaunche's wish, hopes to negotiate a settlement with Sir Lewis Allesley by marrying his ward, Katherine, to Allesley's son, Drew. Blaunche wants not only to keep the disputed manor but to see her son (and Robert's stepson), Benedict, wed Katherine. Frevisse and Claire are thrown into the middle of a squall of desires, jealousies and intrigue that begins before they reach Robert's manor and won't end before murder is done. Frevisse once again must use her skills to solve a crime. Finely plotted and subtly shaded, Frazer's tale has the detailed substance that brings an era to life, while her characters' psychological makeup is as cunningly wrought as the historical background. (Dec. 12) Forecast: This is a veteran series that continues to grow in qualityDand popularity. If booksellers focus on this title and its medieval setting (and push it to readers of history as well as to mystery buffs), the book's Christmas-time pub date could make it Frazer's bestselling to date.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

The latest installment in Frazer's Dame Frevisse series provides a detailed portrait of life in fourteenth-century England. The slow-moving plot revolves around land holdings and forced marriages. Robert Fenner married the twice-widowed Lady Blaunche to obtain her properties. The ownership of one of these manors is in dispute. Robert is willing to settle by arbitration, but the greedy Blaunche has other plans. Dame Frevisse and Dame Claire find themselves in the midst of this turmoil when they escort Katherine, one of the household's young women, home from their convent. Conflicting loyalties, secrets, and greed lead to murder, and Dame Frevisse must see that justice is done. Historical mysteries tend to fall into two camps: those that are primarily mysteries and those that stress the history. Frazer's novel falls into the second category (there is little action before the last few chapters) and, thus, will appeal more to readers of historical fiction than to mystery lovers. Sharan Newman's Catherine Le Vendeur novels are a better bet for those who want more mystery and less history. Barbara Bibel
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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    1 The Novice's Tale

      Frazer, Margaret

1 The Novice's Tale

In 1431, the nuns of England's St.Friedeswide 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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