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Cursed in the Blood: A Catherine LeVendeur Mystery Hardcover – June 15, 1998


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; 1st edition (June 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312865678
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312865672
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.9 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #495,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In the fifth book of the Catherine LeVendeur series (after Strong as Death, 1996), Newman once again brings medieval times to life. Catherine, Edgar and their baby, James, leave France for Scotland after receiving news that Edgar's two oldest brothers and his nephew have recently been ambushed and murdered. Meeting her in-laws for the first time, Catherine learns that Edgar's harsh father is hated by all his subjects and feared by his family, especially his second wife. The patriarch is worried not only about his family troubles but also about the disputed bishopric of Durham. After the men ride off to help William Cumin win the see and also find the killer of Edgar's brothers, Catherine befriends her husband's stepmother and the woman's daughter. She also discovers an emaciated anonymous prisoner on the estate whom no one knows about. When the manor burns to the ground, she, James, the stepmother, the stepmother's daughter and the prisoner save themselves and seek asylum on an island cloister. While Edgar becomes more embroiled in the religious war and Catherine fights to keep her surrogate family alive, they come to realize that someone is trying to wipe out Edgar's family and, separately, they both slowly hone in on the culprit. If the pace is slow and the language sometimes anachronistically modern, Newman nevertheless manages to render the complicated matters of state and church interesting and comprehensible.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"A brilliant series, sparkling with historical tidbits and insights..a totally absorbing adventure."--Chicago Sun-Times

"A tale about duty, honor, family, and the healing power of love, as fortunes--and even lives--turn on the extent of commitment to these virtues...An appealing portrait of the mid-twelfth century, painted with warmth, humor, and love."--Historical Mystery Appreciation Society

More About the Author



Sharan Newman is a medieval historian and author. She took her Master's degree in Medieval Literature at Michigan State University and then did her doctoral work at the University of California at Santa Barbara in Medieval Studies, specializing in twelfth-century France. She is a member of the Medieval Academy and the Medieval Association of the Pacific.

Rather than teach, Newman chose to use her education to write novels set in the Middle Ages, including three Arthurian fantasies and ten mysteries set in twelfth-century France, featuring Catherine LeVendeur a one-time student of Heloise at the Paraclete, her husband, Edgar, an Anglo-Scot and Solomon, a Jewish merchant of Paris. The books focus on the life of the bourgeoisie and minor nobility and also the uneasy relations between Christians and Jews at that time. They also incorporate events of the twelfth-century such as the Second Crusade and the rise of the Cathars.

For these books, Newman has done research at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris where she is a Grand Lecteur, the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique France Méridionale et Espagne at the University of Toulouse and the Institute for Jewish History at the University of Trier, as well as many departmental archives.

The Catherine Levendeur mysteries have been nominated for many awards. Sharan won the Macavity Award for best first mystery for "Death Comes As Epiphany" and the Herodotus Award for best historical mystery of 1998 for Cursed in the Blood. The most recent book in the series The Witch in the Well won the Bruce Alexander award for best Historical mystery of 2004.

Just for a change, she set her most recent mystery, The Shanghai Tunnel (Forge 2008) in Portland. Oregon in 1868.

Newman has written a non-fiction book, The Real History Behind the Da Vinci Code, Berkley 2005. It is in encyclopedia format and gives information on various topics mentioned in Dan Brown's novel and has been translated worldwide. For this she appeared on radio and television programs internationally. She has also appeared on several documentaries about the book. Following on that she wrote the Real History Behind the Templars published by Berkley in September of 2007. It was while doing the research for this book that she noticed how important Queen Melisende was to the Kingdome of Jerusalem and how little had been written about her. She is currently working on a biography of Melisende, the first native-born queen and first female ruler of Crusader Jerusalem. This will be published in early 2014.

Her most recent non-fiction is The Real History of the End of the World, Berkley, 2010. She has kept abreast of the latest threats to our continued existence on her blog, Apocalypses and Other Thoughts, which can be reached through her website.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Olivia on October 18, 1998
Format: Hardcover
In this 5th of series, we learn why Edgar was able to leave his home and family for Catherine - and why he could love and respect her even though she is but a woman. I love this historical period, and enjoy glimpses of Abelard and Heloise in the earlier novel and, in this one, seeing more of E. Peters' Brother Cadfael's world. Edgar is so much more than a beautiful face. I want to know him and Catherine even better. I hope there will be more. I want Solomon to find a kosher wife and I want Catherine's son to grow up. I want to hear more talks with their Parisian friends. I am deeply satisfied with the characters in these five books - and I hope to meet the again.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 18, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Edgar and Catherine - what a pair. I really enjoyed finding out more about Edgar's past. I wondered how he could leave his home, seemingly cut the ties with his relatives and move so far away.
This is an excellent time period and now that Ellis Peters can no longer reveal Cadfael and his times to us, Catherine and Edgar can pick up the slack.
Go back and find them all and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By lucytouhey@compuserve.com on September 2, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Cursed in the Blood continues the story of Catherine and Edgar, this time they travel to Scotland where we meet Edgar's family. The story portrays the harsh realities of Medieval times. A must read for all Sharan Newman fans!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 30, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I found the latest Catherine LeVendeur novel to be lacking much of the humor and charm of the previous books in the series. There is a much darker element to Cursed in the Bone that I was dissatisfied to see, although there are some new characters of whom I am fond. I am glad we know more about Edgar's antecedents, but I would have liked to see more of James in Paris before he got dragged off to Scotland! I like the more grown-up Catherine, but I hope Edgar does not become bitter. Don't want to give any more away!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is another adventure/mystery in the Catherine and Edgar series set in medieval Europe--primarily in France, but in this novel in Scotland, Edgar's homeland. When two of Edgar's brothers and his nephew are murdered, he is called back to his family's castle by his father. Reluctant to leave, he is convinced by his father-in-law because of dangers brewing in Paris. Catherine, his infant son, and Catherine's cousin, Solomon, accompany him. When they arrive at Edgar's home, they find a berserk lord, hateful and violent brothers, a crazy uncle, and a growing arch of anarchy. The land is in civil war, two bishops are fighting for supremacy, and the peasants--long abused--are beginning to revolt. Catherine and her band, and Edgar and his father's men move through this confusion, trying to find the truth of his brother's murders, and hoping to find each other as well.
This is a marvelous mystery, an exciting adventure, and an interesting examination of the power of love. Rich detailed descriptions bring the era and the landscape alive. A great historical mystery!
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