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Falconer and the Ritual of Death (William Falconer) Hardcover – February 1, 2009


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Falconer and the Ritual of Death (William Falconer) + Falconer's Trial (William Falconer) + Falconer and the Rain of Blood (Medieval Mysteries)
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Product Details

  • Series: William Falconer
  • Hardcover: 201 pages
  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers; 1st edition (February 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0727867024
  • ISBN-13: 978-0727867025
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,007,144 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A grisly discovery sets the stage for Morson's solid sixth whodunit to feature William Falconer (after 1999's Falconer and the Great Beast). In 1271, workmen tearing down a house to make way for Oxford University's first residential college uncover skeletal remains in a wall. The body's age forces Falconer to probe events two decades earlier when the house was first built. England in 1250 was beset by rumors that the End of Days was coming, and that the Jewish community was responsible for a child's horrific ritual murder. The cold case becomes much warmer after one of the men who found the remains turns up dead himself. The academic sleuth comes to suspect that the truth behind the killings may revolve around closely guarded secrets about the Knights Templar. Morson, who does a nice job conveying the bigotry of 13th-century England, convincingly renders the period through well-chosen detail. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Morson is back with another suspenseful adventure in his popular thirteenth-century mystery series featuring William Falconer. An old building is being demolished to make way for Oxford University’s new “collegium” when a skeleton is discovered between the foundation walls. Master Falconer, known for his keen-eyed investigative skills, is called upon to identify the skeleton. Falconer can pin down the likely time frame for the death (the building was built 20 years ago), but when he discovers that the back of the skeleton’s skull is bashed in, he realizes he’s investigating a murder. Working without a contemporary crime lab, he still does an impressive job using his own version of forensic science to ferret out the facts of the case. As usual, Morson offers well-researched period detail, a revealing look at life in thirteenth-century England, a riveting plot, and an intriguing cast of characters. Recommend this series to historical-mystery buffs. --Emily Melton

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is just what I love in a historical mystery: history about a time-and-place about which I know very little, the sense of being dunked head-first into an exotic-to-me setting, and a mystery that is intimately tied to the era and circumstances.

Oxford professor William Falconer has been investigating crimes in the university town for most of 20 years. (This is the 7th book in the series, but it worked fine for me as a standalone.) When a building is slated for demolition next to the Jewish quarter, a dead body is found in the foundation -- leading Falconer to discover who killed the man 20 years ago, while he's also distracted by the (secret) autopsy of a present-day suicide. Some evidence -- or at least people -- points to the involvement of the Jewish community. As a result, the story goes into some detail about the position of Jews in the era of the Crusades, such as their role as moneylenders.

The result is solid tale-telling, with a few good twists and turns, characters I liked, and a mystery that I didn't figure out before it was revealed. If you're a fan of the Brother Cadfael series and wish you could read more like them, grab this.

I really liked Falconer and the Ritual of Death, and am apt to go looking for the others in the series.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mikki Mac on June 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have always enjoyed this series by Ian Morson. I particularly enjoy medieval mysteries, as it is an interesting period of history and I enjoy seeing the solving of crimes without the modern technology we know of today.
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By Pam on November 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great deal
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nancy johns Mohlere on May 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Enjoyable return to Oxford and its murders. A wonderful view on the lives of Jews in this period, as they are portrayed as honorable people dealing with superstitious and ignorant townfolk and university students and staff.
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