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The Servant's Tale (A Dame Frevisse Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 1993


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Product Details

  • Series: A Dame Frevisse Mystery (Book 2)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; Reissue edition (November 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425143899
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425143896
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.

More About the Author

Margaret Frazer is the award-winning author of more than twenty historical murder mysteries and novels. She makes her home in Minneapolis, Minnesota, surrounded by her books, but she lives her life in the 1400s. In writing her Edgar-nominated Sister Frevisse (The Novice's Tale) and Player Joliffe (A Play of Isaac) novels she delves far inside medieval perceptions, seeking to look at medieval England more from its point of view than ours. "Because the pleasure of going thoroughly into otherwhen as well as otherwhere is one of the great pleasures in reading."

She has twice been a finalist for the Edgar(R) in the paperback original category.

She can be visited online at http://www.margaretfrazer.com.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 32 customer reviews
I love the period details and information.
Rachel P.
Most mysteries are about characters with money or fame and this one doesn't leave out the wealthy and powerful in 1400s England.
Kyoodle
Well paced, the story has an unusual twist (although it does give ample clues).
William R. Bradford

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 20, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Margaret Frazer has done her research well as she guides us through the medieval landscape of traveling Players, the ordeal of patronage and prejudice, murder and mayhem in village and cloister. The reader is there in 15th century England, cold, fearful, hungry, but soon warmed,and well fed through the kindness and Benedictine ethics of the Sisters. The 20th century does not intrude here except in the discovery that people are universally the same: good, silly, corrupt, flawed no matter what time frame in which they might have lived. Murder is murder, but here, with a lively twist. The incisive, wise Sister Frevisse carefully asserts her strength, protecting the players. Why? She collects the facts overcoming all impediments and finally, is amazed, herself, when the truth of the murders is revealed. Terrific read, excellent research into the period and in the realistic portrait she paints of wandering theatre troupes. A book with authentic historical information combined with a page turning mystery.Read it and you will be eager to consume the rest of her work too!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By booknblueslady on December 12, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
We visit the fifteenth century priory of St. Fridewides in a bleak cold winter in Margaret Frazer's book the Servant's Tale. all the sisters have caught the rheum (or flu) and a group of players(actors)bring in a badly injured man. His wife, Meg is a servant to the priory and badly wants a better life for herself and her children. This seems unlikely to happen with a maimed husband who was somewhat shiftless in the first place and given to drink.
Before long we have a murder and the players are the chief suspects. Our medieval sleuth Sister Frevisse, wants to disprove this, because of her beginning friendship with this group of people.
I was not as fond of this book as I was with the others in the Sister Frevisse series. Frazer does her usual superb research and brings the fifteenth century to life. Her characters are interesting and you want to find out more about them. This novel is very bleak and sad. I knew who was the villain immediately and hoped I was somehow wrong.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By S. Schwartz on July 16, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's a very cold Yuletide at St. Frideswide in the 1433. All the sisters are either sick or recovering from colds. Sister Frevisse is also not feeling herself, but she is thrown into another murder investigation when a village lad is found dead. Before they even get anywhere with that, another murder takes place. Who is killing people in what is supposed to be a religious and joyous season? Sister Frevisse must find out. Can she solve it before an even more grotesque murder happens? This is a good book. Ms. Frazer must use extensive research since her period detail and characterization is very good. Even so, it is a very dark and disturbing tale.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kathy Davie on March 27, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
An Edgar Award-nominee, it's second in the Sister Frevisse medieval mystery series based in a nunnery, St. Frideswide, near Prior Byfield outside Oxfordshire. The story revolves around Dame Frevisse, one of the nuns in the year of Our Lord 1434 at Christmastide.
Interestingly enough, Basset and his traveling troupe appear in this installment (from her Joliffe the Player series that begins withA Play of Isaac (A Joliffe Mystery, #1)).

My Take
It's a woman's worries about her family. Keeping them safe. It's ignorance about the world, about oneself.
Another very good story from Frazer even if the killer was too obvious. Frazer does such a beautiful job of the language and setting a medieval scene. This one provides a more in-depth look at the everyday life of a villein and the constrictions on their movements as well as how they see such "godless", landless men as...gasp...players!

The feudal system has its pluses and minuses. In this story, it's rather like a factory job with built-in nepotism. The system keeps carrying you along until the man of the house really screws up. If he dies, his oldest son, if he's old enough or strong enough, inherits and carries on. It's also interesting to read of the horror people tied to the land have of those who are not. Say what you will about our current society and our lack of security, I'd rather this with its freedoms than the ignorance of medieval serfs bound to one small area.

I did enjoy Dame Frevisse's moves to get around Montfort, although I don't think this story had the dramatic depth as the first one.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lyn Reese on May 17, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the second in a series of seven books about Sister Frevisse, a feisty 15th century nun who inhabits the convent of St. Frideswide. Like Brother Cadfael in Ellis Peters' novels, Sister Frevisse not only solves crimes of the body but those of the troubled heart as well. In this story, period details bring the multifaceted world of the 15th century convent to life when the sisters are presented with a troupe of actors who arrive with the wounded husband of the convent's maid. Other Sister Frevisse novels bring the nun into the larger world of the politically connected well-to-do.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nash Black VINE VOICE on June 11, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Dame Frevisse returns in the second installment of Margaret Frazer's medieval monastary series, THE SERVANT'S TALE.
Christmas time and a band of players bring the body of a man to the priory. A local villen, Barnaby who they found in a ditch outside of town. Barnaby is alive, but barely. His wife, Meg arrives to help Dames Frevisse and Claire care for her injured husband.
Both the travelers and Barnaby as housed in the same guest house. Sister Claire thought he was recovering, but during the night Barnaby dies. Later he is followed by his son who all think die in a bar fight with one of the travelers.
The winter is difficult as the sisters try to care for their charges, fight their colds, and find a murderer who doesn't hesitate to kill a nun.
Good read.
Nash Black, author of SANDPRINTS OF DEATH.
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