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The Tainted Relic Paperback – April 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK; New Edition edition (April 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416502130
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416502135
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 1.3 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,147,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This entertaining but uneven round-robin effort by six British crime writers traces the sinister history of a "fragment of the true cross" from its origin in Jerusalem in A.D. 1100 through 10 bloody centuries. In Beaufort's prologue, Barzac, the unlikely Arab custodian of this artifact, places a curse on anyone touching the scrap of wood "stained with Christ's blood" after Crusaders massacre his family. The relic claims three victims in Jerusalem before turning up in 1194 in England, where chapman Robert Blundus (in Knight's absorbing "Act One") seeks to peddle this treasure to any willing churchman. Further travails over the centuries lead to Philip Gooden's lively conclusion, in which Shakespeare and friends get embroiled in a semicomical mixup between a missing play of his and this "popish gewgaw." A brief epilogue, set in present-day London, provides a final ironic twist. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

The Medieval Murderers are Michael Jecks, Susanna Gregory, Bernard Knight, Ian Morson, Philip Gooden, and Simon Beaufort.

Customer Reviews

These authors are doing a great job with the stories.
Debra Cole
This book is well written and I particularly like the access to more then one author of the genre that it offers.
Amazon Customer
It starts in one time period and ends ... well buy it and read it.
Bookaholic

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By M. Shankland on June 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
'The Tainted Relic' is collaboration between the 'Medieval Murderers' collective of murder mystery writers (namely Simon Beaufort, Michael Jecks, Susanna Gregory, Bernard Knight, Ian Morson, Philip Gooden). The relic in question is (allegedly) a piece of the true cross taken from Jerusalem after the Second Crusade took the city in July 1100. The Crusaders' victory is marked by indiscriminate slaughter of Jews and Moslems living in the city, and the Arab guardian of this relic curses it after finding that the Crusaders have butchered his family and are about to cut him down. The relic brings death to those who possess it, and travels through the medieval timeline in England, encountering the different characters and eras which have been used by the Medieval Murderers in their respective novels. What makes this novel particularly interesting -apart from the joint author aspect- is that you can read it as a sequence of murder mysteries, or you can read it as a horror novel. Or perhaps on a more esoteric level,as a comment on the nature of Medieval Christendom, forever corrupted by the brutality of July 1100.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Bookaholic on March 19, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the first work in historical murder mystery I have ever seen with multiple authors writing on the same theme. While not all the authors meet the level of Jecks or Knight, the work as a whole still deserves 5 stars. You may not like parts of this "meal" but you won't leave hungry for a treat in murder mystery. It starts in one time period and ends ... well buy it and read it. They don't pay me, I purchase their works when not reading academic works, etc. I am also disabled veteran who needs a break from the other materials mentioned. It was my good fortune to find Jecks and Knight and now these other friends of theirs. There are too many writing "murder mystery" and getting away with their writing and folks like these not getting the credit due them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Brian Jones on November 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
In many ways, The Tainted Relic is five separate novellas all created with a single theme. An interesting concept, five different writers each take a period of time and then build a story around an alleged splinter of Jesus' cross that is stained with his blood. An invaluable possession in the medieval period of the stories, it carries with it a curse that leaves everyone that comes in contact with it dead. The stories are loosely connected across time, and provide for some good casual reading.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Valerie Obey on January 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
This was a good idea, to have several writers get together and work on a common theme. It has been done before and most of the ideas came off quite well. This particular book did not quite make the grade.

The basic story is a good one. A piece of the true cross with a curse attached to it as it from hand-to-hand during different periods. A short story from each of the authors covers each period. Unfortunately, some of the authors were not that good and the story as a whole suffered because of that.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
That six different authors can pull off a novel together as seamless and intense as The Tainted Relic by the Medieval Murderers group says a good deal about the writing in this book Each member of the Medieval Murderers Group is already the author of his/her own series of books starring an amateur sleuth in the Middle Ages. This book answers the question what if each of these sleuths had to deal with same problem?
The story itself starts after Jerusalem is conquered in the First Crusade. A Holy relic is taken from a church after its keeper is murdered by a Crusader. Dying, the keeper curses the relic saying that it will bring death to those possess it. And over the ages as it passes from place to place and detective to detective, it does indeed bring death with it.
Because of the format of the book, The Tainted Relic is a great chance to visit with you favorite Medieval sleuth and meet new
friends!
Enjoy!
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By Srdjan Pesic on August 20, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Group of well known historical mystery writers got together and wrote a novel in installments. Sounds like a grand idea. The piece of the True Cross is exchanging hands through centuries, bringing death as a consequence of an ancient curse.
All the writers are well respected schollars of history and it shows in their books. We learn a lot about the times long past without having to read dusty historical books. That part of the whole project works great. Things get little bumpy in execution, when the connections between the chapters get a bit stretched.
All and all, it is very entertaining if a little too long book. I'll gladly try another one.
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