Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Fabric of Sin (Merrily Watkins ) Hardcover – November 1, 2007
|New from||Used from|
MP3 CD, Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
Discover Mystery Novels
Browse collections of mystery novels curated by expert booksellers on AbeBooks, an Amazon Company. Learn More on AbeBooks.com.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
British author Rickman once again cleverly blends supernatural elements with a conventional whodunit plot in his ninth Merrily Watkins novel (after 2007's The Remains of an Altar). An apparition resembling the ghost in M.R. James's short tale, Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad, has appeared at an abandoned house near the Welsh border that's to be restored by a trust connected with Prince Charles. When Felix Barlow, the builder set to do the renovation, complains about the ghost, the bishop of Hereford orders Watkins, a minister who specializes in exorcism cases, to investigate. After Barlow is found bludgeoned to death, suspicion falls on his beautiful assistant, Fuchsia Mary Linden, who appears to have committed suicide out of remorse. Doubtful of the official line, Watkins does her own digging. The writing and characterizations are first-rate, though Rickman gives away part of the game rather earlier than most mystery fans would like. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Thank the Powers that be Jane is finally growing up and becoming a more well rounded person. Teenagers do that eventually or else the human race would be rather short lived.
Off the book 10 ~P~
One character in this murder mystery attributes Merrily's physical ailments and existential dark-night-of-the-soul maunderings to premature menopause. This is a bit unkind as Merrily is only in her mid-forties. She just needs to take that long-overdue vacation, stop smoking, and marry Lol.
This novel is not as tightly focused as "Remains of an Altar" (the eighth novel in the series), which shone brightly on the life and music of English composer, Edward Elgar. Instead, there are two loosely related plot devices swirling around the Edwardian ghost story author, M.R. James, and the current Prince of Wales. They are tangled together with Knights Templar, Freemasons (shades of Dan Brown), and Owain Glyndwr, the last Welsh Prince of Wales, in an old house, recently purchased by the Duchy of Cornwall.
Merrily is asked to exorcise the house on the Welsh border, and is soon up to her dog collar in murder, devil worship, an ancient family feud, Templars, Freemasons, and (as always) Church of England politics. No wonder she has a headache.
I'm a rabid M.R. James fan and thoroughly enjoyed the bits about his life and ghost stories. Prince Charles fans may enjoy his entanglement in the plot (which, frankly I thought was a bit silly). All Rickman fans will enjoy this ninth installment in the Merrily Watkins series in which she solves murders, both old and new, and also cocks a snoot at Baphomet a.k.a. The Green Man a.k.a. the Great God Pan.
But this certainly isn't some musty old tome written by an academic. This is the ninth (and you will see the significance of that number in the story) adventure with Merrily Watkins, her daughter Jane and her extended family. At this point poor Merrily is very stressed and who wouldn't be in her situation? Her position as Diocesan Exorcist is in jeopardy with the distinct possibility of losing it and having to take on multiple parishes much like the circuit riding preachers of old in the U.S. That, coupled with the gruesome things she has seen, would be enough to drive the most stable of us over the edge. But we are seeing her eventually becoming toughened by her experiences. She may still have self doubts but she won't be pushed around, even by her superiors.
Helping in her investigation into the strange events surrounding the Master House in Garway are her lover, Lol Robinson and her daughter Jane. In the course of the book we see Jane growing up, taking charge of her life and Lol reaching a possible turning point in his career.
I think this really is the best book of the series with Rickman throwing in the occasional biting social commentary. The murder mystery makes me think of Raymond Chandler who said that he did not write whodunits but rather was concerned with the reasons that people commit the act. Whodunit becomes whydunit and the motive in this one, when it is finally revealed, is absolutely shocking.
Rickman is one of a group of really exceptional writers in the U.K. who include Kate Charles, Andrew Taylor, Stephen Bishop, Deborah Crombie and others who never seem to make our best seller lists which says something about the state of the publishing industry in our country. He is the best of the bunch and, while the temptation is to compare him with other writers like Chandler, Hammett and McBain, his writing is unique. There just is no one else like him. Unfortunately, we have to wait until next year for the next chapter in this superior series.