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The Devil's Domain (Sorrowful Mysteries of Brother Athelstan) Paperback – January 7, 1999
In the summer of 1380 a French captain is murdered in Hawkmere Manora lonely, gloomy dwelling place otherwise known as the Devil’s Domainwhich is used by Regent John of Gaunt to house French prisoners captured during the bloody battles waged on the Narrow Seas. Sir John Cranston and Brother Athelstan are summoned to investigate the mysterious death but their path is riddled with obstacles. How could the murderer have entered the Frenchman’s chamber when the room was locked from within? Their aide in the investigation, Sir Maurice Maltravers, is more of a hindrance than a help due to his suffering from the misery of heartbreak. Lady Angelica, the woman he intended to marry, has been whisked away to a convent by her tyrannical and disapproving father. It soon becomes apparent to Cranston and Brother Athelstan that only when the lovers are reunited will any progress be made in the murder investigation.
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'Doherty is clearly a master storyteller who knows how to turn meticulous research into a gripping thriller' Blackpool Gazette
About the Author
Paul Doherty is the author of several mystery series, including the Ancient Egypt Trilogy, the Ancient Roman Mysteries series, and The Sorrowful Mysteries of Brother Athelstan series.
- Publisher : Headline Book Publishing; New Ed edition (January 7, 1999)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 256 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0747258732
- ISBN-13 : 978-0747258735
- Item Weight : 4.9 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.37 x 7.01 x 0.67 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,881,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #15,759 in Historical Mystery
- Customer Reviews:
About the authors
Top reviews from the United States
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Another recurring character ratcheting up the tension with each appearance is John of Gaunt, the secretive, conniving Regent ruling England and commanding Cranston and Athelstan to ferret out traitors, murderers and threats to the King. Gaunt has spies everywhere and is feared and despised by his subjects, who yearn to break free of the grinding taxation and poverty that is their lot. The increasing possibility of a revolt and the never-ending war on the French has driven the action in the last few books in the series. Athelstan and Cranston sympathize with the starving, overtaxed peasants, but realize the coming revolt will spare neither man nor those they care about; this is brought home in a subplot in which the Community of the Realm, the rebels plotting the revolt, threaten two of Athelstan's parishioners into hiding weapons in his church cemetery. Sir Jack and Athelstan are also saddled with a love struck young knight in their investigations, and ordered by Gaunt to help him further his suit with a very wealthy and sheltered young lady whose wealthy and ruthless father may be trying to blacken his name. They also have to figure out who is poisoning French prisoners of war held for ransom...
If it sounds like a lot going on it is, but that to me is the fun in this series! I always learn more about a fascinating time in history, the characters are interesting and well-drawn, there is humorous dialogue, camaraderie, and a feeling of community in Athelstan's poor but well-meaning parish. The more I learn about Athelstan and Cranston and their rich and adventurous lives, the more I enjoy them and their friendship. Recommended for historical mystery fans.
If you’re transferring print to e-book via optical character recognition fine, but it too often goofs on adjacent characters, for ex. turning ri into an n, m into rn, etc., , and it’s jarring (and occasionally confusing). In some of these books there have been dozens of typos and errors.
I could let the constant editorial carelessness go when I was paying $3.99, but at almost $9 it’s unacceptable and shows complete disregard for the readers, and for the author. Mr. Dougherty, find a new editor or publisher; or at least have someone go through and clean up the sloppy mistakes so we can read your otherwise very enjoyable books.
Top reviews from other countries
This tale is set in AD 1380, at a place called Hawkmere Manor, which is a gloomy lonely dwelling, otherwise known as the "Devil's Domain.
This place is used by John of Gaunt to house French prisoners, captured during the battles between the English and the French.
Sir John Cranston and Brother Athelstan are summoned there to investigate this murder, but are obstructed by with the riddle of how a murderer could enter the chamber of the French Captain, when that chamber was locked from within.
While their aide, Sir Maurice Maltravers, is having problems of his own when his love, Lady Angelica, is sent to a convent by her tyrannical father, and only when they are reunited can the investigation flourish again.
And so after quite some twists and turns, followed by a superbly executed plot, our main protagonists, Sir John Cranston and Brother Athelstan, with the assistance of Sir Maurice Maltravers, will be able solve this mysterious murder riddle, and in the end catch the culprit of this hideous murder crime.
Highly recommended, for this is another thrilling addition to this great series, and that's why I like to call this episode: "A Fabulous Devilish Mystery"!