“The first Dame Frevisse mystery set in the Middle Ages, this is a good historical fiction cozy read.”see full review » see other reviews »
“This has been compared to Ellis Peter's Brother Cadfael stories, and I certainly can see several superficial similarities. Like Brother Cadfael, sleuth Sister Frevisse is a monastic in the Benedictine order in an abbey in medieval England. However, I didn't find this first novel in the series anywhere near as engaging. Part of that is I believe Peters is the stronger writer and in particular Cadfael is a stronger character, one who had an active life in the world as a sailor and crusader before taking religious vows. Sister Frevisse is likable enough, with some wit and humor yet unlike Cadfael somehow failing to project any warmth. I liked Frevisse's connection to Chaucer--she's purportedly the niece and former ward of the famous poet's son. The story was entertaining and plausible and made an interesting use of the historical intrigues of the period leading to the War of the Roses. However, as a mystery I found it rather predictable.”Lisa Maria C wrote this review Saturday, September 21, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The first Dame Frevisse mystery set in the Middle Ages, this is a good historical fiction cozy read.”Pam Bales wrote this review Wednesday, August 7, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Margaret Frazer delivers another excellent medieval mystery with her book the Novice's Tale. The tale begins with Thomasine poised to become a nun in a few short weeks. Thomasine is a very gentle novice who has always wanted to become a nun. she has a saintly disposition and is afraid of men. Her hopes may be dashed by her very eccentric aunt Lady Ermentrude. Everyone at St. Frideswides dreads the arrival of her aunt who is very taxing person to be around.
She appears unannounced, then quickly disappears, only to return the next day in a state of wild inebriation. In her drunken state Lady Ermentrude is determined to take the gentle Thomasine from the Abbey. Just as quickly as all this happens she is dead. Could Thomasine have murdered her or is it someone else whose life she has disrupted.
Sister Frevisse is determined to find out who caused her death. she does not want Thomasine to be falsely accused. She diligently questions the people in the abbey to determine who could be the one to gain from Lady Ermentrude's death.
This novel like the others in the series will appeal to mystery and medieval addicts alike
“At first it seemed just like every other medieval murder mystery out there, but it was still worth reading. Once the action picked up, the book moved FAST. I think I finished the last 3/4 of the book in one night. The start is slow, but the author has done her homework on medieval life in a nunnery. Spots of description seemed a little out of place (more "telling" than "showing" the story) and slowed down the pace, especially toward the end, but overall the book was a fun, albiet quick, read.”Misty L wrote this review Thursday, January 7, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“SUMMARY: In this first in the Dame Frevisse medieval mysteries, the peace of St. Frideswide priory is disrupted by the arrival of Lady Ermentrude and her retinue, first by her drunken demands, then by her death, and the prioress instructs Sister Frevisse to investigate. COMMENTS: the start of one of the best mystery series going”Bobbie N wrote this review Monday, December 8, 2008. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Great plots with wonderful historical setting. Frevisse's journey as a woman and spiritual being is fascinating.”Susan F wrote this review Thursday, February 14, 2008. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I have to say, it was pleasant but not much else. I didn't have a problem with Thomasine, it was Frevisse who bothered me. I didn't feel she was a very good character to have as the basis of this series - Dame Claire seemed like she would be a better choice. Even with all her devoutness, I never felt that Thomasine belonged at the nunnery; it seemed more that she was hiding and scared of everything in life. Spoiler: At the end, I felt really sorry for Robert, he seemed as if he would be good for her. Oh well... *end spolier*The plot was okay, but still nothing special. I'm not sure if I will pick up another in the series since this didn't impress me overly much. However, I think I'll check out the Owen Archer series, especially since it sounds as if there's more detail.