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The Anger of God by Paul Doherty
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This is the fourth in the Sorrowful Mysteries of Brother Athelstan, once again pairing Dominican friar Athelstan and Jack Cranston, Coroner of London, during John of Gaunt's regency for Richard II.

It's a serviceable enough mystery, better than some of the historical offerings. Unfortunately, this series suffers from the fact that it's impossible not to compare it to Ellis Peters' series featuring Brother Cadfael. Though separated by two centuries in their settings, the premise of a monk/friar hero investigating murders during the Middle Ages demands the comparison.

The latter are minor gems in the mystery world and it takes something good not to pale beside them, and I don't think these reach that mark. While I haven't finished the series, the individuals I met in the first book, The Nightingale Gallery, while colorful and amusing, have not deepened significantly by this fourth. I enjoy them for what they are, but they're more shallow.

So, in summary, a perfectly adequate, but unspectacular, historical mystery...only recommended for fans of the genre. ( )
  TadAD | Mar 22, 2010 |
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In autumn 1379, the power of the crown is invested in John of Gaunt, and the kingdom is seething with discontent. The French are attacking the southern ports and peasants are planning a revolt organised by a mysterious leader who proclaims himself ‘IRA DEI’, the anger of God. In London, Gaunt's plans are plunged into chaos by a series of bloody murders. In desperation, Gaunt turns to Sir John Cranston to catch the assassin and recover a vanished king’s ransom in gold. Cranston naturally calls on his ally, Brother Athelstan. They face threats and attack from the powerful as well as from the seedy underworld of medieval London, not to mention a chilling exorcism, as they try to bring order to their own lives and a subtle murderer to justice.

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Autumn, 1379. The power of the crown is invested in John of Gaunt, and the kingdom is seething with discontent. The French are attacking the southern ports and peasants are planning a revolt organised by a mysterious leader who proclaims himself 'Ira Dei', the Anger of God. His plans plunged into chaos by a series of bloody murders, Gaunt turns to Sr John Cranston to catch the assassin and recover a vanished king's ransom in gold. Together, Cranston and his ally, Brother Athelstan, face threats and attack from the powerful as well as the seedy underworld of medieval London as they attempt to bring a cunning murderer to justice.… (more)

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