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The First Murder by The Medieval Murderers
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published-2012, mystery-thriller, medieval5c-16c, shortstory-shortstories-novellas, series, autumn-2013, author-love
Read from September 11 to 12, 2013

rosado> walkies!

Susanna Gregory
Karen Maitland
Philip Gooden
Ian Morson
Bernard Knight

Ey-up! This looks scrumptious

4* The Tainted Relic
4* The Sword of Shame
3* House of Shadows
3* The Lost Prophecies
2* King Arthur's Bones
#6 MISSING FILE oh noes!
3* Hill of Bones(less)
3* The First Murder
  mimal | Sep 13, 2013 |
The First Murder is another in the series of mosiac novels by The Medieval Murderers, a group of British historical mystery writers that this time around includes Ian Morson, Bernard Knight, Philip Gooden, Karen Maitland and Susanna Gregory. A prior pens a religious play, really a series of Biblical stories for his brother monks to act out for lay people, thus edifying their souls and entertaining them at the same time. Included among the stories he chooses to tell is that of Cain and Abel, the brothers who become the perpetrator and victim, respectively, of the first murder in the Bible. Little does the prior know that the story is cursed, and that the ancient murder depicted in the play is not the only murder that occurs when the play is performed.... As was done for the previous seven novels in this series, each author contributes a novella based on this beginning, carrying the story of the play's performance through time and generally using series characters by the various authors. We have the play traveling to Wales in 1199, to Cambridge in 1361, to London in the early 1600s, again in London in 1821 and finally to Surrey in 1944. Each story is well-told and contains a lot of historical detail, which I assume is more or less accurate, and each story finds a different riff on the basic idea. It's not necessary to have read any of the earlier novels in this series, nor to have read any of the individual author's series novels featuring some of the characters that appear here; an enjoyable, if sometimes grisly, way to while away a few hours. Recommended. ( )
  thefirstalicat | Mar 9, 2013 |
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1154, Oseney Priory, Oxford. When the first performance of The Play of Adam ends in tragedy, the author pens a grim warning for the generations that follow: 'Beware the sins of envy and vainglory, else foul murder ends your story' But his words are not heeded, and throughout the ages, bad luck follows all those involved in the play's production. 1199. A snow storm diverts two parties of travellers to the market town of Carmarthen, where an enigmatic stranger suggests a staging of the play. But on the eve of the performance, the actor chosen to play Cain is found dead. 1361. When the play is performed in the city of Ely, the townspeople fear the play has unleashed a demon after a gruesome discovery is made in the Cathedral. From Shakepeare's London to war-time Surrey, no matter the time or the place, each production always ends in disaster. Perhaps it is simply the curse of thespian rivalry that is to blame. Or does the story of man's first murder somehow infect all who re-enact it?… (more)

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