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The Maiden's Tale by Margaret Frazer
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Once again, high politics intrudes in Sister Frevisse's world. This time, she has gone to London to stay with her highly- placed cousin Alice, and gets involved against her well in a possibly treasonous scheme. A particularly good book in a good series. ( )
  annbury | Sep 9, 2010 |
Dame Frevisse likes a quiet life of devotion--that is, after all, why she became a nun. But she is called out of that sphere to visit a wealthy cousin, Alice, countess of Suffolk, and is soon asked to pass messages between King Henry VI and the duc of Orleans, a French captive, toward promoting peace with France. While she wishes only to have time for her prayers and to go to bed early, Frevisse nonetheless finds herself investigating the suspicious death of the previous messenger. In both, she is assisted by Lady Jane, the earl's young cousin marred by a large red birthmark on her face, about to enter into an arranged marriage of convenience. This is the first of the series that I've read. I found that it stood alone quite well. The characters, moreover, were very appealing, especially the very different, but equally strong, heroines Frevisse and Jane. I like the sense of purpose that seems to pervade medieval mysteries (these and Cadfael, of which these are very much in the spirit). The mystery plot is deeply political in nature without being dry--it is personal at the same time. ( )
  jholcomb | May 11, 2010 |
Very slow beginning and not the quickest read. It got better the further I got into it. I would be willing to give the series another look. ( )
  bridgetmarkwood | Mar 31, 2010 |
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But thogh this mayde tendre were of age,
Yet in the brest of her virginitee
Ther was enclosed rype and sad corage...
- "The Clerk's Tale", Geoffrey Chaucer
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It was said Coldharbour House had been built near to a hundred years ago by Sir John Poultney, four times lord mayor of London, to show his wealth and power to the city that had led him to them both.
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On her way to London, Sister Frevisse stays with her wealthy cousin Alice, wife of the Earl of Suffolk, and finds herself swept up in the dangerous political machinations of the Duke of Orleans and King Henry VI.

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