Thursday, March 29, 2012

A PLAY OF HERESY by Margaret Frazer

A Joliffe the Player Mystery
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Date published: December 2011
ISBN 9780425243473
Historical mystery
Reviewed by Valerie
Obtained by publisher

The year is 1438 and in Coventry preparations are being made for the festival of Corpus Christi. Joliffe and his team of players are there too. The goal is to put on plays that show God’s story and everyone is working furiously to make it a spectacle that no one will forget. The city’s guilds are sponsoring the players. But when Master Kydwa goes missing and is later found dead, Bishop Beaufort needs Joliffe to find out who the murderer was. Rumor has it that the Lollards are involved and they are gathering to overthrow the festivities and the Church. Joliffe must use all his skill as a spy to carefully draw out the information he needs and get a confession from the murderer. Though he is being drawn in one direction, it soon turns out that there are other motives and suspects.

I really enjoyed reading this book. I enjoy a good mystery and a good historical and this was both. It took me a little while to get into the writing style as Ms. Frazer cleverly incorporates the language of the times, not too much though, to draw you into the story and make you feel as if you are really there. The plot is really good. I was captured from the first page. It moves along nicely and there were no lagging moments. There are also some surprising twists and turns and I didn’t guess who the murderer was. I had a couple of potential candidates but was very surprised by the ending and that for me makes a really good mystery! I would certainly like to check out the other stories of Joliffe and his players and I am sure that this author has a lot of fans.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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