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Old 01-01-2012, 10:40 AM   #1
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European medieval crimes and mysteries

Hello

I'm fond of that period (say from 900 AD to 1300 AD). I read of course the Brother Cadfael serie (I would have liked a little more action from time to time) and Ken Follet "The pillars of Earth" and "A world without end" (I loved those ones). I'm looking for other titles/series of that gender. I search this forum but either could not search correctly, either I didn't got far enough, so I didn't find

I can read in French , almost everything in English and should be able to read in German too (though I forgot a lot not having practiced since I pass my Bachelor so far )

i tried "The council of the curses" and get bored so droped it
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:04 PM   #2
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Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:32 PM   #3
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I thought at this one, but can't read Italian and my Latin's to bad (I prefer to read in the language the book was writen, translations being... translations). I have seen the film though and it was a great time
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Old 01-01-2012, 01:50 PM   #4
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You might like P.C.Doherty's Hugh Corbett series - Corbett is an agent of Edward I of England.

A bit later than medieval - there is a series by S.J.Parris about Giordano Bruno investigating murders in Elizabethan England.

Not strictly murder mystery (but lots of plotting and skullduggery), there is "Cathedral of the Sea" by Ildefonso Falcones, set in 1300's Barcelona.
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Old 01-01-2012, 01:52 PM   #5
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Medieval mysteries are rather thin on the ground. Have you considered Roman ones? There are lots of those.
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Old 01-01-2012, 02:29 PM   #6
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thank you for your suggestions I'll have a look.
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:35 PM   #7
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The Historical Novels site has a very large Medieval Europe section, and on each subpage they separate the mystery/thrillers, putting them after the other more general fiction historical books, due to the sheer number which have been printed.

You can get the first two in Paul Doherty's Brother Aethelstan mysteries very cheaply at Kobo for less than $3 each with a discount coupon from this thread (publisher Severn is offering the first 2 in certain of their older mystery series for the introductory pricing of $2.99). I've bought them myself and so far The Nightingale Gallery is shaping up to be a good read.

I've also read some of Margaret Frazer's mysteries from the library and they were quite decent.

I have not read Roberta Gellis' historical mysteries, but I have read some of her other historical novels, and they were well researched (she has degrees in medieval literature and chemistry) and the storytelling was quite readable.

And as a holiday introductory special, Poisoned Pen Press is offering 10 of their 1st in series mystery novels for just 99 cents each. Wine of Violence by Priscilla Royal is set in 1270 England. I haven't read this, but I went and bought the lot (DRM-free from their website, though you can also get most of them from Kobo as well, and use discount coupons).

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-02-2012, 12:05 AM   #8
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oh that seems great I'll have a look or two tonight
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Old 01-02-2012, 02:43 AM   #9
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There are so many medieval mysteries it's not funny. I used to have to carry a list with me when I went to the library so I could remember them all (which sadly, I've lost or this would be much longer).

Susanna Gregory has an excellent series of novels set in Medieval Oxford revolving around the university there, with a crime solving doctor named Mathew Bartholomew. Also a newer series staring a clerk which is also excellent. She's probably my favorite medieval mystery author.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susanna_Gregory

Candace Robb has a series staring Owen Archer, who is a former archer turned sleuth in 14th century England. Also has another series with a woman detective in the 13th century.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candace_Robb

Michael Jecks has a very long running one about an ex-Templar who solves mysteries. 30 of them. They can contain some very graphic violence at times, including a few passages that I certainly wish I could forget. But if you aren't sensitive, they're really good.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Jecks

Maureen Ash also has a series about a Templar that solves mysteries. Has an awkward writing style, but she's improved a lot since her first novel

Peter Tremayne has a series about a crime solving Nun in 8th Century Ireland (highlights the conflict between Celtic Christianity and Roman Catholic). I like this a lot, but then again, I'm like 1/8 Irish.

Margaret Frazer also has a crime solving nun series, this 600 years later in England. Didn't like it much, but she has a smaller series about a jester (or player) that solves crime. Joliffe.

Ian Morrison has the Falconer series, which is actually about a protege of Roger Bacon that solves crimes. Okay, but didn't like the main character much.

By contrast, John Pilkington has a series where an actual falconer is the detective.

Bernard Knight has the Crowner John series, about a medieval coroner. (He's a real life coroner)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crowner_John_Mysteries

There's Paul or P.C. Doherty that has been mentioned. He writes a crazy number of books, a few in Egypt but mostly in medieval Europe. The Hugh Corbett series is my favorite.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Doherty

Kate Sedley has the Roger the Chapman series, basically a guy that goes from town to town selling things. Very good.

Pat MacIntosh (Scotland), Alys Clare, C.J. Sansom, Mel Starr (a rather unmedieval pen name) also are ones I've read, but didn't like that much.

That's far from all, but I think that covers most of the ones I've read.

One more

Ariana Franklin - 12th century Italian female doctor who solves mysteries in England

Last edited by JeremyR; 01-02-2012 at 04:49 AM. Reason: bolded author names...
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Old 01-02-2012, 02:52 AM   #10
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Peter Tremayne with his Sister Fidelma books.
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Old 01-02-2012, 03:30 PM   #11
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Thank you so much a large bundle to search in As for Peter Tremayne, as I said, I tried "The council of the cursed" and got bored, never could go farther than two chapters I don't think I'll give a try so soon, but you must never say never... (perhaps not the good one to start with ? But, in France, it's not so easy to find paper books in english, so when you find one and moreover it seems adequate with your tastes, you don't think twice, you buy it perhaps later )

not quite the same gender (though...) I loved "Timeline" of Michael Chrichton.
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:23 PM   #12
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Try Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth and World Without End. Not really a mystery, but lots of intrigue.
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:21 PM   #13
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While I would say I am a Peter Tremayne fan, I do admit to several eye-rolling moments while I read his novels. I think the setting is the main appeal, not the actual writing.
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:59 PM   #14
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Although a bit later than medieval, I would highly recommend the Ursula Blanchard series by Fiona Buckley! It is set during Elizabethan England. All the other suggestions are very helpful!
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:56 PM   #15
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I enjoy Margaret Frazer's books. Also Sharon Kay Penman has written some mysteries, starting with "The Queen's Man". The queen of the title is Eleanor of Aquitaine.
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