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I love the Merrily Watkins series but I would beg you if you have not read the prior books in the series that you do not start here. It is not as though you really need to know all of the backstory of Merrily and Lol and Gomer Perry, but it would add to the pleasure of a book that isn't completely horror or completely mystery.
Things are changing at the Hereford Cathedral. Merrily's affable Bishop has retired and the new Bishop is a reformer. In fact he is a fire and brimstone modernist who is calculating how much the Church could make out of selling the 15th Century Vicage of Ledwardine and put the Merrily and her daughter in a semi-detached on a local estate. He also thinks that the Church would do quite well without the post of Diocesan Exocist, Merrily's night job.
So far so good. But while Merrily is coping with these changes as well as her first attempt at calming an interfaith psychic disturbance, there is also the mystery of a stolen archaeological artifact and a couple of murders, as well as an upcoming shake up in Gaol Street. And the ancient, kittenish Miss Athena White meets Huw Owain
Many of the characters in this book have appeared in prior books by Rickman, he even gives a nod by reference to his latest non-Merrily novel--Night After Night. If you know and love the books grab this. If you don't know and love the books yet, go for the first one The Wine of Angels (Merrily Watkins Mysteries).
I bought both the hardcover and the audible book-- The hardcover to put on my shelf and the Audible because I love Emma Powell's narration. She does a good job here as she always does, with these books.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Although a fan of these books, I actually cannot stand the Merrily character with her ceaseless reaching for something to feel guilty about while she bumbles ineffectually around rarely sleeping and even more rarely eating and never accomplishing anything. It's the other characters who keep bringing me back. But everything and everybody fell flat in this latest effort (Gomer never even showed up). Practically every paragraph ended with a cliffhanger, but only one thread is untangled (at least I guess it was, the plot is really muddled). I like for a teensy bit cleaner resolution in my fiction. There were at least five major plot points that were brought up and left hanging, an obvious and rather cheap ploy on the part of an author who is already a big seller. Rather than reach a conclusion after nearly 15 hours, this book just fizzles out and stops.
In other words, don't bother. Re-read one of the old ones.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
I love this series and I hope that there are many more to come and that they are all read by
Emma Powell. (Actually, all his books are well read and I wonder if the author has some say in choosing the readers). I love the characters, the descriptions of place, and of course the plots which keep one foot planted in the real world, and particularly the place of women in that world, and the other in a much scarier, darker world of fairy tales and old beliefs which the author makes all too believable.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Here I am, at the end of the presently available Audible versions of the Merrily Watkins series! I have absolutely loved the time I have spent in the company of Phil Rickman's carefully developed cast of characters,and will greatly miss them, while I wait for the next book to come along! Love Emma Powell's reading of them, and the way she manages to bring the books to life! I don't care if Franny Bliss sounds like a girl - he comes over as a perfectly believable copper, to me - and I can't wait to find out how his story develops, amongst many other of the personae! Believe me - if another becomes available I shall be among the first to pre-order it!!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful