The Novice's Tale : Oxford Medieval Mysteries

  • by Ann Swinfen
  • Narrated by Philip Battley
  • Series: Oxford Medieval Mysteries
  • 9 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When the novice Emma Thorgold goes missing from Godstow Abbey in the summer of 1353, the hunt is on throughout the Oxfordshire countryside. Bookseller Nicholas Elyot and scholar Jordain Brinkylsworth are anxious to help the girl, but her stepfather has other intentions. Why is he so determined to shut her away for life? Or worse? And will she be found unharmed?

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Disappointing Second Book

I was very disappointed in this book. I had high hopes for the series after reading the first book. In a sense this book takes up the tale where the last book ended. While in the first book they solved the mystery of the murder of a young student at Oxford, in this book we are involved with his sister on the eve of taking her final vows at a nearby by convent.

However there is not much mystery here. The story is mostly about finding a way to get the heroine, the Novice of the title, out of the convent. There are long periods of following her escape and the efforts of her relative to track her down with dogs. Much of the book is taken up with the escape and flight. I found that rather boring and uninteresting. Some of you may have a different view. But it did not suit me. However, it was well written and you certainly had a feel for what the Novice was experiencing.

I hope that future books in the series will return to the murder/mystery theme of the first volume.
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- Judith A. Weller

Even better than the Bookseller's Tale

With interesting historical details, the Oxford mysteries follow a book seller in Oxford with a knack for sniffing out injustice. The murder in this one is only the introduction to the actual plot, it is a bit all over the place, but at the same time it fleshed out some recurring characters, revisited some from the first book, and introduced some new ones.
I find the protagonist endearing, in part because he has very progressive ideas about women, he recognizes that the women in his personal experience are intelligent and capable human beings, and he insists his daughter be educated as well as any boy.
So when he comes across a very fine example of an illustrated Book of Hours, with illuminated capitals and clever illustrations, he is less surprised than some to learn it was made by a young novice at a nearby abbey. When the body of a young student turns out to be the young woman's cousin, he is sent to notify her and a friendship begins. Soon though, his interest in this young novice maybe the only thing that saves her from a life of solitude and captivity, or even from murder.
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- Rebecca

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-18-2017
  • Publisher: Ann Swinfen