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by author "Ann Swinfen" in All Categories
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The Novice's Tale
Oxford Medieval Mysteries, Book 2
Length: 9 hrs and 32 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
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?
Oxford, late summer, 1353. On hearing that his cousin is short-handed for the harvest, Nicholas Elyot takes a group of friends back to the family farm to help. When a deer hunt in Wychwood ends in tragedy, suspicion is directed toward the huntsman, a boyhood friend of Nicholas. But the victim has made many other enemies, any one of whom could have shot the fatal arrow. Can Nicholas uncover the real killer before it is too late?
Oxford, Spring 1353. When young bookseller Nicholas Elyot discovers the body of student William Farringdon floating in the river Cherwell, it looks like a drowning. Soon, however, Nicholas finds evidence of murder. Who could have wanted to kill this promising student? As Nicholas and his scholar friend Jordain try to unravel what lies behind William's death, they learn that he was innocently caught up in a criminal plot.
Oxford, Spring - 1354. When the series of accidents to the building of the chapel at Queen’s College begin, they do not appear a cause for concern, but they grow more serious, and stonemasons are injured. Nicholas Elyot becomes involved after it is discovered that an intruder has reached the college by way of his garden. When Jordain Brinkylsworth’s youngest student goes missing, it seems at first that his disappearance is unconnected, yet he is one of the ‘poor boys’ supported by Queen’s. Surely this serious and studious boy cannot be responsible for the troubles?
"Today I had word that my brother Ya'aqôb is dead." When this news reaches Mariam, living in exile in the province of Gaul, memories of her girlhood in faraway Palestine are painfully awakened. For years she has blocked them from her mind, but as illness and old age overtake her, she begins to relive the time when she defied all propriety and convention and followed her charismatic brother Yeshûa and her betrothed Yehûd'a in their daring but perilous adventure.
Oxford, Autumn 1353. St. Frideswide's Fair is a great annual event in Oxford, bringing together merchants and buyers from all over England and Wales, and from as far away as Flanders and France. Yet the earnings from the fair, granted to the Priory of St. Frideswide centuries before, are resented by the town, and resentment can turn to violence. Under the unscrupulous Prior de Hungerford, even more trouble is brewing.
It is the year 1586. England is awash with traitors, plotting to assassinate the Queen and bring about a foreign invasion. The young physician Christoval Alvarez, a refugee from the horrors of the Portuguese Inquisition, is coerced into becoming a code-breaker and agent in Sir Francis Walsingham's secret service. In the race to thwart the plot, who will triumph - the ruthless conspirators or the equally ruthless State?
When Nicholas Elyot and his friends set out to spend the Christmas season in the country, they are prepared for a hard journey in winter. They are also wary of violence on the road, for these are troubled times after the Great Pestilence, when bands of dispossessed and desperate men roam the countryside of England. It is not surprising, therefore, when the troubadours hired to provide entertainment at Leighton Manor are attacked in Wychwood. Yet why should this group draw the attention of outlaws, who are searching for something? Is one of the troubadours not quite what he seems?
Facing the threat of King Philip's Enterprise of England - Spanish invasion and annexation of the country - Sir Francis Walsingham's secret service spreads a network of agents across Europe. After caring for hundreds of maimed and wounded soldiers returning from the fall of Sluys, young physician and code-breaker Christoval Alvarez is sent on two dangerous missions to Amsterdam, where, amongst the friendly Hollanders, treason and treachery lurks.
Suffer the Little Children: The Chronicles of Christoval Alvarez, Volume 5
Length: 10 hrs and 22 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
In Elizabethan London, no child is safe. Children are misused and exploited by parents, masters, strangers, and society at large. Even the children of the rich are in danger. When a five-year-old heiress to great estates is kidnapped, Christoval Alvarez, the players of James Burbage's company, and a disreputable group of child beggars all become involved in the search. At Seething Lane, matters are approaching a crisis.
When Bartholomew Fair, London's largest public festival, is threatened in 1589 by 500 armed soldiers dismissed from service without pay, the authorities act swiftly and decisively to prevent trouble. Yet other trouble is brewing. Young physician and code-breaker Christoval Alvarez stumbles upon a sinister troupe of Italian puppeteers bent on making mischief, but it soon becomes apparent that more than mischief is in the air.
The year after defeating the Spanish Armada, England retaliates. The expedition to Portugal sets out to destroy what remains of Spain's Atlantic fleet, drive the Spanish out of Portugal, put the claimant Dom Antonio of Aviz on the throne, and seize the Azores. But from the time the English fleet, led by Drake and Norreys, reaches Plymouth, things start to go wrong. Christoval Alvarez, sent to carry out two missions by Walsingham, has a more important private plan in mind.
It is December, 1648, and England faces one of the greatest crises in its history. Bands of renegade soldiers and broken men roam the countryside, looting, burning, and raping. In Parliament, former allies are torn apart after six years of bloody conflict. John Swynfen, a rising young MP and one of the leaders of the moderate party, is working for peace, but only if safeguards can be established to protect Parliament and control the powers of the king. Ranged against him and his friends are Oliver Cromwell and his son-in-law Henry Ireton, intent on seizing power by the sword.
When Kit Alvarez returns from Muscovy, it is to discover that her post as physician at St. Thomas' hospital has been given to another. Trying to eke out the small income she earns from some of Dr. Nuñez's private patients, she undertakes paid work as a copyist with James Burbage's company. But the players' companies find themselves under threat. Two of Burbage's men are murdered. One of Henslowe's men is attacked. And two important new plays go missing, one by Will Shakespeare and one by Christopher Marlowe.
An agent sent to Muscovy to investigate suspected treason amongst employees of the Muscovy Company has disappeared without trace. Sir Francis Walsingham, who began the investigation, is dead, but the directors of the Company know that the agent must be found, dead or alive. The perfect opportunity comes when the Tsar, Emperor of All the Russias, asks for an English physician to treat his young half-brother. Christoval Alvarez, physician and former Walsingham agent, is the obvious choice, but is loathe to travel to this violent and barbarous land.