Bone of Contention: A Magdalene la Batarde Mystery

Overview

Magdalene knew there was trouble brewing in Oxford, with King Stephen bringing together his great council, and her patron, William of Ypres, unexpectedly summoning her. But she never expected to find a murder. Ordinarily nobody would believe that Niall Arvagh of Murcot, one of William's men, would stab a man in the back, even a man as gross as Aimery St. Cyr. But this was a special case. Had Niall killed St. Cyr for claiming to be betrothed to the pretty heiress, Loveday of Otmoor, whom Niall wanted for himself? ...

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2002 Hardcover First Edition New 0765300192. Hardback Mystery 1st. Ed. New/New (Never Read); 58378.

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Overview

Magdalene knew there was trouble brewing in Oxford, with King Stephen bringing together his great council, and her patron, William of Ypres, unexpectedly summoning her. But she never expected to find a murder. Ordinarily nobody would believe that Niall Arvagh of Murcot, one of William's men, would stab a man in the back, even a man as gross as Aimery St. Cyr. But this was a special case. Had Niall killed St. Cyr for claiming to be betrothed to the pretty heiress, Loveday of Otmoor, whom Niall wanted for himself? Or had Niall killed on orders of his master, William of Ypres, for political reasons?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Once again, Gellis proves herself a master of the medieval historical in her third outing (after 2001's A Personal Devil) to feature whorehouse mistress Magdalene la Batarde. In June 1139, Magdalene's patron, William of Ypres, calls her to Oxford, where King Stephen is holding his great council. Her reservations that something may be amiss are confirmed when the detestable Aimery St. Cyr is stabbed to death, and one of Sir William's men, Niall Arvagh of Murcot, is the prime suspect. Ensconced at her old whorehouse, the Soft Nest, Magdalene joins forces with Sir Bellamy of Itchen to find the murderer before there's a political scandal. The plot is as skillfully woven and as intricate as a medieval tapestry, though the large number of characters means the action plods at times. (The author's note at the end does much to clarify the many historical personages involved.) Meticulous attention to detail, from the takeout of cookshop food to the mail shirts men wore, and believable human characters, notably the intelligent, courageous, caring and compassionate Magdalene, help put Gellis at the forefront of this popular mystery subgenre. (Dec. 4) FYI: Gellis has won a Romance Writers Association's Lifetime Achievement Award. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765300195
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 9/7/2002
  • Series: Magdaline La Batarde Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 4.94 (w) x 9.94 (h) x 1.46 (d)

Meet the Author

Roberta Gellis has a master's degree in medieval literature and another in bio-chemistry. She is the recipient of many awards, including the Romantic Times' Lifetime Achievement Award for Historical Fantasy and the Romance Writers of America Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2003

    Magdalene returns...

    Set in the year 1139, whorehouse mistress Magdalene la Batarde begins investigating her next murder mystery. ................. William of Ypres calls Magdalene to Oxford where King Stephen is holding council. A forced wedding changes into murder when the prospective groom (Aimery St. Cyr) is stabbed in the back. One of Sir William's men (Niall Arvagh) is the prime suspect and Magdalene is determined to find out who the real killer is. ..................... ***** Rich in historical detail and littered with many interesting characters, this novel is sure to please most everyone. The author blends a chaotic time in history with mystery and realistic people to bring us an extraordinary tale. Recommended! *****

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Strong medieval mystery

    Once she was a wife to a minor lord and mistress of her own manor until her husband, in a fit of jealousy, tried to kill her and she defended herself by killing him first. She ran away and thanks to her beauty became a courtesan but even then two men were killed because of her beauty. Now, Magdalene la Batarde is determined to be her own woman. She is the whore mistress of the Old Priory Guesthouse and her patron is William of Ypres, King Stephen¿s chief enforcer. <P>William asks Magdalene to meet him in Oxford where the king is conducting a council. He needs a place to go where he can hold meetings that will be kept secret and nobody can arrange things like that better than Magdalene. She is accompanied by her lover Sir Bellamy, the Bishop of Winchester¿s chief knight and together they find a place to serve William¿s need as well as their own. While in Oxford, a series of murders occur and to protect William¿s interests (and her own sense of justice) Magdalene conducts an investigation in hopes of flushing out a murderer. <P>She is the grand mistress of medieval works of fiction and her series of medieval mysteries are some of the best ever written. One gets a sense of the era as well as learning how the different classes acted and thought. Although this is a work of fiction, the historical events are very true and make for a fascinating reading experiences. BONE OF CONTENTION will be sought after by Hope who like the Brother Cadfael mysteries and those written by Peter Tremayne. <P>Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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