The Monastery Murders

The Monastery Murders

by E.M. Powell


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781503903241
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publication date: 09/27/2018
Series: A Stanton and Barling Mystery Series , #2
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 487,940
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

E.M. Powell’s historical thriller Fifth Knight novels have been #1 Amazon and Bild bestsellers. The Monastery Murders is the second novel in her new Stanton and Barling medieval murder mystery series. She is a contributing editor to International Thriller Writers’ The Big Thrill magazine, blogs for English Historical Fiction Authors and is the social media manager for the Historical Novel Society.

Born and raised in the Republic of Ireland into the family of Michael Collins (the legendary revolutionary and founder of the Irish Free State), she now lives in North-West England with her husband, daughter and a Facebook-friendly dog. Find out more by visiting

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The Monastery Murders 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
amybooksy 20 days ago
The Monastery Murders is the second installment from E M Powell’s series, Stanton & Barling. I thought it was a great read. It is full of mystery and suspense. I was left guessing of “who done it” up until the end. I could have never predicted the ending. I am giving The Monastery Murders a well deserved five stars. I have not read the first book of the series, The King’s Justice, but will be looking forward to reading it in the future. I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
Anonymous 22 days ago
Stanton & Barling - Murder on the Moors This is the second outing of EM Powell's Stanton & Barling mystery series - the King's Justice being the first, and one I did not read beforehand. The series is set in the time of Henry II, in this instance, after the murder of Thomas a'Becket, for which Henry is still atoning. The two are sent to the far flung Cistercian monastery of Fairmore in Northern Yorkshire to investigate the mysterious and gruesome death of one of the monks. Along the way, and throughout, we are given a glimpse into the lives of these two - master and pupil - which also provides enough of a backstory to the first tome (though I still wish I had read it nonetheless). Far from being welcomed, the two - considered outsiders - are treated with suspicion and contempt. As the investigations continue, more is revealed about the monks and life in the monastery; the truth lies in the past, and more than one secret is revealed. Great story-telling - I kept thinking, how will this end, will the body count rise, will our two come close to solving this mystery before becoming victims themselves. I love this period of history, and this sort of mystery novel / series is right up my alley. ~~~ Melisende
Faroh 4 months ago
1176.The sacrist of a Cistercian abbey has been horrible murdered. As the abbot is an old acquaintance of Aelred Barling,a senior clerk at the court of King Henry,it is evident that Westminster dispatches him and his assistant Hugo Stanton to this remote monastery in North-Yorkshire. It is clear that their presence is not appreciated by the monks but a murderer is at large and a second murder is committed soon after their arrival. To make things worse, the weather takes a turn for the worse and the monastery is completely cut off due to heavy snowfall....and the feeling of security is replaced by a sense of fear. Of course,an isolated snowed under monastery,is reminiscent of the Name of the Rose and Dissolution but both these book are quite an historical feat (and sometimes a bit of a challenge ) while this is an easy going read,with well developed characters and with a good insight in monastery life in the 12th century. And it is a good mystery !
TheReadingDesk 4 months ago
The Monastery Murders is the second masterful book in the Barling and Stanton series, from E.M. Powell. It is a novel full of rich characters, a scintillating murderous plot and a backdrop truly immersed in medieval, 12th century England. Fairmore Abbey is a monastery of the Cistercian Order located in a secluded area in the remote Yorkshire countryside. Abbot Philip of Fairmore, through King Henry’s great justice Ranulf de Glanville, has requested Aelred Barling, the King’s clerk, to investigate a gruesome murder at the abbey. Barling and his assistant, Hugo Stanton, are dispatched in the dead of winter to investigate. No sooner have they arrived at the abbey than the death toll starts to mount, and each, a very calculated and brutal death. It is obvious there is a plan and that that plan may be following a very popular storyline in a book called The Vision of Tundale. The book tells the story of a knight (Tundale) who, at the moment of death, is visited by an angel who shows him the fate and forms of punishment of sinners through 9 levels of torture that descend to Satan in the darkness of hell. There is a resemblance to Dante’s Inferno within The Vision of Tundale, which is an actual book written by an Irish monk, Marcus, in 1149, 2 centuries before Dante’s Divine Comedy. Elaine’s writing is just a joy to experience and her ability to build on layers of mystery, suspense and intrigue are amazing. I love a story where we pick-up unexpected information from sources not always straight in front of you. In the opening scene, there is the public spectacle of bear baiting and both Barling and Stanton watch on for a period. This little scene was used to such massive effect as we appreciate how this was all a normal part of public festivities during that period and also how our main characters responded in ways that help build our understanding of them. What really sets this book apart, is the wonderful characterisation of Aelred Barling and Hugo Stanton. As a duo, they possess background, context, characteristics, motivations, conflicts, uncertainties, skills and dialogue that are totally unique and full of depth. Their characters are full of varying personality shades as they both contribute at many levels of ability and knowledge. Barling is a King’s clerk and has a position of authority which frames his intelligent and methodical approach. Stanton is the younger assistant who is also quick-witted, able to read people very well and has a moral compass which challenges our perception of the lower class at the time. They both have their failings, which get exposed at times, showing they are human and can be wrong-footed. Their relationship is gradually maturing and trusting but at times Stanton still oversteps his position to the admonishment of Barling. In my opinion, they are a fantastic duo, much better than the Matthew Shardlake and Jack Barak partnership in the C.J. Sansom series. This is a book I would highly recommend and while it’s a standalone story, there is a lot of benefit in reading The King’s Justice, first. I would like to thank E.M. Powell, Amazon Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC version of the book in return for an honest review.
Vesper1931 4 months ago
When a monk of Fairmore Abbey is discovered dead a summons from Ranulf de Glanville sends Hugo Stanton and Aelred Barling to investigate. In the wintery month of January 1177 they make their way from London to North Yorkshire and this very isolated community. They have not been long at the monastery when the murderer kills again. A well-written mystery, an enjoyable read. A story where we also discover more of the history of the main two characters, who seem to complement each other throughout the book and become more well-rounded as a result. It can certainly be read as a standalone story but I would recommend the first book as a worthwhile read.