Thursday, August 6, 2009

Series Review: The Dame Frevisse Mysteries

I just love the Dame Frevisse mystery series by Margaret Frazer. Set in the Medieval (circa 15th c.) England, these books center on an astute, cloistered nun. I am surprised these books haven't been made into a TV show yet - they seem ripe for the BBC's picking. FYI, Margaret Frazer is a pen name:
The first six Dame Frevisse books were written as a collaborative effort between Mary Monica Pulver Kuhfeld and Gail Frazer. The rest of the series has been written by Gail Frazer alone.
There's a strong religious component to these books, as Frevisse frequently ties her daily prayers and offices to the situation at hand.

Obviously, being mysteries, you as the reader know a crime is going to happen. But what I find most interesting about these books is, sometimes, how secondary to the story the crime itself is. In so many mysteries, you know a body will appear in the first chapter and the villain will be delivered to the police (or historical equivalent) by book's end. That's not necessarily the case here, and it keeps me as the reader on my toes.

From wikipedia, here is the current list of titles in the series: (I own the books with an *)

The Novice's Tale (1992)
The Servant's Tale (1993) (received an Edgar Award nomination)
The Outlaw's Tale (1994)
*The Bishop's Tale (1994) (received a Minnesota Book Award nomination)
*The Boy's Tale (1995)
The Murderer's Tale (1996)
*The Prioress' Tale (1997) (received an Edgar award nomination)
*The Maiden's Tale (1998)
*The Reeve's Tale (1999) (received a Minnesota Book Award nomination)
*The Squire's Tale (2000)
The Clerk's Tale (2002)
*The Bastard's Tale (2003)
The Hunter's Tale (2004)
*The Widow's Tale (2005)
*The Sempster's Tale (2006)
*The Traitor's Tale (2007)
*The Apostate's Tale (2008)

Visit the author's website or find (most of) these books listed at Amazon's Dame Frevisse Mysteries list.

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