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The Tainted Relic: An Historical Mystery (2005)

The Tainted Relic: An Historical Mystery (2005)

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3.66 of 5 Votes: 5
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0743267958 (ISBN13: 9780743267953)
simon & schuster uk

About book The Tainted Relic: An Historical Mystery (2005)

I just finished reading “The Tainted Relic” by a conglomerate of writers known as the Medieval Murderers. This is in essence,five short novellas and a prologue detailing events pertained by cursed relic,a splinter of the true cross of stained with the blood of Christ kept safe by a religious order in Jerusalem. When the Crusader army invaded Jerusalem,they killed every Muslim and Jew, including the family of the guardian, which, in a fit of rage, cursed the item to cause death to everyone that relinquishes it to another.You can read the story as a murder mystery, or as a horrorstory. It stories are a true representation of the superstitious nature of people for religious relics evident throughout the Middle Ages. Several episodes are very interesting and are very consistent; others are flat and hard to understand. In a way, this book is a good sample to see if you might like to read from some of these authors. I found Acts II and V very enjoyable and witty, although they were by far, the shortest.The main strength of the stories as a whole is the way inwhich they present the events as common occurrences or unavoidable accidents; however, the medieval and esoteric character ingrained in each passage can defy our logic into becoming believers of the power of the curse. A short epilogue gives a nice ironic twist to the circle of death abounding in the book.

This is a collection of five mysteries, each of which centers on a supposed relic of the true cross stained with Christ's blood that also happens to be cursed. The stories take place over time in the five Medieval settings the five authors of the tales set their main mysteries. This premise is intriguing, but I found the execution less enjoyable and somewhat contrived. I am a big fan of Susanna Gregory's Matthew Bartholomew mysteries, which take place in 14th century Cambridge, and she is one of the authors here. Although I enjoyed some of the other stories, I don't feel the need to rush out and start reading the main series of those authors.

Do You like book The Tainted Relic: An Historical Mystery (2005)?

I bought copy of her first two books of the series last month. it is on my list.I just need to get through this election and I can get to it. Although my transit ride to Scarborough Southwest has given me some time. :)
—Nicole Yovanoff

I listened to this at work and that might have been part of my not digging it as much as I could have. It took me a little while to get into the story and then to understand everything that was going on. I got that the relic was supposedly cursed and death followed in its wake. My issue was not following who was dying and it seemed like there were a lot of victims with each story. They died before I had a chance to know them or the people solving the crimes or the people doing the killing or even why the killing was occurring, except part of it was to get the relic back from whoever had it. The only time I could truly understand the story was when it moved up to William Shakespeare's time. The story made me laugh and care about the characters. All that said, I will be getting more of this series of books, especially KING ARTHUR'S BONES, the reason I started looking for this team of authors. I have a collection of Arthurian legend, saw this book in a review, put it on the WWBL and then found out there's a series of books by this team who call themselves Medieval Murderers. Very cool premise and still intriguing. I know not all books are for all people and I will likely get this as a handheld book to read and pay closer attention....and read it someplace without work can be....silly work....Three need fewer distractions beans....

Five well known writers use their well-known medieval crime fighting characters to solve mystery and murder in 5 separate, but interlinked stories is an interesting concept. On one level it works, but it can also be a bit confusing as the 'Acts' are about 100 pages long and the number of peripheral characters can be quite confusing. Even more so if you are not fully acquainted with the heroes of each piece, as I was not. Of course this was not made any easier by the rather disjointed way that I read the first two Acts, but it was well worth sticking with it. I will be reading more by the Medieval Murderers.

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