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Bone of Contention | [Roberta Gellis]

Bone of Contention

Magdalene la Batarde knows there is trouble brewing in Oxford, with King Stephen bringing together his great council, and her patron, William of Ypres, immediately summoning her. But she never expected it would involve murder.
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Publisher's Summary

Magdalene la Batarde knows there is trouble brewing in Oxford, with King Stephen bringing together his great council, and her patron, William of Ypres, immediately summoning her. But she never expected it would involve murder.

As the accusations fly and the debate rages in Oxford, Magdalene teams up with her old friend, Sir Itchen of Bellamy, to clear up the mess that threatens to lead to a political scandal. Fortunately for Magdalene, she still has friends in Oxford, her former coworkers, the whores and barmaids of Oxford, who may be able to bring her news that will help her untangle a murder.

©2002 Roberta Gellis; (P)2004 Blackstone Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"Once again, Gellis proves herself a master of the medieval historical in her third outing to feature whorehouse mistress Magdalene la Batarde....Meticulous attention to detail...and believable human characters...help put Gellis at the forefront of this popular mystery subgenre." (Publishers Weekly)
"With a commanding knowledge of medieval history and customs, Gellis infuses this ancient world with contemporary relevance." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (140 )
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4.5 (43 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Sharon Paducah, KY, USA 10-19-04
    Sharon Paducah, KY, USA 10-19-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
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    "Strongly recommended"

    An excellent book with a strong sense of time and place. The history and plot were so well intertwined that changing the time period would have invalidated the plot of the mystery. I always think that's a mark of good historical mysteries.
    The characters are strong, interesting people whose attitudes seem consistent with what is known of their time period. The mystery plot is intricate and not too easily solved.
    I thought the reader did an excellent job with good voice techniques and easy to listen to and understand speaking speed.
    I hope Audible will offer more of this author's work.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Raymond Belfast, ME, USA 01-07-05
    Raymond Belfast, ME, USA 01-07-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
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    "Murder by candlemark"

    This grew on me as I listened. First, I'm partial to Nadia May's narration; she always does a nice job. I found myself absorbed by the details of time and place. I really felt that we were dealing with a moment in time. The actual murder mystery was of less importnace. It certainly does seem that the troublesome reign of King Stephen attracts a lot of murder mysteries...

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lanlady Woodbridge, VA USA 06-20-09
    Lanlady Woodbridge, VA USA 06-20-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "mediocre story"

    I've enjoyed Roberta Gellis in the past but Bone of Contention is not her best. I was flat out bored for most of the reading, though Nadia May deserves credit for her attempted lively narration of a flat story.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mysticalsister San Francisco, CA, United States 10-12-09
    Mysticalsister San Francisco, CA, United States 10-12-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very Entertaining! Roberta Gellis is Brilliant!"

    I'm just sad because this is the 3rd, and last book of this series currently offered by Audible. The 4th book, "Chains of Folly" is out there, but we need it in here! And narrated by the amazing Nadia May, who brought together the various voices of so many characters, male and female, so brilliantly that I can still hear them in my head! Loved every minute. Contact Audible after you finish this one and ask for the next two! (The 5th is "Bishop to King, Check!")

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wadie Santa Ana, CA, United States 06-05-08
    Wadie Santa Ana, CA, United States 06-05-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved It!"

    Magdalene la Batarde, the lead character is quite a woman. The historical details and rich characterizations made this a pleasure to listen to.
    Nadia May, as usual, does a great job giving individuality to the voices of various people. I'm a lover of historical mysteries and this series is one of the best.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin in Vermont Vermont 01-02-14
    Robin in Vermont Vermont 01-02-14 Member Since 2009

    I'll read anything good. I'm easy that way.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A yearly reread!"

    Roberta Gellis has written four wonderful mysteries set in medieval London. They all revolve around a very unique whore house and the woman who runs it.

    Magdalene La Batard, the owner of the whore house, is an educated lady. Once married to a jealous and abusive husband, she flees when he is murdered, fearing to be blamed. Alone in a world where women are nothing more than chattel, Magdalene is determined not to be hung for the murder, or at best, to be forced to marry another man. Instead she uses her body, beauty and brains to make her own fortune and to be her own mistress.

    But this is not a novel about a whore house. It's about an intelligent and courageous woman who is respected by the men and women in her life. She is involved in the life of a medieval town, and she is also engaged with men of power during that period.

    With the help of a wealthy and powerful protector, she establishes her business in a former convent adjacent to a priory, where her women cater to the wealthy men of the city. Her customers pay a high price for the unique and special services her house provides.


    I love all 3 of the books as read by Nadia May. Unfortunately, the 4th book, Chains of Folly, is narrated by Susan Duerdan and she really ruins it. It isn't available on Kindle or in paperback yet, but you can find it at the public library.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vickie College Park, MD, United States 11-12-13
    Vickie College Park, MD, United States 11-12-13
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    "Cannot Access"
    What disappointed you about Bone of Contention?

    I purchased it in July and, while I was successful in downloading it onto my computer, I have yet been able to download this onto my iPhone. I was directed to open it in iTunes, which I did, but it has yet to appear in my book list. I will not be using audible in the future!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vivian Bastrop, TX, United States 11-08-04
    Vivian Bastrop, TX, United States 11-08-04 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "Sort of Sillly"

    I was not as impressed with this book as the first reviewer. Just to keep it short "Sort of Silly" is the best way to describe it.

    2 of 7 people found this review helpful
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  • Kevin
    Weymouth, Dorset, United Kingdom
    8/4/08
    Overall
    "A historical Brothel story"

    An excellent well researched historical novel. The idea of using a brothel madame as a heroine is unusual and so adds interest to the story. The characters are also very unexpected to find working in a brothel and this also improves the overall quality of the book. Both my wife and I were enthralled throughout the book and we hastened to purchase the other two available titles. I can only hope that Roberta Gelis soon manges to write many more books using these characters as a base and that Audio present them as audio books as early as possible.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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