That Nelda Roundheels had been murdered would have been of little interest to anyone - except that her body turned up in the bishop of Winchester's bedchamber with a letter to the bishop, from the king's most important enemy, rolled up in her breastband. The bishop and his knight, Sir Bellamy of Itchen, realize immediately that the purpose of putting the body in Winchester's bedchamber is to embarrass and discredit the bishop. And the reason for this attack on Winchester is his calling of a convocation to chastise the king for acting high-handedly against the bishop of Salisbury. Had the king himself ordered this outrage? Had the king's favorite, Waleran de Meulan, ordered it? Unfortunately the answer is not so simple to find; there are many other noblemen who want the king's favor and might attack Winchester to get it.
To save Winchester's reputation it is urgently necessary to discover who killed the woman and who placed her in Winchester's bedchamber. Bell, to his mingled joy and distress, is ordered to ask Magdalene la Batarde, whoremistress of the Old Priory Guesthouse, once his lover but now estranged, to help him solve the mystery.
©2006 Roberta Gellis (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
I grabbed CHAINS OF FOLLY as soon as I saw it was available, in spite of the beating the new reader was taking from listeners. The Magdalene la Batarde series is a delight for medieval mystery lovers, and CHAINS OF FOLLY is no exception. I wish Gellis had continued the series after this.
It is the rare reader who can produce both male and female voices faithfully, and this reader's voice is especially high. She shouldn't even try to sound male. The more successful strategy is to create the character by temperament, not timbre. However, her comprehension of the author's intention seems superior.
I do love Roberta Gellis, so I bought this despite the negative review about the narration. It's not Susan Duerden's best, but I found that it improved as it went along and I did enjoy it.
The narrator was horrible - I don't believe she had read/listened to any of the earlier works. She made Madelaine sound simpering and stupid. I couldn't get past the first few chapters.
Didn't understand the characters - completely distracting
Miss May did a wonderful job with the earlier books - I encourage the publisher to record this one again...
murder mystrery or practical joke?
Sir Bellamy was my favorite character because I enjoy watching him struggle to reconcile his desire for Magdaline with the knowledge of how she supports herself.
Actually, not much. her main virtue is her authentic middle class British accent. Her delivery was monotonous. She has a narrow range of emotions to bring to her narration.
Join Magdalene la Batarde in medieval London and solve another whodunnit.
Ms. Gellis needs to widen the scope of her research on this historical period so that she can offer a fuller view of medieval life. She spends too much time on the aquisition of meals and expalining the legal and spiritual status of prostitutes in this period of history. Her books are short enough that I feel her editor could easily eliminate several references with no detriment to the storyline. Adding more details and vignettes about court, family and relgious life would be welcome additions to her narrative. If she could add a little more accurate historic detail (e.g. the lute is a rennaisance instrument a few centuries to the future), she could bring medieval London to life.
Despite the narrator's sing-song reading through much of the story, the story carried itself fairly well until the critical moment of The Big Fight, where there was a major part of the action missing from the recording! (Part 2, 4:14:36). Were there pages missing from the book itself or did the person overseeing the recording nod off?
In terms of the story, among the better ones. I have long enjoyed this series. But the performance was terrible! The only reason I listened to the end was because I am a Roberta Gellis fan.
Characterization of different voices, different genders. At points I actually muted because I simply could not stand her reading and characterizations.
Don't employ Susan Duerden!
I will NOT ever listen to another book by this reader....
Such a shame the narrator has changed. It spoiled my enjoyment of the story.
I find her cadence annoying and condescending.
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