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The Bookseller's Tale Audiobook

The Bookseller's Tale: Oxford Medieval Mysteries, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

Oxford, Spring 1353. When young bookseller Nicholas Elyot discovers the body of student William Farringdon floating in the river Cherwell, it looks like a drowning. Soon, however, Nicholas finds evidence of murder. Who could have wanted to kill this promising student? As Nicholas and his scholar friend Jordain try to unravel what lies behind William's death, they learn that he was innocently caught up in a criminal plot. When their investigations begin to involve town, university, and abbey, Nicholas takes a risky gamble - and puts his family in terrible danger.

©2016 Ann Swinfen (P)2017 Ann Swinfen

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (273 )
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4.3 (245 )
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Story
4.6 (246 )
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Marcheta 04-07-17
    Marcheta 04-07-17 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    668
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    Story
    "Held my interest, excellent historical background"

    This is my kind of book. The story depended on a well-drawn world of a medieval bookseller and his relationship with Oxford instructors and students. I liked the family members, too. The murder mystery unfolded at a reasonable pace and wasn't predictable. The narrator did a great job. I hope audible releases the second book in this series, The Novice's Tale, with the same narrator. I downloaded the first book from audible of Swinfen's Christopher Alvarez series, but I haven't listened to it yet - now I'll definitely give that series a listen.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith A. Weller LaVale, MD United States 06-18-17
    Judith A. Weller LaVale, MD United States 06-18-17 Member Since 2008
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    "Great Start of New Series"

    I like the setting and time period a lot. - 14th century Medieval England just after the Plague has ended. The author knows the period and bring it alive for the readers. The narrator is good at the different voices which makes it great listening entertainment.

    The Mystery was well done and ties in nicely with the way books were created in this period. You will learn a lot about how books were created and illustrated by hand. The main character is a very liable person which adds to the enjoyment of the book.

    For readers who like historical mysteries, be sure to read this book it is a winner.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wren Texas 06-10-17
    Wren Texas 06-10-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Wonderfully Detailed Story, Perfect Narration"

    A lively mystery with engaging details of medieval life. The author knows her setting well, having studied in the (modern day) Oxford.
    The narration could not be better, subtle, well spoken, with a range of wonderful British dialects by a native Englishman.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. 06-10-17
    C. 06-10-17
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    "Great performance, very good story"

    Loved the narrator. The story was a bit predictable but I loved all the historical details

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gail N. 07-11-17
    Gail N. 07-11-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Inconsistent character development, weak plot"

    The historical background material is delivered in a very engaging way and greatly enriched the story. The supporting characters were interesting as well. The main character seemed to be well developed, intelligent and held my interest until the last three chapters. Although the plot was rather predictable, the irritating behavior of the main character as the denouement approached was quite a disappointment. The author had a good story line, fine characters, and a wonderful setting and time period. The resolution of the mystery was however a real clunker.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Merritt Island, FL, United States 07-09-17
    A. Merritt Island, FL, United States 07-09-17
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    "loved it"

    I first thought it can't hurt to check it out , but I couldn't put it down . Good story and interesting . before reading this , I had no idea how parchment was made. also learned the value of books at that time . I enjoyed the book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denise Reckart 07-07-17 Member Since 2016
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    "The Booksellers Tale "

    What must be appreciated in this volume is the obvious proof of the author's time and energy in researching the era. Also combining suspense and comedy is most enjoyable, making her characters very believable. It is easy to imagine the scenes at home as she so vividly describes them. This is, perhaps, one of my favorites. I am an avid Sherlock Holmes fan, therefore the deductions and reasonings were a special delght. Bravo! I'm looking forward to many more volumes.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill 05-29-17
    Bill 05-29-17 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not much of a mystery"
    Would you try another book from Ann Swinfen and/or Philip Battley?

    Yes


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Knew it long before the end


    Could you see The Bookseller's Tale being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Yes, it might make a better movie than a book


    Any additional comments?

    The atmosphere of the period was good but the mystery was a little weak - the perpetrator obvious early on. A more compelling story in the same setting would welcome. After all the other rave reviews, I found myself rather disappointed by the book itself.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine H 11-02-17
    Katherine H 11-02-17 Member Since 2007
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    "an authenic tale of medieval england"

    light reading, autbe tic culgurally and enjoyable , will most certainly read ofhers in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KKNJ 10-15-17
    KKNJ 10-15-17 Member Since 2015
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    Story
    "Slow..."

    A pleasant enough listen; however, as a mystery I found“The Bookseller’s Tale” rather slow and the ending somewhat predictable. I will not pursue the rest of this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • mollyeyre
    Leicestershire UK
    8/11/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not worth a credit!"

    I am sure that if one wanted to learn all about Oxford in the 1350s - the streets, the hardships, the method of creating parchment ...... etc etc, one would have been delighted with this book. I found it tiring in the extreme, filled with minutiae that I could really have lived without - and which didn't add to the mystery.
    The characters were lack lustre and I found they all merged so I got to a stage where I didn't know who was who.
    I think it was a case of 'never use one sentence when three pages will do!
    After I found I was shouting at the book in irritation I speeded up the narration, this didn't help much I did then start to skim. This one is not for me as a murder mystery.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • K
    UK
    8/2/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Simple but satisfying."

    This was one of those gentle stories that will never challenge you. I do not think less of it for that. Sometimes you don't want great literature; writing that will wrack you with angst and leave you wringing your hands at the the state of the human race. Sometimes you just want to be told a story that will take you on a brief escape somewhere else and lull you back into your real life with as small a jolt as possible. This is one of the latter.

    The main character is quaint and endearing. His family situation leaves scope for both a small level of independence and yet he remains bound by responsibility and so the reader won't be wondering if he'll sail off into the horizon at any point. The setting and time frame makes the plot interesting and fairly original - most author's go for historically more documented times. I suppose this means that the author is less likely to be caught out of with the odd historical inaccuracy.

    Generally, a relaxing and engaging tale that may have been a bit more lively will a less monotonous narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rachel
    Ireland
    7/29/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Booksellers Tale"

    Excellent tale. Interesting and informative about the times following the plague in England in the 1300s. The next book, The Novices Tale is better yet. Hope there will be more in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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