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Publisher's Summary

Oxford, Autumn 1353

St. Frideswide's Fair is a great annual event in Oxford, bringing together merchants and buyers from all over England and Wales, and from as far away as Flanders and France. Yet the earnings from the fair, granted to the Priory of St. Frideswide centuries before, are resented by the town, and resentment can turn to violence.

Under the unscrupulous Prior de Hungerford, even more trouble is brewing. Nicholas Elyot is warned by intelligencer Alice Walsea that attendance at the fair may be used for something more sinister, and not all French merchants may be innocent.

When a merchant from Flanders is attacked and an English traitor is murdered, can Nicholas disentangle the crimes hidden under cover of the fair?

©2017 Ann Swinfen (P)2017 Ann Swinfen

What listeners say about The Merchant's Tale

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    5 out of 5 stars

4th in remarkable hist. fiction mystery series

I am fast becoming a fan of Ann Swinfin's. The novels have a humanity and comfort that for me is reminiscent of Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael mysteries. The mysteries are well-crafted, well-researched, and don't generally exceed the technology of the day. They are also believable.

I also enjoy that, while the story is complete in itself, there is also an over-arching "history" that is consistent from book to book. We see children growing and relationships develop.

A lovely series that I would recommend to most people.

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Excellent Read - love this series!

Interesting and engaging characters with a real flavor of Medieval life. I've read each book in the series and they each just got better and better. The narrator was especially good, too.

4 people found this helpful

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Delightful Easy Reading

It occurs to me that part of what I love about this series may also be seen as a weakness by some. These books will not stump you. Who "dunnit" is not going to surprise. That said, the journey is absolutely the star here. I ADORE these books, in part because of the ease of reading. For me, even the most mundane things are made fascinating by clothing them in another culture or historical era, and that is part of what Swinfen does so well. If you are looking for a brain-bender, this probably won't appeal to you. If, however, you enjoy detail, histories of the more common folk, and/or are craving something's of a "palate cleanser" then I suggest these books with joy. My only true regret is in knowing there can only ever be the few in this series that are already published, owing to the untimely passing of the author.

1 person found this helpful

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Ann Swinfen

What beautiful stories.
I grieve the lost of such talent.
I will be sad when I complete the last volume.

1 person found this helpful

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Charming, interesting and well-written

I have enjoyed this series immensely. It is delightful that each book seems better than the last. I rank this series up there with C.J. Sansom's Matthew Shardlake series (high praise indeed). A degree or two less intense than Shardlake but every bit as enjoyable, Wonderful characters. Philip Battley's performance is superb.

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Engaging stories

This is the 4th book in the series and is as engaging and fun to read as the first three, suitable for younger readers as well as older. The plots are well arranged, the characters are lively and believable, and the narration well-paced and easily understood.

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Consistent

If you have read and enjoyed Ann Swinfen, she does not disappoint. She consistently brings quality books to the table. I would recommend

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Charming and escapist

Some interesting history transporting one from one plague time to another. The narration is very nice.

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Great series.

A very well written book. excellent narration. nice historic background material and very well researched.

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Round About Reading!

These Medieval Mysteries never move in a straight line towards solving the crime! There is often too much information, additional characters that are hard to keep straight, peripheral narratives that take attention away from the central action. However, the extra work required is well worth the effort. Boy, can you learn a lot about late medieval society and how people lived and worked. So, interesting. The deviations from the main story are like an added gift - more than you paid for and well worth the cost! You will get to know the characters and really care what happens to them. Great historical fun! And as an added bonus the narrator is fantastic! Takes on the voice of time and place and makes it sound perfectly natural! Can't wait for my next credit to order immediately the next book in the series.

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  • Shep's mummy
  • 10-09-18

Book 4 of a fantastic series

I have just finished the 4th book in this series. The stories are without doubt not only enjoyable but give a glimpse of what life was like at that time. Now for book 5!!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • PJ
  • 11-04-19

The Merchants Tale by Ann Swinfen

Really good for bedtime story all about goings on in and about Oxford very interesting thank you I bought updates to my book it was enjoyable .

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  • helen
  • 02-23-19

Another Great Tale

I loved this book, and the other 3 in the series. A great continuation, as per usual Philip Battley does a grand job of narrating it.

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  • Jennifer Chennell
  • 12-05-17

Pleasent read

these books are a gentle pleasent read. i would recommend that they are read in order.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 10-16-17

Great read.

lovely story. mystery romance and history. can't wait for the next. I trult enjoyed it.