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The Widow of Jerusalem (Fools' Guild #4)

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  253 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
1204 A.D. The Fools’ Guild is on the run from an increasingly intolerant Church. Arriving too late at the Guildhall to join them, the jester couple Theophilos and Claudia and their newborn daughter Portia must now flee the Papal army, having first risked their lives to steal, of all things, a tavern sign. As they journey across the Alps, Theophilos recounts to his wife a s
Hardcover, 276 pages
Published March 10th 2003 by Minotaur Books
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Caidyn (BW Book Reviews)
Yes, even with my disappointment for a plot point, I will rate this four stars. What can I say? I'm a sucker for humor and historical intrigue.

As usual, this was woven very well around a specific point in time and the people in that time. I'm not familiar with the 1100s or 1200s, so it's always fun for me because I don't get pissed off over historical inaccuracies that might be there. Aka, I'm happier and everyone else who has to read my status updates is happier as well. Theo is great. Claudia
Dec 08, 2008 Reinhold rated it really liked it
Der Narr Theophilus, mit seiner Frau Claudia und ihrer neugeborenen Tochter unterwegs nach Innsbruck, erzählt ihr seine Erlebnisse rund um den Dritten Kreuzzug. Er beginnt dabei nach der Rückeroberung Akkons durch die Truppen Richards I. und Philipps II. Letzterer ist bereits abgerückt und Richard ließ gerade mehrere tausend Gefangene hinrichten. Noch in der nächsten Nacht beginnen die Narren ihren Plan umzusetzen und borgen Richards Siegel, um eine Nachschublieferung für Richards Feldzug zu Gun ...more
Tim Hicks
Aug 08, 2014 Tim Hicks rated it really liked it
What kind of scam is this? I just read a history book and enjoyed it!
OK, it isn't that rare. I read a lot of SF, and there are some excellent stories
that use time travel as an excuse to put a modern character in a past setting.
But these use fictional historical characters as our point of view among real characters.

We see the details that aren't in the history books, and we see them by following
fascinating characters who are, perhaps, ninja clowns, James Bond with a red nose,
or what have you.
Dayna Smith
The fourth book in the Fools' Guild Mystery series. As Theo and his wife flee the Papal army which has just run all the fools from their Guildhall, he tells Claudia the story of his time in the Holy Land with Richard the Lionhearted. It is 1191 and the Third Crusade is well underway and Theo finds himself in Tyre with the most beautiful woman in the Kingdom of Jerusalem and a dwarf named Scarlet. Another enchanting piece of historical fiction. Lovers of the Middle Ages and the Crusades will thor ...more
Sep 04, 2010 Mike rated it it was amazing
Shelves: general, do-not-have
I think that Gordon has gotten even better, this time giving us a flashback to the end of the 1100s and the city of Tyre during the Crusades as the curious death of an anonymous woman catches the interest of our protagonist in the midst of war and intrigue.

The books aren't masterpieces of literature, but they are heartfelt, charming, interesting, and very well-crafted. Good read.
Oct 20, 2012 Katherine rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Thoroughly enjoy the setting--12th C Mediterranean area during and after Richard the Lionhearted's visit--and the concept--fools, court jesters as spies and political forces--doing the work of the Fools' Guild to ensure peace and manipulate which rulers and factions can best achieve it. Only problem--trying to find copies of these books at reasonable prices.
Sep 09, 2012 Joyce rated it liked it
This was not a book that I would normally have chosen to read, but my choices were limited at the time. Still, it was an enjoyable read -- a mix of fiction, mystery, ambition, love & history written from the perspective of a fool/court jester. Very different. It was like a story within a story and it came together very well.
Mar 07, 2010 Audrey rated it really liked it
This was the first Alan Gordon book I read. It was so good, I now own them all. The Widow of Jerusalem setting is fascinating, dealing with the Crusade. The women characters are interesting, which is a big plus for me. There is mystery and intrigue,but not at the expense of character development. Give this book a try. It's unusual, in a good way.
Fred Rauch
May 25, 2015 Fred Rauch rated it really liked it
Alan Gordon has done it again. This time Theo relates the story of how he and Scarlet the Dwarf saved the Queen of Jerusalem. The story is told in the past tense as Theo is telling the story to his wife. A easy, quick read and well worth the time.
Sarah Brooks
Nov 03, 2013 Sarah Brooks rated it really liked it
Good novel about the conflict of Isabelle d'Anjou, Queen of the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem during the 3rd Crusade. Mr. Gordon provides a great narrative through the main character, Theo, a jester or Fool, who can access places most others cannot. Highly recommended.
Sep 30, 2013 Leslie rated it really liked it
Excellent historical fiction set at the end of the Third Crusade, with some murder thrown in! However, this is less mystery than historical fiction, so if you are expecting something like Lindsey Davis' Falco you might be disappointed.
May 24, 2008 Cal rated it really liked it
The fourth book in Gordon's Medieavl Jester murder mystery series. I'm liking these books even more than Lindsey Davis' Didius Falco series. Unfortunately, my library doesn't have a copy of the next book so I've requested it via inter-library loan.
Mar 31, 2011 Dhali rated it really liked it
The voices of the characters - especially the fools - aren't very distinct but it's all done with such charm and such a sense of joy that it would be churlish to not enjoy this. The plot involves the Crusades, Richard the Lionheart and a dwarf named Scarlet... all utterly delightful
Jul 19, 2015 Robin rated it really liked it
I love this series.
Kathy Davie
Sep 01, 2010 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing
A very different perspective on the Crusades in Jerusalem with Theophilus and Viola losing and winning in heartrending fashion. Mystery, history, and politics amuck.
Nov 04, 2010 Alex rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries, 50-in-2010
Excellent! I liked this one much better than the last one in the series, and am definitely going to continue reading these books.
Oct 17, 2010 Fuschia rated it did not like it
Didn't like story within the story...aborted after 90 pages.
Jul 30, 2012 Richard rated it liked it
Fools on Crusades. Okay this time, not all that interesting.
Joe Wray
Dec 29, 2010 Joe Wray rated it it was amazing
Different location and time...still very entertaining and historically interesting.
Lisa Nagy
Lisa Nagy rated it liked it
Mar 18, 2012
Karen rated it really liked it
Mar 01, 2015
Melody rated it it was ok
Mar 27, 2011
Kim rated it it was amazing
Aug 05, 2012
Spuddie rated it it was amazing
Sep 20, 2007
Jan McClintock
Jan McClintock rated it really liked it
Jul 16, 2009
Meg Mims
Meg Mims rated it liked it
Feb 01, 2008
Oppositeoforange rated it liked it
Apr 15, 2012
Terri rated it really liked it
Jun 08, 2010
Kate Markey
Kate Markey rated it liked it
Feb 16, 2017
Carolyn Norton
Carolyn Norton rated it liked it
Sep 18, 2013
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Alan Gordon is the author of the Fools' Guild mysteries. His short fiction and essays have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, The Drood Review of Mystery and the Medieval Academy Newslet
More about Alan Gordon...

Other Books in the Series

Fools' Guild (8 books)
  • Thirteenth Night (Fools' Guild, #1)
  • Jester Leaps In (Fools' Guild, #2)
  • A Death in the Venetian Quarter (Fools' Guild, #3)
  • An Antic Disposition (Fools' Guild, #5)
  • The Lark's Lament (Fools' Guild, #6)
  • The Moneylender of Toulouse (Fools' Guild, #7)
  • The Parisian Prodigal (Fools' Guild, #8)

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