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The Red Velvet Turnshoe (An Abbess of Meaux Mystery, #2)
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The Red Velvet Turnshoe (Abbess of Meaux #2)

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  302 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
In the midst of a long, bleak winter in the year 1383, flooding brought famine, famine brought disease, and The Black Death visited town after town.

Into this watery world, against a background of plague and the turmoil of the Hundred Years' War, a brave and brilliant nun, Abbess Hildegard, embarks on a quest for a precious relic, the Cross of Constantine.

Strong-willed and
ebook, 288 pages
Published November 24th 2009 by Minotaur Books (first published March 2009)
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Apr 25, 2010 Patricia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Joshua, Becky, Lyn
This is the second in one of my favorite new series and is equal to or better than the first. The year is 1383 and a plot is afoot to surpress the story of what really happened to the leaders after the Peasant's Revolt (or Wat Tyler's Rebellion). John of Gaunt, King Richard II's uncle and chancellor, is not depicted in a good light at all here, which is different than in other historical fiction of the period that I have read. Sister Hildegard is sent on a journey to Italy to purchase a reliquar ...more
Sonya Bria
Mar 21, 2010 Sonya Bria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Apparently this is book #2 in the medieval mystery series...I missed the first one, but I was able to follow along just fine. I love the heroine Hildegard and the underlying story of her forbidden love for the abbot. It was well written, love all the history of England intertwined. I have to go find the other book now!
Jacqueline Seewald
First I've read of this series. Clark is incredibly knowledgeable regarding the medieval period. I wouldn't hesitate to read another in the series.
Charlotte Smith
Oct 25, 2016 Charlotte Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finally got round to read this second book of the series and found it a lot easily to read then the first book. It's all about a nun who is set to go and bring back something and has adventures on the way
The second book in the Abbess of Meaux series, set in the late 1300's, Hildegard is summoned to go on a secret mission to Italy to obtain a holy relic, the Cross of Constantine, to help protect the king. She is sent under the guise of a pilgrimage, with only her two dogs and a tournament knight as protection. Before she leaves, she is shocked and dismayed by the actions and appearance of the Abbott, for whom she has feelings that cannot be realized due to their respective positions. She joins a ...more
Nov 23, 2011 Frances rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-series
I much preferred this second book in the Abbess of Meaux series. Set in the 1300's, a time when England is being devastated by a power struggle between its current King and those who would like to replace him and the church has been divided between 2 rival popes, it tells the take of Hildegarde, a nun, who is sent from her home in the North of England to retrieve a relic in Italy. She is accompanied at various times in her journey by a tournament Knight, a minstrel, merchants, a group of mercena ...more
Mar 20, 2012 Renee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Clark sends her Sister Hildegarde on a mission to Florence in this second outing. Same quality of historical research as her debut novel, Hangman Blind as well as intricately woven plots and sub-plots. Hildegarde is accompanied by a chivalrous knight, a trio of mercenaries, and an minstrel accused of murder. She is also shadowed by an enemy bent on revenge. Meanwhile, the nations rage and our nun plays her (not very) small part. Some series require a breath between volumes, but not this one. On ...more
Jun 29, 2011 Tricia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I normally enjoy historical fiction, but our dear sister just wasn't real to me. She's described as beautiful, and every man she meets seems to fall for her. She's a nun, but has no problems with a young man telling her he's been abused by priests, she seems to just accept it making no comment at all. She tells us that the young man is homosexual, though we've seen noting to lead us in this direction of thought. There are too many instances when she is left alone with a man, something that I don ...more
Jul 01, 2015 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
second in series of medieval mysteries. Protagonist is an independent women--which is to say a nun who is also a widow with some resources. Historical element is strong. Political complexity from the first one (feuding popes, feuding local authorities, general social unrest) continues and it is slowly becoming more comprehensible. Suggests to me that reading in order is important. Mystery is fine but isn't really what drives it. New settings introduced (pilgrimage to the holy land) that I found ...more
Oct 24, 2015 Kathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Had to circle back to read this since I read the book that comes after it. I have not read any of the books in this series in proper order, but then...that's me. I tend to select cleanest books off shelf at library. This one had important things I needed to know to fit the puzzle together. Still, though, the very first book I read and reviewed remains true in that I find the "perilous" adventures the heroine nun throws herself into are outlandish. Still enjoyable reading if one is in the mood to ...more
I enjoyed the second in the series, actually found it to be a faster read than the first. However, at times the author leaves things too vague, and I just wish she'd get to the point or be a little more direct. I'll still continue on to the next, and either assume I'm not going to figure it all out [I actually felt like a whole chapter was missing towards the end which would have resolved plotlines better], or I hope that she's not as vague in the third book.
History is my thing. The further back it is the more it grabs my attention. The book takes place in the 14th century. A time when having the wrong thought can be the end of your days. The Black Plague is ending its deadly reign through Europe, as a Nun tries to figure out the murder of a manor scribe. The down fall is that the book is 2nd in a series. Intrigued.....I'm going to order the 1st one from the Lib and then carry on with the series.
Val Sanford
So it's true I read these books out of order, starting with the 3rd in the series, and then backing up and fitting in 1 and 2. I had a lot of problems with this book. The premise is super fun and the adventure across the Alps was interesting, but the bizarre interactions between Hildegard and the Abbot of Meaux was just not clear. Difficult to follow and a little head-shaking. If you can get over that, it's a fun read.

I loved book 1 and 3 so ...
Sep 17, 2010 Deb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heavens, a book about the anonimalle chronicle! I wrote a paper about the Peasants' Revolt for which that chronicle was the primary source. Would have appreciated an author's note to tell us whether there really was a base document, whether that is proved or conjecture, or whether the author made it up.
Ann Boytim
Mar 23, 2014 Ann Boytim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An intense reading story with twists and turns and not sure how it really ended. It was interesting to see how long it took for people to travel across Europe in the middle ages, intense conditions and slow going A nun is sent on a mission to retrieve a holy cross and there is murders along the way. Someone is falsely accused and she defends this young man and saves him from execution.
This is the second installment in a trilogy featuring a nun named Hildegard. This book takes Hildegard on a perilous journey to Italy. Her prioress sends Hildegard on a secret mission that puts Hildegard in the path of a murderer.

Very enjoyable read! I loved the details of the journey across Europe and was intrigued by what happens when Hildegard returns at the Abbey of Meaux.
Oct 04, 2011 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-edition
These Abbess of Meaux tales are really are amazing. The mysteries are complicated and tied to historic occurrences of the day. The historical detail is intense. these are not lightweight cozies but rich historical fiction in the vein of CJ Sanson and Ariana Franklin. I can't wait to start the next one.
Heidi Kneale
Loved the historical detail, enjoyed the mystery elements, but I simply couldn't get into the characters. I couldn't grok their motivations and emotions. This might be because I haven't read the first book in the series, and I missed out on a whole lot of character development.

I really wanted to love this book and couldn't.
Jun 07, 2014 Beka rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I don't think I'm going to read anymore from this series. The mysteries are good, and I like the main character. But I feel like she tries to be too cryptic and subtle with her wrap-ups. I got to the epilogue in this book without feeling like the mystery was solved. Maybe I should have paid closer attention to details, but I feel like she could also have explained things a little better.
Aug 11, 2011 Joyce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good story. Glad I went back to read early books of the series after starting out with the latest as it helps fill in some "grey" areas. Looking forward to the next book Ms. Clark writes in this series.
This is a complex murder mystery/story of political intrigue set in the aftermath of Wat Tyler's Rebellion. I still haven't figured out the allegiances of all the recurring characters in the series... The lead characters are appealing and I look forward to the next book in the series.
Cyn Mcdonald
The entire story was pointless. Although set in 1383, with John of Gaunt in power, there was no real sense of the time or the politics. And at the end, Hildegard announces that "the identity of {the} murderer was proven beyond doubt" but if it was, I didn't notice.
Dec 06, 2010 Trisha marked it as didn-t-want-to-finish  ·  review of another edition
I didn't know this was a #2 book. I felt a little lost. It just didn't hold my interest. Maybe I'll try and read the 1st book some time.
Mar 22, 2010 Rebecca is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I'm enjoying this. It's the second in the series, I couldn't get the first one (though have tracked it down now).
Jul 23, 2011 Ruth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-historical
"Sometime, maybe in the distant future, the weaker side will become the stong. Their tyranny will match that of their oppressor. This is the law of life. The lust for power is the same in all men"
I like this one better than the first mostly because I think Clark did a better job explaining some of the historical context (and there's a glossary and time line!)
I enjoy the cast of characters - and I am looking forward to reading more. However, I did have to read the end a second time to understand the political background.
Mike Shoop
Good mystery set mainly in Yorkshire in 1383, with a spunky nun, Hildegard, off on a pilgrimage to bring back a holy relic for her abbey, and the intrigue and murders she encounters along the way.
Amy rated it it was amazing
Aug 19, 2013
Buxtonspice rated it liked it
Jun 01, 2014
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 26, 2015 07:06AM  
  • The Demon's Parchment (Crispin Guest, #3)
  • The Paths of the Air (Hawkenlye Mysteries, #11)
  • The Lady Chapel (Owen Archer, #2)
  • Bloodstone (Sorrowful Mysteries of Brother Athelstan, #11)
  • A Personal Devil (Magdalene la Batarde, #2)
  • The Apostate's Tale
  • The Rhetoric of Death
I'm mad about the middle ages and love writing this series of medieval whodunits featuring nun sleuth Hildegard of Meaux. When I started with Hangman Blind I thought Hildegard would become an abbess but then she joined the Cistercians who only allowed women to be prioresses so she's had to put up with that. It surprises me that I'm writing historical novels at all, especially ones involving crime, ...more
More about Cassandra Clark...

Other Books in the Series

Abbess of Meaux (7 books)
  • Hangman Blind (An Abbess of Meaux Mystery, #1)
  • The Law of Angels (An Abbess of Meaux Mystery, #3)
  • A Parliament of Spies (An Abbess of Meaux Mystery, #4)
  • The Dragon of Handale (An Abbess of Meaux Mystery, #5)
  • The Butcher of Avignon (Abbess of Meaux, #6)
  • The Scandal of the Skulls (Abbess of Meaux, #7)

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