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Wine of Violence (Medieval Mystery #1)

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  619 ratings  ·  84 reviews
It is late summer in the year 1270 and England is as weary as its aging king, Henry III. Although the Simon de Montfort rebellion is over, the smell of death still hangs like smoke over the land. Even in the small priory of Tyndal on the remote East Anglian coast, the monks and nuns of the Order of Fontevraud long for a return to tranquil routine. Their hopes are dashed, h ...more
Paperback, 228 pages
Published January 30th 2006 by Poisoned Pen Press (first published December 30th 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,337)
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Damaskcat
This is the first book in a medieval mystery series and it is set in a religious foundation in Suffolk which has both monks and nuns. A new Prioress has just been appointed following the death of the previous Prioress. The body of a monk is found in the nuns’ enclosure with horrific injuries and Prioress Eleanor feels her first job must be to find out who killed him. But Eleanor has to convince the monks and nuns in her charge that she isn’t too young to rule them and battle her own inappropriat ...more
Rosemary
Generally my satisfaction in a "whodunit" is determined by the quality, complexity, and resolutions of the crime, and when those are poorly, shallowly, or obviously presented I generally have a negative impression of the book. While the "mystery" in this one was fairly obvious from the beginning, and the mystery itself not overly-well done, I found myself enjoying this book quite a bit.

This novel (the first in a series) has two strengths for me. The first is the attention to medieval life and th
...more
Ken Kugler
First I would like to say that I love Medieval Mysteries and this one was recommended by an author whose books I really enjoy, Jeri Westerson. This first book in a series is set in Tyndal on the East Anglian coast in England. It is set in an unusual monastery, a double house which has monks and nuns are part of the Order of Fontevraud. The really unusual part is that this type of house is headed by a Prioress and not a man.
The story starts with as a new prioress, Eleanor, coming to the priory as
...more
Tisha
Wine of Violence was a book I very much enjoyed reading. It wasn't a life-changing book, as a 5 star book would be, but I sure wish there was a 4.5 rating, because it was a book that was an enjoyable read as well as providing "thought fodder" for further meditation and/or discussion.

First, a general summary of the plot: It is 1270 in England and the people are weary of wars and rebellions. The Normans have invaded and conquered and society is split between the conquerors and the conquered and o
...more
Jen

The Wine of Violence by Priscilla Royal
A Garden Carried in the Pocket by jenclair / 0min // keep unread // hide // preview
Wine of Violence

While I was looking for medieval mystery titles, I found Priscilla Royal's books listed and decided to try one.

Wine of Violence is the first in her series featuring young Eleanor of Wynethrop, who has recently been appointed Prioress of Tyndale Priory. Eleanor's appointment is a political one, overruling the usual practice of the nuns electing their own prio
...more
Linda Bridges
The first book in a series about Prioress Eleanor in medieval England, the book details the story of how she came in to be charge of Tyndal Abbey, home to both monks and nuns. The founder of the Fontevraud order had established that the abbeys established would be run by a woman, and not any of the monks. There is dismay over Eleanor's arrival due to her age (she is only 25), the fact that she was appointed from outside and not elected by the nuns living there, and resentment over her policies ...more
Beverly
It is the year 1270 and England is as weary as its aging king with the smell of death hanging like smoke over the land. Even in the priory of Tyndal on the East Anglian coast, the monks and nuns of the Order of Fontevraud long for a return to tranquil routine. Their hopes are dashed when the young and inexperienced Eleanor of Wynethorpe is appointed their new prioress over someone of their own choosing. Only a day after her arrival, a murdered monk is found in the cloister gardens, and Brother T ...more
Susan
Knowing how much I enjoy the Brother Cadfael by Ellis Peters and Sister Fidelma by Peter Tremayne medieval mystery series a friend recommended the Medieval Mystery Series by Priscilla Royal. I am hooked again; I enjoyed this first mystery and plan on continuing the series. I like the characters especially the portrayal of the prioress. Although the author explained her reasoning in the forward I did find some of the progressive ideas discussed within the story a bit disconcerting, more 20th cent ...more
Kathy
Eleanor, the daughter of one of King Henry III's barons, is appointed prioress of Tyndal, on the coast of East Anglia. Tyndal Priory is a double house of the Order of Fontevraud, meaning it houses both nuns and monks, something rather common in early Christian days but a concept that was going out of style by this time.

Brother Thomas, a young man with a past that landed him in prison and could have resulted in his execution, is also send to Tyndal by a mysterious benefactor who has given the yo
...more
Awallens
It is late summer in the year 1270 and England is as weary as its aging king, Henry III. Although the Simon de Montfort rebellion is over, the smell of
death still hangs like smoke over the land. Even in the small priory of Tyndal on the remote East Anglian coast, the monks and nuns of the Order of Fontevraud
long for a return to tranquil routine. Their hopes are dashed, however, when the young and inexperienced Eleanor of Wynethorpe is appointed their new prioress
over someone of their own choosin
...more
Nancy
Apr 01, 2013 Nancy added it
It is late summer in the year 1270 and England is as weary as its aging king, Henry III. Although the Simon de Montfort rebellion is over, the smell of death still hangs like smoke over the land. Even in the small priory of Tyndal on the remote East Anglian coast, the monks and nuns of the Order of Fontevraud long for a return to tranquil routine. Their hopes are dashed, however, when the young and inexperienced Eleanor of Wynethorpe is appointed their new prioress over someone of their own choo ...more
Samantha
I would have never even known this book existed if it weren't for the recommendation of author extraordinaire, Sharon Kay Penman, and a 99c Kindle sale. Wine of Violence is a wonderfully written novel that takes place in the late 13th century. Hard feelings remain for the Saxons who were defeated long ago by the Normans, and Henry III has won a victory in the name of monarchial strength when Simon de Montfort was defeated. It is not a good time to be a villein. But this story isn't about the Nor ...more
Rebecca
This novel is readable, with a fair mystery and characters who could be interesting. However, it seems to struggle somewhat in being a mystery novel instead of more general historical fiction. It reads very much like historical fiction that had a mystery tossed in to give it a more specific genre.

The saving graces of the novel are its easy-to-read style, interesting if two-dimensional supporting cast, and a decent mystery with an emotionally satisfying outcome. Since the writing is solid and the
...more
Dorie
Pretty good historical mystery. This is the first of a series, and I've bought the second one to continue. The story is set in 1270 in a small priory in England. A young nun named Eleanor is newly appointed as prioress, and struggles to gain the respect and acceptance of the other nuns and monks that reside there. On her first day at the priory Eleanor has to cope with the discovery of an older monk found murdered in the garden, as well as a newly arrived monk named Brother Thomas for which she ...more
Karen Brooks
Still on my medieval history binge, this book, by Priscilla Royal was recommended to me by a friend. The short novel set in 1270, tells the story of Sister Eleanor, the newly appointed prioress of a monastery that houses both monks and nuns in one of the only orders that allowed such co-mingling during the Middle Ages.
Blessed with a quick mind and youth, the new prioress encounters not just resistance form the older monks and nuns who can’t reconcile her age and attractiveness with her abilitie
...more
Lizzie Hayes
Following the death of prioress Felicia in the summer of 1270, twenty-one-year-old Eleanor of Wynethorpe is appointed prioress by King Henry III. A political move that pleased the family, but not the monk and nuns of Tyndal Priory, which belongs to the Order of Fontevraud, where monks and nuns live and work in close proximity.

Within a day of her arrival Eleanor is apprehensively aware that she has usurped the order’s elected choice, Sister Ruth. Then the one person who had welcomed her, and who
...more
Malcolm
Historical novels which also double as detective fiction are becoming more common. It's easy enough to accept a Victorian novel treated this way as in the times of Sherlock Holmes there was a professional police force. Reading about Marcus Falco in Silver Pigs about a private detective, mixing it with corrupt officers in the Aedile's office in Imperial Rome is harder to take, but comical in the mixing of Twentieth Century urban America and First Century Rome. I guess there were Crowners in each ...more
Martin Turner
Interesting crime drama set in 1270 mediaeval England. Priscilla Royal is an American and a few American phrases have slipped in here which can slightly distract from the period in question. Quite a good crime plot though if a little disappointing at the end and the (to me) unrealistic feelings of the characters to male to male "love" for the time. I guessed who the perpetrator of the crimes was quite early on, but thid did not detract from the storyline at all. Enjoyable.
Clarice
This is the first in the Medieval Mystery series. Poisoned Pen Press offered the Kindle versions at a very good discount last week, so I decided to give it a try.

Royal's writing is solid and the mystery in the "Wine of Violence" was rather good. I found it to be a pleasant read until the end when the new Prioress summarizes the recent events and "waxed philosophical" about them. I guess it is very similar to the formula that Agatha Christie uses at the end of each Poirot and Miss Marple novel, b
...more
Sharon Michael
Very well plotted/written historical mystery, well rounded characters that for the most part seemed to fit into the era.

The murders the plot revolved around were seemingly of less importance than the focus of other events, although the cooperation between the young and astute prioress of the abbey and the civilian "coroner" was interesting and different.

In many ways the author seemed to be drawing some links between misconduct within the religious community in that era with some of the miscond
...more
Joy
This author kept popping up in my Amazon recommendations, so I gave her a try with the first of her mystery series. Set in the England of Henry III, a young prioress, a political appointee, is plopped down into a hostile religious community and left to establish her authority as she may. The first major event of her tenure is the murder of the women's confessor. The men of the community and the neighboring village are doing their damnedest to pretend the confessor committed suicide. And who is t ...more
Carole Moran
An excellent mystery set in an abbey in England in the late 13th century. The concept is popular in the mystery genre, with a woman as the head of the abbey who is called upon to solve a murder with the aid of a man, in this case a priest. The author has certainly done her homework and the book includes an introduction that seems like a complete history of England to this impatient reader. I skipped most of it but do not doubt it has much of historical significance. A bibliography is also includ ...more
Fiona
This seemed very amateurish to me with clumsy dialogue and clumsy techniques used to introduce characters and background detail. I've only recently discovered that I enjoy historical fiction but if I'd read this before I did, it might have put me off for ever more. I'm seriously at odds with the vast majority of readers though so perhaps I just wasn't in the mood. That's the really disappointing part as I'm in Norfolk on holiday and had been looking forward to reading this here. [I was slightly ...more
Ashland Mystery Oregon
Priscilla Royal’s Wine of Violence is a marvelous mystery, replete with strong characters, good plotting and historical detail. It’s the first in the Medieval Mystery series, and features Eleanor of Wynethorpe who is named by King Henry III as prioress of the Tyndal priory, which by virtue of that order, sets her in authority over monks associated with the house. Wonderful details on healing, questions of belief and gender and intrigues of the day. Wish there was more on the foodways, but there ...more
Lexie Conyngham
A good story in an assured setting, with fair characterisation. I found the layout a bit topsy turvy - the contents and copyright pages were at the back, along with (oddly) a description of the book. I could have done without quite a bit of the lengthy historical explanation at the beginning (annoying in an ebook when it's harder to flip past it)and bibliography and page and a half of acknowledgements at the end. Most of the American spellings were tolerable (after all, English spelling of the p ...more
Jane
This is the first historical fiction book in a series of Midieval Mysteries set in 1270 England at a double house monastery which has nuns & monks. In this unusual monastery, the Prioress (woman) is in charge, much to the discontent of the monks. Most galling to all is that the new Prioress is a 20 year old political appointment by the King. Immediately upon her arrival a monk is murdered & she quickly shows what she's made of & makes some allies along the way. The characters are fai ...more
Cora Lee
I wish Goodreads allowed 1/2 stars--this book is a solid 3 and 1/2 stars. I really enjoyed the story, and became quite fond of the two main characters (Prioress Eleanor and Brother Thomas). The language was mostly modern, but I appreciated how the author discussed that decision (among other things) in her author's note. The only thing that kept this from being 4 stars for me was the ending. Without giving it away, I can say that it was a little flat, and just too easy. But it was logical and wra ...more
Becky
No, nope, no. I've been desperately searching for a new medieval murder mystery series to love. This is NOT it. Boring, blah. The search continues.
Natasha Chowdory
I don't normally read medieval mystery fiction but I have to say that this was a lot better than I expected. The main character who is chosen to be the new Prioress is immediatly likable. More so because she isn't perfect. And also I love history and hearing about the way monks and nun used to exist in the Order of Fountevrand was probably one of the best parts. The story, wasn't that predictable and I did like the journey the story took us on. Definitely a series I'll be keeping my eye on. 4 st ...more
Marita
Well developed characters, lots of suspense and a unique writing style delighted me.
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Priscilla has a degree in world literature from San Francisco State University, where she discovered the beauty of medieval literature. She is a theater fan as well as reader of history, mysteries, and fiction of lesser violence. She lives in Northern California and belongs to the California Writers Club and Sisters in Crime.
More about Priscilla Royal...
Tyrant of the Mind (Medieval Mystery, #2) Sorrow Without End (Medieval Mystery, #3) Justice for the Damned (Medieval Mystery, #4) Forsaken Soul (Medieval Mystery, #5) Chambers of Death (Medieval Mystery, #6)

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