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Sacrilege (Giordano Bruno #3)

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  1,432 ratings  ·  213 reviews
A gripping historical thriller set in sixteenth-century England and centered on the highly secretive cult of Saint Thomas Becket, the twelfth-century archbishop murdered in Canterbury Cathedral.

London, summer of 1584: Radical philosopher, ex-monk, and spy Giordano Bruno suspects he is being followed by an old enemy. He is shocked to discover that his pursuer is in fact S
ebook, 432 pages
Published April 10th 2012 by Anchor (first published January 1st 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Where I got the book: LibraryThing Early Reviewer program.

This is apparently the third book in a series, so once again I have the interesting experience of being dropped into an already established situation and trying to catch up. It wasn't too hard; Parris deftly sketches in the portrait of Bruno, the ex-monk, ex-spy, ex-fugitive, philosopher, diplomat and writer. In this book he's under the spell of the beautiful Sophia, who begs him to go to Canterbury to solve the mystery of her late husban
The Tudor dynasty of late medieval England is popular with novelists across the range: from the ‘literary’ end of the market - Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall; to popular romance: Phillipa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl; to children’s novels: Julia Jarman’s The Time Travelling Cat and the Tudor Treasure. The Tudor period was marked by conflict, religious turmoil and brutal and bloody regimes. It therefore offers great scope for writers of crime fiction, as the success of S J Sansom and Rory Clements ...more
This book has so many flaws that it’s hard to know where to start. The major flaw is the author doesn’t seem to know what topic to use as the major conflict, and the book wanders hither and yon without a clear focus. One possible theme is Bruno’s love interest; another is the imminent possibility of an invasion of England; another is a fictional cult of Thomas a Becket which plans to restore Catholicism to England; another is the possibility of a plot to assassinate Elizabeth and elevate Mary to ...more
I love Sacrilege! If you try it, you'll like it too! Sacrilege is fun for the whole family.

Okay, I'm done now. But seriously folks, it is an excellent read. S.J. Parris is the pen name for Stephanie Merritt, a British journalist and author of two previous novels in the series, Heresy and Prophecy.

I had the opportunity to talk with her when she was visiting Toronto recently, and she spoke about writing when your child is on vacation (tricky), researching the Elizabethan era (fascinating), and how
S. J. Parris has managed once again to create a historical mystery that is just as compelling and captivating as Heresy and Prophecy. In Sacrilege, we once again see Giordano Bruno, a renegade monk in the year 1584. He has a way of putting himself in harms way due to both his philosophy,and his radical books and is therefore not surprised to find himself being followed. He believes that surely it is someone meant to kill or harm him, but it turns out to be Sophia Underhill. She has come all the ...more
John Lee
Seeing this book on the library shelf recently, I grabbed it. I was sure that I was awaiting this further episode into Elizabethan England with Doctor Bruno. I have now looked back through my logs and see that I have indeed read Heresy but not Prophecy. A shame as I like to try to read books in the order in which they are written. Perhaps this explains why I couldnt remember the detail of several references back to previous encounters in Sacrilege.
I still enjoyed the read but the more I read abo
Just finished reading the third, and most current, book in this series, Sacrilege. Radical philosopher, ex-monk and spy, Giordano Bruno, continues in the service of Queen Elizabeth I's spymaster, Lord Wasingham. This is the most entertaining and thrilling book yet in the series.

In this novel Bruno journeys to Canterbury to help an old flame who is on the run after being accused of murdering her much older husband, a prominent magistrate in Canterbury. But while investigating, he uncovers a serie
The appeal of this novel for me is the Canterbury setting in the late 16th century; the descriptions of the cobbled lanes and overhanging casements transport the modern-day city back to its medieval self without too much effort of the imagination!
The strands of the plot are a little repetitive in the first third of the book; Giordano Bruno's role of saviour to Sophia is underlined in metaphorical bold font again and again....and the twist is, of course, that he is ultimately double
Giordano Bruno is what is commonly called today, a Renaissance Man. He is a former Monk, a bit of a renegade and is on his way to Canterbury to investigate a murder that is somehow attached to the legendary Thomas a Becket, former Archbishop of Canterbury who fought over the Church’s rights with Henry II of England. Thomas was also treated with much respect by Catholics and Anglicans alike. Giordano, among his many talents is a spy for England, the country that is now counting on him for another ...more
Janice  Durante
S.J. Parris's third novel in her historical mystery series delineates a fascinating and memorable protagonist. The year is 1584, and Giordano Bruno, an Italian former monk and "heretic," ostensibly serves the French ambassador, but is actually an agent of Queen Elizabeth I's spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham. An old flame, Sophia Underhill, tracks him down in London and begs him to clear her name, as she is accused of killing her husband, a powerful magistrate in Canterbury.

With Sophia disguised
Frank Hintz
The third book in the historical fiction/mystery/thriller series featuring Giordano Bruno by S.J. Parris. Each book is a stand alone story, but there are a few significant references to the events to the events in the previous two books. In particular, one of the major characters in this story is a returning character from the first book. Further, the first book really introduces Bruno, presenting some key elements to his background. So, it does help to have read them all. Its been a while since ...more
This is the third in the series about Giordano Bruno by Tessa Harris that I've accessed electronically from the library. She has written more, and I will read the print version of these books because I like her well-researched, suspenseful stories set in England in the sixteenth century. Giordano Bruno is a former monk who escaped the inquisition in his native Italy because of his radical writings. He now serves as a spy for the court of Queen Elizabeth. In this story, Bruno is surprised to lear ...more
I realize I've been reading a lot of historic fiction last year. Here's the first one in 2015. I enjoy the Bruno Giordano series of S.J. Parris, but with this one, the storyline had highs and lows. Not consistently strong and the love interest part annoyed me really. I started reading Lamentation by C.J. Sansom next to this book, and I really thought that story was much stronger, and kept my interest more than this. However, I loved the ending scenes of this book, which made up a lot, the turbul ...more
Julie Witt
I was asked to read this by the publisher who knew that I hadn't read the first two books in the series, Heresy and Prophecy, as it can be read as a standalone. I loved this book SO much, though, that I'm going to get my hands on a copy of the first two books as soon as possible so I can devour them the way I devoured Sacrilege! I LOVED it! I do enjoy historical fiction, but this went beyond your regular historical fiction - it had one heck of a mystery in it, too!

For my full review, please see
First things first,I'm really annoyed with Sophia but admired her still. Aside from having tits she's good to use her brains to fool Bruno(which i didn't see coming).
*sigh.. I do sympathize with him after being fooled by a woman he thought he was in love with.

Moving on, the story was all about conspiracy stumbled upon in Canterbury by accident due to his undying love for Sophie who was accused for murder of her husband. Yep, he volunteered to help her. Meanwhile being the hero, he didn't reali
Good mystery set in Elizabethan England. The detective is an Italian ex-monk on the run, pursued by shadowy forces because of his heretical notions. He's spying from his position at the French embassy, but takes time off to clear an old love for murder.

The one thing that occasionally annoyed me about the book is how obviously our hero and the girl he loves are so obviously superior because they think like modern people. The woman got pregnant out of wedlock and was then shocked at the result, in
Anthony Fisher
I enjoy the 'Bruno' books. This is the third book in the series that I have read, though I did read them out of order, book 2-1-3. In general the books can be read in this manner, however, there are some links to previous books mentioned, though not sufficient to spoil the stories.
The locations have all been different,however, some of the plot devices used are similar to the earlier books, though not to the extent of spoiling these stories.

As usual, I will confine my review to generalities and
Leslie Roper
I have read all 3 of the S.J. Parris mysteries and I love them. I buy each one as they come out in hardback (Heresy, Prophecy and Sacrilege). Read them in one day and one night (stay up until I finish) then proudly line them up on my bookshelf. They look fabulous with their coordinating dust jackets. Then when I am ready to reread them, there they will be. Highly recommended for lovers of historical fiction.

The 3rd in this series of historical mysteries starring Giordano Bruno, excommunicated Dominican, closet free-thinker, and erstwhile agent for Queen Elizabeth’s spymaster while serving on the staff of the French ambassador. I enjoyed the previous two, as there was so much political/religious intrigue going on during 16th century England that the author used as key elements in the plots (IIRC).

Here, however, the intrigue seems a little less central, as we follow love-lorn Bruno on a personal ques
Throughout reading this murder mystery, I couldn't extinguish the feeling that the author (and the protagonist) was just trying too hard. Bruno, the narrator and main character, is implored to solve a murder by Sophia, an opportunistic, exploitive woman he finds attractive, although I couldn't find that plausible. Nothing about her seems appealing, and although a shared history is referred to, I just can't see any intelligent man being so easily taken in. The story takes place Elizabethan Englan ...more
Karen Brooks
The third book in Parris’ Giordano Bruno heretic and spy series, Sacrilege finds our philosopher hero, Bruno, at his most vulnerable yet. Still living in the French embassy it’s not until Bruno discovers the identity of the person following him through the streets of London that he’s reconnected with someone from his recent past, someone for whom he has strong feelings. When asked to help this person clear their name of a crime they didn’t commit, Bruno is unable to refuse. Seeking the permissio ...more
This was an interesting book. The beginning of it was a bit too long winded for my liking but I stayed with it because I was interested in the mystery the story was built around. This book shows that even though we think of the period this book was placed in, as a "simpler" time, it was anything but. There was just as much hatred towards those from other lands as there is today and the way the religions work to try and cancel each other out was shown quite well. At least the story showed the tru ...more
Karen Klein
Still love the series, but this one seemed to drag on a little more than the others that I've read.......going to wait patiently for the next one - the way that this one ended I'm going to assume that there will be another.....ah Sophia what are you doing?
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 03, 2014 Ian rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ian by:
Another outstanding read in the series. Go Gordo! This time, 1584, Canterbury Cathedral, the bones of Becket, and (another) Catholic conspiracy to retake England.

Our protagonist travels to Canterbury, in search of his lost love from his first English adventure, who finds herself accused of murdering her abusive husband. Bruno discovers a fiendish plot to fabricate a miracle, intended to pave the way for an invasion. Along the way he stands trial for murder, gets lucky (once), and is duped by hi
Have enjoyed the series of books about Bruno. Period interests me
Betty Strohecker
In book three, Giordano Bruno is reunited with Sophia Underhill from book one. She has been accused of murder and wants Bruno to help clear her name. To do so, Bruno must travel to Canterbury and investigate a secret cult surrounding Saint Thomas Beckett. Once in Canterbury, Bruno finds that nothing is as it seems. Those he thought he could trust may be against him. This is England in 1584, filled with danger, death, and mystery. One wrong move could mean Bruno's death.

This is another suspensefu
It’s a complete insult to the memory of the real Giordano Bruno. The real one was friends with Kit Marlowe, was bold, hot-tempered and outspoken with some very unusual religious/occult beliefs. He was also a spy, and surely if you’re going to write about him, that’s what you write about?! Something about the murky, treacherous Elizabethan underworld, something with THE SCHOOL OF NIGHT.

But no. Somehow he’s become a detective (?!) and a complete Nice Guy; he’s convinced that if he can get his fri
Giordano Bruno travels to Canterbury to investigate a murder, and to look into reports of religious unrest at the Cathedral on behalf of Elizabeth I's spymaster Walsingham. The murdered man, Edward Kingsley, is the husband of Sophia Underhill - Bruno had strong feelings for Sophia when he encountered her in a previous adventure, and now feels he must help get to the truth of her husband's murder. This brings him into contact with scheming churchmen, the cult of Saint Thomas Beckett and corrupt f ...more
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S.J. Parris began reviewing books for national newspapers while she was reading English literature at Queens' College, Cambridge. After graduating, she went on to become Deputy Literary Editor of The Observer in 1999. She continues to work as a feature writer and critic for the Guardian and the Observer and from 2007-2008 she curated and produced the Talks and Debates program on issues in contempo ...more
More about S.J. Parris...

Other Books in the Series

Giordano Bruno (5 books)
  • Heresy (Giordano Bruno, #1)
  • Prophecy (Giordano Bruno, #2)
  • Treachery (Giordano Bruno #4)
  • Giordano Bruno Thriller 5
Heresy (Giordano Bruno, #1) Prophecy (Giordano Bruno, #2) Treachery (Giordano Bruno #4) The Secret Dead (Giordano Bruno, #0.5) Giordano Bruno Series Books 1-3: Heresy, Prophecy, Sacrilege

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