Strong As Death (Catherine LeVendeur, #4)
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Strong As Death (Catherine LeVendeur #4)

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  373 ratings  ·  21 reviews
As a former novitiate in the Order of the Paraclete, Catherine LeVendeur has had more than her share of adventures. In fact, intrigue - and murder - seem to dog her path. When Catherine chose love over churchly devotion by falling in love with her Saxon nobleman, Edgar, her family had the earnest hope that married life would settle this most headstrong and unusual woman. B...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 15th 1997 by Forge (first published 1996)
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Clif Hostetler
Jan 05, 2010 Clif Hostetler rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of historical fiction.
This is a historical novel that takes place in southern France and northern Spain in the year 1142. This happens to be the year Peter Abelard (of Abelard and Heloise fame) died which is noted in this book. However, the main historical character being followed by this book is Peter the Venerable (1092–1156). The book focuses on his journey to Spain that year to meet with translators to make arrangements to translate the Arabic Qur'an (Koran) into Latin. Some scholars consider this to be a momento...more
I didn't find this one as good as the previous books in the series. I'm sure my lack of motherly feeling left me with little empathy for the main topic in this book, the want of a child.
The heavy religious tones to the story were also a bit of a turn off, I know that everything in this story is very applicable to the era but I couldn't engage with the characters emotional drama's this time.
Wendy Kobylarz-Chouvarda
I wasn't sure how many stars to give this book, but I opted for three because while I didn't exactly like it, I thought it was better than just okay.

What impresses me so much about Newman's series is how she is able to make the dialogue accessible to 21st century readers while at the same time sounding plausibly 12th century (at least plausibly for someone who doesn't know much about Medieval history or French). The settings are also fascinating and believable, as are the tensions between Christ...more
This marvelous historical mystery takes place during a pilgrimage to the Shrine of St. James in Spain during the months of March through July of 1142. Catherine (an ex-nun who had studied under both Heloise and Abelard) and her husband Edgar are taking the pilgrimage in hopes that paying homage to St. James will make Catherine fertile and bring her a child after several miscarriages.

They embark on the journey accompanied by her father, her husband, an uncle, and a cousin. Her family is unusual i...more
The Middle Ages is certainly my favorite period in history. And I enjoy very much historical fiction set in the Middle Ages. Disappointed when I reached the 2oth and last volume of The Brother Cadfael Chronicles , by Ellis Peters, I had to look for another good medieval mystery series. When I say good, I mean something enjoyable, well written, and definitely well researched, as for the background setting and events.

Sharan Newman’s series, Catherine LeVendeur Mysteries, totally fits this descript...more
Actually, I picked this book up not knowing what to expect. I was hooked. I have read all the books in this series and wish there were more. Catherine LeVendeur (the main character) is quite a female for the time period (1142).

A fun read and each book follows Catherine from teenager to adulthood.
I picked this up initially because it takes place on the Road to Santiago, my current big interest, but I became quite taken with it for the horribly fascinating story of five knights that have committed great sins and are getting their comeuppance as they are on pilgrimage.
I had never read this series before, but chose this particular title because it deals with a pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago, which I have just visited. I will read more, because like all good historical fiction, it gives the reader an insight into how people lived some time ago. Catherine and her husband undertake the pilgrimage from deep in France, in response to a dream Catherine has. They join a group of people who stay and travel together, more for safety than any other reason. Each, o...more
I would say more like 3.5, It's a good series but it's gotten kind of boring. Kathryn's character is a little too good, and the Christian vs. Jew storyline has worn me out. I know it was a very important distinction at the time but in my California agnostic world it's hard to get excited about it. Historical mysteries are sort of my guilty pleasure, I don't read them for their literary quality or even historical accuracy. Usually I like the type with lots of action, suspense and sexual tension....more
Enjoyed this one the most so far. Maybe it is because I am now used to the setting and the players. The authors strong background and research in medieval history allows her to make the setting come to life. The characters are well-rounded and the description of the pilgrimage route made me feel as if I was there. This is a very strong series if you like historical fiction plus a good mystery.
Lady Knight
4.5 / 5

I really love Catherine and company! I love their interactions, their adventures and their personalities. This volume isn't quite as good as what's come before in terms of characters, but settings-wise this is a fabulous read for anyone interested in the Medieval fascination with shrines, pilgrimmages and the like. Looking forward to #5!
Yes, I'm completely hooked on this series of medieval murder mysteries set in 12th C France. The characters are compelling, the writing is strong, and the plots are complicated enough to keep me thinking. But it is the interaction of the ongoing characters that keeps me coming back for more.
Although this book goes on a bit too long, the finely wrought detail about life in the middle ages makes the read worthwhile. Sharan Newman's forte lies in her ability to convey the atmosphere and ambience of everyday life in the 12th century.
This one is really excellent, set, as it is, on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Newman clearly draws on the tradition of pilgrimage journals, which were the first travel books. Fascinating!
Apr 13, 2008 Elizabeth rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who like religious history or walking long distances.
One of my dreams is to take the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. This book is mystery about one such trip that took place in medieval times. So far it is a very good read.
The best part was the revelation about Solomon. Otherwise, there were too many characters that won't ever make another appearance in the series.
Historical fiction, of an era I haven't read much about. Read earlier book in this series, liked them and found the author again. Good read.
Every book I read in this series just whets my appetite for the next one. I need to slow down and savor them more.
My favorite part of this mystery is the pilgrimage to Compostela.
Diana Sandberg
Excellent. She gets better and better.
Feb 16, 2008 Katherine rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Katherine by: Teri Palanca
I have loved the Catherine Levendeur series
Deborah Eddy
Deborah Eddy marked it as to-read
Jul 25, 2014
Mamat marked it as to-read
Jul 25, 2014
Michael W. Balkcum
Michael W. Balkcum marked it as to-read
Jul 22, 2014
Paul Young
Paul Young marked it as to-read
Jul 21, 2014
Susan Shuey
Susan Shuey marked it as to-read
Jul 15, 2014
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Sharan Newman is a medieval historian and author. She took her Master’s degree in Medieval Literature at Michigan State University and then did her doctoral work at the University of California at Santa Barbara in Medieval Studies, specializing in twelfth-century France. She is a member of the Medieval Academy and the Medieval Association of the Pacific.

Rather than teach, Newman chose to use her e...more
More about Sharan Newman...
Death Comes As Epiphany (Catherine LeVendeur, #1) The Devil's Door (Catherine LeVendeur, #2) The Wandering Arm (Catherine LeVendeur, #3) The Difficult Saint (Catherine LeVendeur, #6) Cursed in the Blood (Catherine LeVendeur, #5)

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