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Joys of My Life (Hawkenlye Mysteries #12)

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  163 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
A Hawkenlye medieval mystery - May 1199. Abbess Helewise has been summoned by Queen Eleanor to discuss the building of a chapel at Hawkenlye Abbey. Meanwhile, Sir Josse d'Acquin is on the trail of a group of mysterious knights rumoured to be devil worshippers. As Helewise heads for home, Josse follows his quarry to Chartres, where he meets the last person he expects: Joann ...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by Severn House Digital (first published October 1st 2008)
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Besides the mystery of who murdered a mason, Paul de Fleury--or was it suicide?, Sir Josse [and later with him Ninian, Joanna's son] pursues a group of knights, rumored to be devil worshippers with evil practices and Abbess Helewise's traveling to where Chartres Cathedral is being built in order for her to engage the master mason, Martin, to build a chapel on abbey lands. I feel this is the end of a stage in the story of Josse and Helewise. Their lives will change from now on. Much is given in t ...more
Jan 29, 2009 Patricia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lyn, Joshua
Excellent! I like Alys Clare's medival mysteries much better than Ellis Peters - the characters are more diverse, with the different points of view of Joss D'Acquin and Abbess Helewise etc. This one has a wonderful plot centered around the convergence of the "old ways" and the encroachment of Christianity and how Christianity itself was changing. My only disappointment with this is that in the end it skipped ahead 10 years and appears to be the end of the series. WAAAAAH! We could have lots more ...more
Aug 26, 2011 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the story but was very disappointed with the ending. Felt like the author just "dropped" it on the last page and the reader has to like it or "lump it". Just recently found out that there is a 13th book to this series--"The Rose Of The World"--written just this year (2011). Ordered from my local library but will have to wait as it's new :(

Will be moving on to her new "Fen" series because I like these short plots (they're a quick read for me).

Note: By this point in the series, I have t
Aug 17, 2010 Charlotte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-medieval
This is a reasonably satisfying end to the series. The mystery was interesting, many loose ends are tidied up and life moves on for all the main characters. Having read the synopsis of the next two books in the series I think I will stop here. It is a natural ending point, unlike some series that drag on for too long but the lives of the characters do not ever reach a satisfying point (I stopped the Bartholomew series some books back for this reason - I loved it at first but the characters were ...more
Nov 15, 2011 Ruth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-historical
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 22, 2012 Frances rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-series
I have enjoyed this series very much, both for the main characters and for the historical details of King Richard the Lionheart and his mother Eleanor of Aquitaine. While there has always been a thread of pagan spirituality throughout the earlier books, this became much more prominent and required a rather significant suspension of disbelief in this volume, which also felt like the last of the series. I enjoyed the development of the main characters and loved the setting of Chartres Cathedral at ...more
Aug 16, 2010 Mandy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have read a couple of books from this series and have loved them. This book I really found very hard to believe in. I had to force myself to suspend all disbelief and try to enjoy the plot. I must admit that I didn't succeed. The supernatural bit really irritated me, it just seemed so contrived.
The characters are as likeable as ever. However, Joanna, the mother of Sir Josse d'Aquin's young daughter, I just failed to believe in.
The ending of the book, just staggered me. Why????
The book is a q
Kathy Moberg
I was very disappointed in this novel. It is barely a mystery, and the medieval New-Agey thread (the Forest People, their magic, etc.) that runs through this series, is much too prominent for my taste. Had the mystery been better, I could have overlooked that. Too much of the book is taken up with completing the series and filling readers in with what happens to major and minor characters. Not all of it is believable or satisfying.

Yet, there is now another book... I'm not sure if I'll read it o
Overall, not a bad read.
Parts of the story are quite nice and I enjoyed them, while some other parts are a bit cliché and also require a suspension of disbelief (which, for me, is an issue as I value historical accuracy in any historical novel). The treatment of the complex relationship between the "Old" religions and Christianity is also quite nicely accomplished.
Some characters, such as The Abbess and Josse, are interesting and well rounded, while some other characters (especially Joanna) ar
This series makes for terrible bed-time reading; too many nights I have stayed up late reading them, and this last installment is no exception. I have a hard time putting it down to do anything else (such as sleep). In this book, Josse is given a commission by Queen Eleanore to determine the truth of foul rumors about her late son, King Richard the Lionhearted. This book pretty much ties up all the loose ends of the series.
Barb in Maryland
This is the last book in this series and is a very satisfactory wrap-up. The mystery, as such, is almost non-existent, but that's okay. We are really just here to find out the author's plans for Sir Josse, Abbess Helewise, Joanna and all the other characters whom we have followed through the previous 11 books.
One of the most interesting series set in King Richard's England.
Mystery w/ eerie elements set in medieval England and France, and very mild romance. Everybody except the bad guys were portrayed as awfully *nice*, and I think it suffered from my having just read "Pagan's crusade" set in the same time period, but which seemed much more realistic to the time and setting. Plot was nicely paced.
Apr 13, 2010 Abcdarian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This must be going to be the final book in the Hawkenlye series; everything is tidied up at the end, which is something I love, and the reason it got 4 stars. The plots have been getting wilder & farther away from the story's origins in the last few books; think she was running out of ideas. Anyway, a good finish.
Ma'lis Wendt
Mar 16, 2010 Ma'lis Wendt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Joys of my life seems to be the final title in the Hawkenlye mysteries. Sir Josse and Abbess Helewiss travel from England to Aquitaine to Chartes and back to England with lots of action along the way. These mysteries set in the 12th century explore how the Old Religion and the Church interact during this time.
Typically enjoyable read from Alys Clare. This is the 12th (and last) entry in the Hawkenlye series and picks up and pulls together many threads from previous books. The mystery is more a means to bring characters together than a whodunit to be sorted out.
Apr 10, 2013 Megan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As with all the series, I really enjoyed it. However, some of the religious musings were a little too "in your face", although it did make me wonder about the thousands of varying opinions that we'll never know as the centuries lead to generalisations.
A nice conclusion to the series. The mystery wasn't gripping, but the characters are all wrapped up satisfactorily. Not sad I read it, but definitely glad I got if from the library and didn't buy it.
Apr 15, 2012 Cindi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great read by Alys Clare! This one held more suspense than before, I simply could not putti down! A lot of loose ends tied up and a shocking ending!
May 09, 2009 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is only the second of this series that I have read. Alys Clare seems to be taking a new direction with her characterrs. Eleanor and Richard both die and John is ruining the country.
Hadn't come across any of this series so wasn't sure what to expect. A bit of history, mystery and Paganism made it quite an enjoyable read
Aug 02, 2014 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hawkenlye series in 1200's England. Murder mystery involving Abbess and Knight. Great period story and history.
Finished 8th April 2009.

Very good as are all of the Hawkenlye Abbey stories. I did think that it had an air of finality about it, I hope this will not be the last in the series!
Cori North
Oct 10, 2011 Cori North rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Poorly written. But that's really compared to earlier work, so maybe 1.5 stars would be more accurate...still not good, but not the Worst ever.
Jul 22, 2010 Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A highly satisfying end to a delightful series. Will be forever grateful to Trish for introducing me to Sister Helewise!
Mick rated it really liked it
Apr 03, 2012
Sharon rated it really liked it
Apr 19, 2009
Stephanie Tweedie
Stephanie Tweedie rated it really liked it
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Holly rated it it was amazing
Sep 13, 2013
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Nov 12, 2016
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Jan 19, 2015
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Alys Clare is the pen name used by Elizabeth Harris for the Hawkenlye series of historical mysteries.

Alys Clare is the pseudonym of a novelist with some 20 published works to her name. Brought up in the countryside close to where the Hawkenlye Novels are set, she went to school in Tonbridge and later studied archaeology at the University of Kent. She lives for part of the year in Brittany, in a re
More about Alys Clare...

Other Books in the Series

Hawkenlye Mysteries (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • Fortune Like the Moon (Hawkenlye Mysteries, #1)
  • Ashes of the Elements (Hawkenlye Mysteries, #2)
  • The Tavern in the Morning (Hawkenlye Mysteries, #3)
  • The Chatter of the Maidens (Hawkenlye Mysteries, #4)
  • The Faithful Dead (Hawkenlye Mysteries, #5)
  • A Dark Night Hidden (Hawkenlye Mysteries, #6)
  • Whiter Than the Lily (Hawkenlye Mysteries, #7)
  • Girl in a Red Tunic (Hawkenlye Mysteries, #8)
  • Heart of Ice (Hawkenlye Mysteries, #9)
  • The Enchanter's Forest (Hawkenlye Mysteries, #10)

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