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Fortune Like the Moon (Hawkenlye Mysteries #1)

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  792 ratings  ·  42 reviews
It is 1157, and a young nun from Hawkenlye Abbey has been found with her throat slashed. The people of rural Kent are quick to jump to conclusions: Surely the murderer must be one of the felons released by the new king, Richard Plantagenet, as a sign of his goodness and charity. When King Richard dispatches a soldier of fortune, Josse d'Acquin, to investigate the shockingl ...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published May 21st 2013 by Minotaur Books (first published 1999)
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FORTUNE LIKE THE MOON (Historical Mystery-England-1100s) – G+
Clare, Ayls – 1st in series
Hodder & Stoughton, 1999- Hardcover
*** Josse d’Acquin has been sent, by King Richard Plantagenet, to Hawkenlye Abbey. Hawkenlye was designed by Richard’s mother, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine and is run by a woman, the Abbess Helewise. Richard, at the decision of this Mother, had all prisoners released in celebration of Richard’s coronation. Now a young nun has been brutally murdered and Josee is sent to fin
Who is killing the NUNS?!?!?! For pity's sake. That's heinous.

A true gentleman investigates with the wise and thoughtful and tough Abbess and the resolution is indeed satisfactory. Well, for the reader. Not so much for the deceased characters.
May 02, 2010 Laura rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Susanna
O Fortunata!
velu Luna
Statu variabilis,
semper crescis
aut decresis

Oh, Fortune!
Like the moon, changing,
Forever waxing and waning...

From Carmina Burana

Good start for the first book of this series. 3,5 stars.
This was my first attempt at reading a medieval crime novel. Wasn't sure what to expect, but I actually enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series!
I thought I had read this first entry in the Hawkenlye series, but once I started reading it I realized I hadn't; I've since read and enjoyed some of the other books in the series and wanted to reacquaint myself with how the series started. Very well, it turns out, with few of the awkward, contrived tricks an author often uses to start a series - over explaining, too much background of characters and situations, where too much is told instead of shown.

A novice nun appears to have been brutally r
Kim Headlee
"Fortune Like the Moon is proof that a writer of medieval crime fiction can deliver something fresh," trumpets The Times of London on this novel's cover. Bless their biscuits, they're absolutely right.

In 1189, on the eve of her son Richard's coronation, Queen Eleanor -- think Katharine Hepburn in The Lion in Winter -- opens England's jails and releases hundreds of prisoners as an act of Christian charity in the king-elect's name. But her canny public relations gambit threatens to backfire when
I read "Fortune Like the Moon" as part of my library's/work's summer reading program, A Medieval Knight's Read, and wasn't too sure of what to expect. While I enjoy watching many Medieval movies or television shows, I'm not one for reading about them. That being said, I greatly enjoyed the first of the Hawkenlye series. Taking my usual dislike for Medieval literature out of the equation, the mystery surrounding the novel was very well executed and the characters were well developed.

As readers w
Richard Plantagenet, the second son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitane has unexpectedly succeeded to the throne of England on the death of his brother. Having spent most of his life in France, and hardly speaking English, his mother tries to pave the way for his acceptance. She recommends that he release all prisoners in a gesture of clemency. Shortly after this a nun is murdered at Hawkenlye Abbey and the king sends an investigator, Josse d'Acquin, to prove that the murder was not committed by ...more
Shirley Anstey
The first in a series that is new to me set in the weald of Kent, close to Tonbridge, during the late 12th Century. Sir Josse d'Aquin is sent by new king, Richard 1st, to uncover the truth about the murder of a nun from nearby Hawkenlye Abbey, finding a wise and trusty ally in the Abbess Helewise.

This was an enjoyable read. The solutions were not too obvious and kept me guessing. The book was a little awkward in places, perhaps some of the conclusions were arrived at rather too readily, but thi
Sara Gale
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The first book I've read by this author (and the first in her Hawkenlye Mystery series). I was impressed enough by the tight plot to rate it 4 stars. I only rate books 5 stars when they're so good I feel the need to go out and buy them for my home collection. Only 242 pages long (a quick read for me) but thankfully, the author didn't feel the need to "bloat" the book to tell and complete the story. Good enough detail on the characters (especially on the Abbess) that I'm intrigued enough to searc ...more
Anne Slater
This is the first of 12in the "Hawkenlye" series (I've read 5 with great delight) so I'm not going to review or list all 12.
This series begins in 1157, with 2 protagonists, male and female, who depend upon each other. The Old Religion (Earth-centered) is featured deeply and respectfully throughout. In fact a third important person in the series is a Priestess of the Old Religion (it doesn't have a name that I recall, but that's what I call it).
She has another series set a couple of decades earli
Kay Webb
12th century France & England. Henry II has just died and Richard Plantagenet is preparing for his coronation.

Most of the action takes place at and around Hawkenlye Abbey, a nunnery near the town of Tonbridge, which is on the road from Hastings to London.

I really liked the first book of this mystery series because it has many of the elements that made Ellis Peters's Brother Cadfael books so enjoyable for me: interesting characters from all levels of the society, everyday happenings that inte
Val Sanford
Though to start, I ended up liking this book, and the medieval Abbess and young knight challenged by King Richard to discover the truth behind a vicious killing of a young novice. Then another nun is found dead before they can learn the truth. Lies, greed, and fear are at the heart of these murders. The plot is a bit too twisty for me; too many sudden revelations but the story holds together and is a clever first book. I look forward to more mysteries to solve with Sir Josse and Abbess Helewise.
Set in the time of Richard the Lionhearted, Sir Josse d'Acquin teams up with Abbess Helewise of Hawkenlye Abbey to find the killer of two young nuns. This is an interesting tale with a completely unexpected final twist. I thought it very interesting, and there was no jarringly un-historical outakes - the story held together with the technology of the time. The author spins a fine tale, and I'm reading another of this series because I liked it.
I enjoyed this little medieval tale of unrequited love, murder and general mayhem. The author actually does a competent job of establishing the times (1157)of Abbess Helewise and Josse d'Acquin, her unlikely detective team. But as the sleuths unravel what are presumed to be the murders of two nuns, it's as if a 19th century Holmes and Watson were being interpreted by Basil Rathbone himself. Still, a fun read for an easy-going summer's day.
An historical mystery that takes place in the early reign of Richard the Lionheart. Queen Eleanor convinces her son Richard to send someone to investigate the death of a novice at Hawkenlye Abbey. He sends one of his soldiers - Josse D'Acquin - to England to solve the mystery. Josse meets the Abbess Helewise and a new crime-solving partnership is born.
A quick read but a goodread none the less.
Thanks to Trish for the recommendation! I don't know if I'd find this book as charming if I didn't have a special relationship with some awesome nuns, but I do, and so I did. And mysteries set in 1189? A perfect way to occupy me until the last season of The Tudors comes out. Expect to see more of this series on my Goodreads list.
Ma'lis Wendt
This is the first book in the Hawkenlye series and sets the stage for these medieval mysteries set during the reign of Richard I. The mysteries are complex and the characters interesting. I particularly liked the insight into the Norman conquest impact and how unimportant the English were to the Normans.
I would have given this 2 1/2 stars if possible. It wasn't a bad example of the medieval mystery genre but definitely not in the same league as Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael series. Without giving away the plot, I would have to say that parts of the denouement seemed a bit contrived and unbelievable.
I have enjoyed all of the books in this series, although I seem to be behind by 2 books. I haven't tired of the characters - she has done a good job of keeping an unusual relationship fresh - and the plots continue to hang together well - they have not yet suffered from being rushed out too fast.
Hah. A new mystery series (for me) set in medieval England, Hawkenlye is an abbey headed by the formidable Abbess Helewise. The knight Josse D'Aquin, acting as agent for King Richard the Lionhearted, comes to the abbey to investigate the first murder. Promising and full of history.
Jan 29, 2009 Patricia rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Joshua
This is the first in my favorite medieval mystery series. The characters of Sir Joss and Abbess Helewise are well drawn and grow throughout the series and the puzzles themselves are intriguing and educational. I prefer these to the Ellis Peters/Brother Cadfael series.
Mystery set in 12th century Kent. A young man in the service of Richard Plantagent is sent to Kent to investigate the murder of a nun at Hawkenlye Abbey. First in the series. I enjoyed this and went on to read 2. Ashes of the Elements and 3. The Tavern in the Morning.
I re-read this for my bookgroup. Ienjoyed it. It is the beginning of a series which i read and it was good to reread the first when she is establishing the characters. A bit of a suprise at the ending.
The first part of the book was slow going and it was a bit hard to be caught by the story. Afterward, at least, I got hooked and savoured this book. I'll try the next one in the serie.
Another good historical mystery series, the protagonists being Josse d'Acquin, a knight of the court of King Richard the Lionheart, and Helewise, a feisty abbess with a worldly past.
The Hawkenlye series is a wonderful, historial mystery series with complex characters, fascinating details of the time period and its a pity the series is final complete.
Takes the reader into the heart of the Medieval Europe. Reminds me of the Brother Cadfael mysteries. A good mystery with interesting characters and a healthy dose of history.
Abbess Helewise and Knight Jose d'Acquin medieval English cozy mystery series. I've read about 8 out of maybe 11-12 books. Series starts strong, gets predictable.
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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 15 books)
  • 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)
  • The Paths of the Air (Hawkenlye Mysteries, #11)
Ashes of the Elements (Hawkenlye Mysteries, #2) Out of the Dawn Light (Aelf Fen, #1) The Tavern in the Morning (Hawkenlye Mysteries, #3) The Chatter of the Maidens (Hawkenlye Mysteries, #4) The Faithful Dead (Hawkenlye Mysteries, #5)

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