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The Parisian Prodigal (Fools' Guild, #8)
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The Parisian Prodigal (Fools' Guild #8)

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  199 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
“Only a fool would pass this one up.” —Laurie R. King

In 1205, Theophilos—a fool by trade, a family man by choice, and a spy by design—belongs, along with his family, to the Fools’ Guild, a group that secretly maintains the fragile order of society. In Toulouse, that order is threatened when, unexpectedly, a man claiming to be a full brother of the ruling count is found one
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published January 19th 2010 by Minotaur Books
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Mar 16, 2011 Laurie rated it it was amazing
I love Gordon's books, about a Fool who is foolish yet also deadly serious. Delicious.
Jun 04, 2017 Eric rated it really liked it
I read some of his earlier books in the series and enjoyed quite a bit
this one is just as entertaining, the Mystery is enough to keep one guessing albeit a little easy but he twists and turns enough that when the murder is found out and put to death you are satisfied that he deserved it
Jun 15, 2015 Katherine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
This is one of my favorite series and this may be the last installment--or at least I haven't seen any others listed. Each book is stand alone but it is nice to have read the series from the start to see the progression in the life of Theophilos ( the name of one of my ancestors also and one that my husband nixed if we should have a son, sigh) a fool and spy belonging to the Fool's Guide of the 13th century. In this installment his daughter, Portia, is already 15 months old and quite precocious; ...more
Jul 12, 2010 Tripleguess rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 17, 2010 Chris rated it it was ok
There is a certain style of books which I suspect is promoted by American creative writing courses, to which this, and probably the rest of the series it forms part of, belong. It has a certain smugness, of the main characters who are cleverer and in on secrets, in a very modern, but definitely not medieval fashion. The whore as all beautiful, the fools are all brilliant acrobats and entertainers and the nobles are either roud and good leaders or somehow sociopathic, but in a modern way. The ana ...more
Caidyn (BW Book Reviews)
For the longest time, I equated clowns and jesters. But, jesters are so much more. In the past, they had the power to say what everyone was thinking, so long as they put it in a joke form so people could laugh about it. That's a unique power. Think of Henry VIII and his jester, Will Somers. He lasted as a jester through Elizabeth I's reign. Basically the whole Tudor line. That's terribly impressive.

But, back to the book.

This was a light mystery. Something fun that I could read in a detached mann
Rick Ludwig
Jul 29, 2011 Rick Ludwig rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book of medieval times and investigating jesters. The use of two points of view in telling the story added an excellent depth. This is the most recent book in a series and has stimulated me to go back to the beginning of the series. Humorous and human characters coupled with a nicely woven plot made this a very rewarding read. I always like learning about times and places of which I know little through the conduit of an engaging story. I could have done without the historical foot ...more
Jul 14, 2010 Tig rated it liked it
Interesting characters, the setting is Toulouse, France in 1205. The main character, Theophiles, is the Chief Fool in Toulouse, as well as being a spy and a married man with children. His wife, Claudia, a former Duchess, is also a Fool. They are members of the Fool's Guild, a group that is declared anathema by the Pope. The guild works behind the scenes to stabilize a turbulent Europe.

I liked the plot twists, the humor and the historical details. I did not figure out who did it until almost the
Apr 04, 2010 Susan rated it really liked it
The chief fool of Toulouse must figure out a murder that may threaten the city-state's political stability in the latest Fool's Guild mystery. There's a lot of back story in this, and while it's explained quite well, this is a series that should really be started with the first book and read in order. With the help of his fool-wife, their apprentice (who is posing as their daughter), and various friends, Theophilus deals with the Count of Toulouse and a man who may be his long-lost younger broth ...more
Apr 21, 2016 A.M. rated it really liked it
The Parisian Prodigal is the last published book of the Fools' Guild series - at least to date - and was an excellent read with an intriguing mystery. If you haven't embarked on this series, I strongly recommend reading the books in order of publication, starting with Thirteenth Night, because the "back story" is as significant and fascinating as the featured mystery.

I have not heard rumors of a #9, but one can always hope!
Mar 06, 2010 Debye rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
The 8th book in the Fools Guild mysteries did not disappoint. I love the dialogue, the witty banter, the idea of fools & jesters as network of spies. It is really fun and though it's set in the late 12th c and early 13th century, the settings and historical characters are not the usual well-known people and places. It's the smaller settings that are intriguing. I highly recommend.
Jul 30, 2011 Jayw added it
Dude in a fancy cape arrives in 1200 Toulouse from Paris, claiming he is the Count's secret brother. Soon after, the visitor wakes blood soaked in local brothel with dead whore by his side. Theo the Fool, his wife the bigger fool and apprentice sort out the guilty from innocent in this latest Fool's Guild Mystery.
Kathy Davie
Sep 01, 2010 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing
Okay, I have to buy the whole series. Feste and his family of fools dives right into your heart. I hope Alan Gordon isn't done with this series! Feste and Claudia's heartstopping encounters will have you racing through the pages. I hope I can learn something from their q-and-a sessions with their masters!
Wesley Paine
Sep 13, 2010 Wesley Paine rated it really liked it
Alan Gordon's Fool Guild Mysteries intrigue me and make me laugh. I love novels set in medieval history, and in these the narrators have their tongues firmly in their cheeks. If you've not read any of the series, start with the first one, Thirteenth Night; after that the order doesn't matter as much.
May 31, 2011 Traci rated it it was ok
I couldn't actually get through this book. Medieval mysteries are not my favorite, but I decided to try this one. I was struggling to get through and it was due back, so I returned it without getting very far. I put it back on my library list in the event I'm desperate for a new author and want to give it another go.
Jan 10, 2011 Mike rated it really liked it
Another entertaining chapter in the Jester series. I understand the comment regarding Theo and Claudia's dialog and sensibilities being modern, not medieval, but their relationship and dialog is what makes the series so entertaining to me.
Joe Wray
Dec 29, 2010 Joe Wray rated it really liked it
Mr. Gordon may be running out of steam. I was disappointed in this one (still good, but not up to the standards of his previous work).
Sally Smith
Jul 16, 2011 Sally Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another interesting Food's Guild mystery. I appreciate the historical accuracy and the historical notes that the author puts at the end. He takes actual events and then builds a story around it.
Susan Baumgartner
Feb 22, 2010 Susan Baumgartner rated it really liked it
I always thoroughly enjoy these tales. Excellent wit and fun storylines.
good book. I wish he'd hurry up and write another one
Sep 17, 2014 Nancy rated it liked it
I enjoyed this - probably would have enjoyed it more if I had started with the first book in the series, but I will read that at some point.
Nov 13, 2011 Gail rated it really liked it
I love the Fools Guild mysteries, especially the repartee between Theo and his wife, Claudia.
Kayme Henkel
Oct 27, 2011 Kayme Henkel rated it it was amazing
Another entertaining read from the Fool's Guild!
Susan Beecher
Aug 07, 2013 Susan Beecher rated it liked it
Very entertaining and satisfying mystery: two fools (jesters) in 1200s England.
May 01, 2012 Bonnie rated it really liked it
I love the history and the humor of the tales of this jester and his family in the middle ages.
Jun 28, 2010 Fuschia rated it really liked it
Recommended to Fuschia by: library browsing
Liked this, entertaining! Didn't realize was part of a series, will read #7 next (as they seem to be related) then start at #1.
Apr 14, 2010 Angie rated it it was amazing
I love this series, and the latest book does not disappoint. I can't wait for the next one!
Oct 01, 2010 Mike rated it really liked it
Shelves: general
Very solidly written, a good mystery, and fun characters. I wasn't dazzled, but I was highly entertained. Good book!
Feb 10, 2010 Max rated it really liked it
This book is making me wish I'd saved my Penguin Dictionary of the Saints.
Dec 15, 2013 Maren rated it it was amazing
This book was great. A really good addition to the series. I'm sad that there isn't another in the series after it!
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Alan Gordon is the author of the Fools' Guild mysteries. His short fiction and essays have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, The Drood Review of Mystery and the Medieval Academy Newslet
More about Alan Gordon...

Other Books in the Series

Fools' Guild (8 books)
  • Thirteenth Night (Fools' Guild, #1)
  • Jester Leaps In (Fools' Guild, #2)
  • A Death in the Venetian Quarter (Fools' Guild, #3)
  • The Widow of Jerusalem (Fools' Guild, #4)
  • An Antic Disposition (Fools' Guild, #5)
  • The Lark's Lament (Fools' Guild, #6)
  • The Moneylender of Toulouse (Fools' Guild, #7)

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