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The Merchant's Mark (Gilbert Cunningham, #3)
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The Merchant's Mark (Gil Cunningham #3)

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  249 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Gil Cunningham and an old acquaintance, Glasgow merchant Augie Morison, report the gruesome find of a severed head instead of an expected delivery of books. At the inquest, Morison is accused of murder and imprisoned. He appeals to Gil, who sets out to identify the dead man and establish the provenance of the treasure that lay beside him. The trail leads from the court of ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published June 8th 2006 by Carroll & Graf
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Sherrill Watson
Nov 26, 2016 Sherrill Watson rated it really liked it
Gilbert Cunningham, in Scotland in 1492, has himself another mystery. He and Maister Augustine Morison ("Augie") had ordered a barrel / puncheon of books from the Low Countries. When the barrel is opened, 'Mon Dieu', it is full of brine instead of books, contains a severed head / heid and some jewels / coin from James III's hoard. However, the barrel did not have a fox's head, the shipmark. The corpse also had one blue eye and one brown, which might have matched Riddoch's son, and a missing tour ...more
Jul 17, 2015 Marlowe rated it it was amazing
Gil Cunningham is eagerly awaiting a shipment of books. But when the barrel that was supposed to contain literature turns out to have a human head floating in brine instead, he and his companions become enmeshed in yet another mystery.

Another great addition to the series!

There’s a bit more supernatural stuff (a ghost this time), but it’s still manageable in quantity.

I like that Gil’s station changes between the books. Each book is an isolated mystery, of course, but the character development is
Lexie Conyngham
Jan 06, 2016 Lexie Conyngham rated it it was amazing
This novel takes Gil and his soon-to-be father-in-law out of Glasgow as far as Roslin Chapel, where we find out something new about the big builder Pierre. Gil’s disabled sister, a ferocious but lovable woman, and her terrifying maid are also key characters as we learn just what travels in barrels around Scotland. Gil’s encounters with the royal court, as he rises higher in his chosen profession, are as edifying as such things usually are, and the ongoing arrangements for Gil and Alys’ marriage ...more
Gil's friend Augie has ordered some books for them both from the Low Countries but when the barrel arrives it contains a severed head and the King's treasure instead. And then Augie is taken into custody for the murder due to the old superstition that a murderer is reluctant to touch a dead body as the corpse can identify its killer. Once again Gil is drawn into the solving of the crime along with his fiancee Alys, sister Kate and father in law Pierre. Good fun, not too taxing and exciting enoug ...more
Aug 07, 2010 Suzanne rated it liked it
Intriguing, but undeveloped. I could not keep all of the characters straight, and still am not clear on all of the political machinations. I'm hoping that the hints given in this one are followed up in later entries in the series. I also hope that the main characters are going to develop beyond what we have been given so far. Much, too much telling us how they feel about each other with not nearly enough demonstration. They are both too perfect, as well. One or two flaws would make them more int ...more
Apr 07, 2010 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, history
It is impossible to not be hooked by a mystery that starts out with a severed head and a treasure found embrined in a barrel that ought to be filled with books. Despite that, I found this mystery messier than the previous books in the series (or perhaps my brain is messier). McIntosh works hard on character development and conversations and it shows - and the historical accuracy (and carefully chosen inaccuracy) continues to be the best part of this series.
Jun 18, 2015 Rosemary rated it really liked it
Three and a half stars. There are some things to like here. The setting in the middle classes such as lawyers, craftsmen and merchants, is fascinating. The two main female characters were good, although improbable for the middle ages. I also liked the portrayal of one of the female servants who goes through a traumatic event.

However, overall I found the plot contrived and the constant use of dialect distracting.
Jul 06, 2014 Cfabrication rated it really liked it
I am enjoying this quite a bit more then the Nicholas Feast. I had trouble keeping the characters straight in that one. Not a full review, but it shares all the good qualities of the series: interesting setting, informative details about 15th century Scotland, appealing characters which are better differentiated than in the last book.

Two minor anachronisms: this is still early for knitted stockings, though possible, but it is very unlikely that anyone would have been crocheting lace.
Judy Sutherland
Nov 12, 2013 Judy Sutherland rated it liked it
A good read, but the characters are not drawn as strongly as I'd like. It's easy to get muddled because there are a lot of characters, and they are not terribly well developed. Pleasant enough, but there are better series out there. This is the second one I've read. I hoped the second one in the series might develop the characters a bit more, but it didn't really. Still, the plot is complex and it's a good puzzle, satisfactorily solved.
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I've realised that having my phone hardy to look up the words I can't work out (and ones I can, just to make sure) helps a lot with the medieval language. Perhaps by the third book I'm getting used to it, or she was told to rein it in a little.
That being said, she certainly didn't rein in the plot, with Rosslyn Chapel and King James IV playing key roles, as well as the poor 'Maisters' trekking far and wide across Scotland beset by armed blaggards!
Lynne Tull
Nov 26, 2016 Lynne Tull rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, medieval
I really like the main characters. This story had a lot of 'extra' characters. I had a hard time keeping them straight. Also, I got the feeling about midway that the story had segued into a formula. Which is fine as long as I keep liking the H/H and the mystery is challenging. Still reading and recommending this series.
I like this series, set in 12th century Glasgow and environs, but this one was a special treat, because the chapel at Roslyn figures in it. I am fascinated by that stone jewel, and McIntosh uses it to good effect in the plot. I have read this one, and the #2, but have not gotten my hands on #1. I will keep trying. #4 is now waiting for me at the public library.
Nov 01, 2012 Bonnie rated it liked it
The setting and language are so thorough that I found it a bit hard to read. By just skipping over what I didn't understand, I still enjoyed the book very much. Hope to read more and maybe understand more.
Maureen E
Sep 16, 2010 Maureen E rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, historical
The third Gil Cunningham mystery. Fun again, and I really enjoyed the introduction of Gil's sister Kate. I also loved the fact that once again McIntosh takes the characters' faith seriously. (Aug. 2010)
May 14, 2013 Judy rated it really liked it
I'm thoroughly enjoying this series. I particularly love the language and the attention to historical detail. The author is developing the main characters at a nice pace and the mystery is complex enough to keep the reader engaged.
Bryn (Plus Others)
Nov 16, 2016 Bryn (Plus Others) rated it really liked it
McIntosh puts so many things into her books I love -- this one has two very excellent female characters (Alys and Kate), and the love of reading, and medieval religion, and plenty of domestic details, and also a great mystery.
Dave Douse
Jan 02, 2014 Dave Douse rated it liked it
Written in the vernacular which I always find a challenge but never the less enjoyed this book. Might not read another for a while but will certainly read more of her work in the future.
Aug 17, 2011 Debbi rated it really liked it
quite an enjoyable mystery. The romance storyline is getting a little old though. Still, I enjoyed this one more than the 2nd in the series.
Jul 18, 2009 Patty rated it liked it
A fun series set in old Scotland with wandering bards and ancient church rituals. The courtship between Gil and Alys, two young people starting life together is appealing.
Oct 16, 2007 Deb rated it really liked it
The mystery in this one was not easily solved! One of her best.
Apr 17, 2010 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Merchant's Mark: A Gil Cunningham Murder Mystery by Pat McIntosh (2008)
Aug 28, 2015 Kathy rated it really liked it
With each book I read in this series I like it more.
Sep 25, 2011 Kira added it
Once again a cracking read from Pat.
Apr 14, 2015 Jes rated it really liked it
Would have given it five stars but I'm still a bit tangled by the Scot dialect and words throughout. Still a good story and a fun read.
Aug 29, 2011 Mairi rated it really liked it
This was an improvement over the second book. The story and circumstances were intriguing and complex. This was a very enjoyable mystery.
Janet rated it liked it
Oct 04, 2011
Corissa Ray
Corissa Ray rated it it was amazing
Sep 25, 2014
Iris Gray
Iris Gray rated it it was amazing
Apr 01, 2014
Sarah Crook
Sarah Crook rated it liked it
Jan 22, 2016
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McIntosh was born and raised in Lanarkshire, Scotland. Having begun to write at age seven, she credits the author who inspired her to write as "probably Angus MacVicar!" She lived and worked in Glasgow for many years before moving to the west coast of Scotland. Prior to making her mark as an author, she worked as "a librarian, a receptionist for an alternative therapy centre, taught geology and pa ...more
More about Pat McIntosh...

Other Books in the Series

Gil Cunningham (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • The Harper's Quine (Gilbert Cunningham, #1)
  • The Nicholas Feast (Gilbert Cunningham, #2)
  • St Mungo's Robin (Gil Cunningham, #4)
  • The Rough Collier (Gilbert Cunningham, #5)
  • The Stolen Voice (Gilbert Cunningham, #6)
  • A Pig of Cold Poison (Gil Cunningham, #7)
  • The Counterfeit Madam (Gil Cunningham, #8)
  • The Fourth Crow (Gil Cunningham, #9)
  • The King's Corrodian (Gil Cunningham, #10)
  • The Lanimer Bride

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