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

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  186 ratings  ·  22 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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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
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.
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.
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.
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
With each book I read in this series I like it 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
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.
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!
Judy Sutherland
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 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.
Dave Douse
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.
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.
Maureen E
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)
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.
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.
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.
This was an improvement over the second book. The story and circumstances were intriguing and complex. This was a very enjoyable mystery.
The Merchant's Mark: A Gil Cunningham Murder Mystery by Pat McIntosh (2008)
The mystery in this one was not easily solved! One of her best.
Apr 27, 2014 Kira added it
Once again a cracking read from Pat.
Julie marked it as to-read
Nov 01, 2015
Victoria marked it as to-read
Sep 23, 2015
Teresa Lindquist
Teresa Lindquist marked it as to-read
Sep 23, 2015
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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 (10 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)

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