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Sacrilege (Giordano Bruno #3)

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  2,831 Ratings  ·  290 Reviews
The exciting new historical thriller featuring Giordano Bruno, radical philosopher and secret agent, for all fans of C.J. Sansom and 'The Name of the Rose'.
Hardcover, 456 pages
Published April 26th 2012 by HarperCollins (first published January 1st 2012)
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Barbara

3.5 stars

In this third book in the 'Giordano Bruno' series, Bruno tries to track down a killer in Canterbury while he exposes Catholic plots against Queen Elizabeth. The novel can be read as a standalone.

*****

It's 1584 and antagonism rages between Protestant England and Catholic countries of Europe. Many people, even in England, would like nothing better than to to depose (or kill) Queen Elizabeth and install a Catholic monarch on the English throne. Thus the Queen's adviser, Sir Francis Wals
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Jane
Mar 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Where I got the book: LibraryThing Early Reviewer program.

This is apparently the third book in a series, so once again I have the interesting experience of being dropped into an already established situation and trying to catch up. It wasn't too hard; Parris deftly sketches in the portrait of Bruno, the ex-monk, ex-spy, ex-fugitive, philosopher, diplomat and writer. In this book he's under the spell of the beautiful Sophia, who begs him to go to Canterbury to solve the mystery of her late husban
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Steve
Sep 21, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book has so many flaws that it’s hard to know where to start. The major flaw is the author doesn’t seem to know what topic to use as the major conflict, and the book wanders hither and yon without a clear focus. One possible theme is Bruno’s love interest; another is the imminent possibility of an invasion of England; another is a fictional cult of Thomas a Becket which plans to restore Catholicism to England; another is the possibility of a plot to assassinate Elizabeth and elevate Mary to ...more
Danuta
Jul 29, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Tudor dynasty of late medieval England is popular with novelists across the range: from the ‘literary’ end of the market - Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall; to popular romance: Phillipa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl; to children’s novels: Julia Jarman’s The Time Travelling Cat and the Tudor Treasure. The Tudor period was marked by conflict, religious turmoil and brutal and bloody regimes. It therefore offers great scope for writers of crime fiction, as the success of S J Sansom and Rory Clements ...more
Annet
Jun 22, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I realize I've been reading a lot of historic fiction last year. Here's the first one in 2015. I enjoy the Bruno Giordano series of S.J. Parris, but with this one, the storyline had highs and lows. Not consistently strong and the love interest part annoyed me really. I started reading Lamentation by C.J. Sansom next to this book, and I really thought that story was much stronger, and kept my interest more than this. However, I loved the ending scenes of this book, which made up a lot, the turbul ...more
Christie
Mar 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Sacrilege! If you try it, you'll like it too! Sacrilege is fun for the whole family.

Okay, I'm done now. But seriously folks, it is an excellent read. S.J. Parris is the pen name for Stephanie Merritt, a British journalist and author of two previous novels in the series, Heresy and Prophecy.

I had the opportunity to talk with her when she was visiting Toronto recently, and she spoke about writing when your child is on vacation (tricky), researching the Elizabethan era (fascinating), and how
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Lynn
Jun 28, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
SPOILER ALERT!
The appeal of this novel for me is the Canterbury setting in the late 16th century; the descriptions of the cobbled lanes and overhanging casements transport the modern-day city back to its medieval self without too much effort of the imagination!
The strands of the plot are a little repetitive in the first third of the book; Giordano Bruno's role of saviour to Sophia is underlined in metaphorical bold font again and again....and the twist is, of course, that he is ultimately double
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Frank Hintz
Apr 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The third book in the historical fiction/mystery/thriller series featuring Giordano Bruno by S.J. Parris. Each book is a stand alone story, but there are a few significant references to the events to the events in the previous two books. In particular, one of the major characters in this story is a returning character from the first book. Further, the first book really introduces Bruno, presenting some key elements to his background. So, it does help to have read them all. Its been a while since ...more
Jen
Feb 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
S. J. Parris has managed once again to create a historical mystery that is just as compelling and captivating as Heresy and Prophecy. In Sacrilege, we once again see Giordano Bruno, a renegade monk in the year 1584. He has a way of putting himself in harms way due to both his philosophy,and his radical books and is therefore not surprised to find himself being followed. He believes that surely it is someone meant to kill or harm him, but it turns out to be Sophia Underhill. She has come all the ...more
Mary
Apr 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Giordano Bruno is what is commonly called today, a Renaissance Man. He is a former Monk, a bit of a renegade and is on his way to Canterbury to investigate a murder that is somehow attached to the legendary Thomas a Becket, former Archbishop of Canterbury who fought over the Church’s rights with Henry II of England. Thomas was also treated with much respect by Catholics and Anglicans alike. Giordano, among his many talents is a spy for England, the country that is now counting on him for another ...more
John Lee
Aug 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Seeing this book on the library shelf recently, I grabbed it. I was sure that I was awaiting this further episode into Elizabethan England with Doctor Bruno. I have now looked back through my logs and see that I have indeed read Heresy but not Prophecy. A shame as I like to try to read books in the order in which they are written. Perhaps this explains why I couldnt remember the detail of several references back to previous encounters in Sacrilege.
I still enjoyed the read but the more I read abo
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Anthony
Jul 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just finished reading the third, and most current, book in this series, Sacrilege. Radical philosopher, ex-monk and spy, Giordano Bruno, continues in the service of Queen Elizabeth I's spymaster, Lord Wasingham. This is the most entertaining and thrilling book yet in the series.

In this novel Bruno journeys to Canterbury to help an old flame who is on the run after being accused of murdering her much older husband, a prominent magistrate in Canterbury. But while investigating, he uncovers a serie
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Janice  Durante
S.J. Parris's third novel in her historical mystery series delineates a fascinating and memorable protagonist. The year is 1584, and Giordano Bruno, an Italian former monk and "heretic," ostensibly serves the French ambassador, but is actually an agent of Queen Elizabeth I's spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham. An old flame, Sophia Underhill, tracks him down in London and begs him to clear her name, as she is accused of killing her husband, a powerful magistrate in Canterbury.

With Sophia disguised
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Judy
Oct 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third in the series about Giordano Bruno by Tessa Harris that I've accessed electronically from the library. She has written more, and I will read the print version of these books because I like her well-researched, suspenseful stories set in England in the sixteenth century. Giordano Bruno is a former monk who escaped the inquisition in his native Italy because of his radical writings. He now serves as a spy for the court of Queen Elizabeth. In this story, Bruno is surprised to lear ...more
Julie Witt
I was asked to read this by the publisher who knew that I hadn't read the first two books in the series, Heresy and Prophecy, as it can be read as a standalone. I loved this book SO much, though, that I'm going to get my hands on a copy of the first two books as soon as possible so I can devour them the way I devoured Sacrilege! I LOVED it! I do enjoy historical fiction, but this went beyond your regular historical fiction - it had one heck of a mystery in it, too!

For my full review, please see
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Leslie Roper
I have read all 3 of the S.J. Parris mysteries and I love them. I buy each one as they come out in hardback (Heresy, Prophecy and Sacrilege). Read them in one day and one night (stay up until I finish) then proudly line them up on my bookshelf. They look fabulous with their coordinating dust jackets. Then when I am ready to reread them, there they will be. Highly recommended for lovers of historical fiction.
Johanne
Apr 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another good addition to the series. This time Bruno is in Canterbury where nefarious deeds are afoot involving Thomas a Becket's bones, Catholic plotters and murderous officials. The books are well plotted, have good characterisation, and are well written both grammatically and structurally; a treat that is increasingly rare with so many YA and self-published horrors lurking in the Amazon undergrowth. A worthy addition to the canon of historical detective / mystery fiction.
Karen Klein
Sep 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Still love the series, but this one seemed to drag on a little more than the others that I've read.......going to wait patiently for the next one - the way that this one ended I'm going to assume that there will be another.....ah Sophia what are you doing?
Margareth8537
Have enjoyed the series of books about Bruno. Period interests me
Katherine
Very mixed feelings for this book overall. I preferred the earlier books in the series. Even though this book is well paced and well written, I feel it was too formulaic and repetitious. The same plot devises (hidden rooms, concealed vaults, books hidden under the floorboards) are over used and I felt originality was lacking. I love the characters though - Bruno is engaging as ever and Dr Harry Robinson, Tom Garth and Rebecca were memorable. Fab descriptions throughout, wonderfully atmospheric a ...more
Sue Cartwright
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, history
Following my review on the first two books of this series, 'Heresy' and 'Prophesy', this third book immediately follows Giordano Bruno from London to Canterbury on a ruse to clear the name of his once loved friend, Sophia Underhill, who was on the run for murder.

Unable to tell Walsingham the real purpose of his desire to go to Canterbury, it took a clever ruse to convince him to let him go. Uncharacteristically riled by the sudden death of the Prince of Orange which left Queen Elizabeth exposed
...more
Michelle
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(3.5 stars) This is the third book in the Giordano Bruno series. Giordano is getting the feeling that he is being watched. When his spy turns out to be Sophia, he is shocked to find out her circumstances. She is being accused of murdering her husband, a man she was forced to marry after having a child out of wedlock, who was given away to childless family prior to her marriage. Giordano agrees to go with her back to Canterbury after arranging a mission with his spymaster to cover his tracks. Wha ...more
David Grieve
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Best one of the series yet in my opinion as Bruno travels to Canterbury to resolve the murder of Sophia's husband - Sophia who has appeared before as Bruno's unattainable love interest.

The story occupies the ground between Dan Brown and CJ Sansom. The historical conspiracy theories of Brown but not as trite, with the broad setting of Sansom but not as detailed or convincing in many ways.

Stiil, you get a flavour of late Tudor England and the story is fast paced and exciting, albeit as incredible
...more
Shellie Taylor
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy this series. This book did not have as much action as the second book but the suspense was there and the author definitely built on the character development established in the first book. I love a good mystery and I love Tudor history so this series speaks volumes to me. It's historically accurate, the topic of religion is covered very well and portrayed thoroughly. It's not the best book ever written by any means and there's nothing groundbreaking about it but the author writes ...more
Andrew
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really cracking form from Stephanie Merritt!...& this book's not half-bad either! In fact, it's terrific! The 3rd in the Bruno Giordano series...I have the 4th on order!...& I am looking forward to more of Sir Francis Walsingham, Sir Philip Sidney & various devious but attractive women & evil-intentioned, sexist but lovable? men! Why shouldn't young women wear men's clothes in Elizabethan England? There were several old queens knocking about in Renaissance Europe, weren't there? ...more
Jane Crampton
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. It's the third in a series, good strong characters, good plot and a few twists and turns on the way. Like the way Harris blends fact and fiction. I confess an admiration for the lead character Giordano Bruno. Although a bit slow in parts I recommend reading this book, in fact the series. I would read them in order as it allows you to get to know the main characters personalities and their history. It is not absolutely necessary the stories are strong enough to stand alone.
Dirk
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bruno hits his stride with this third outing, sorting the wheat from the chaff in Canterbury, a place riven with religious rivalries. But has Sophie led Bruno into a mess that will see him accused of the crimes he is trying to solve? There is a race against time to solve what is going on before the assizes hit town. The book nicely evokes an England of suspicion and fear.
Tina Wilson
Tedious reading. I enjoy historical fiction as it gives me a glimpse into another possible way of life before technology. For a murder mystery, it wasn’t compelling enough to slog through it just to discover who dunnit.
Cathy
Dec 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
I enjoyed this just as much as the previous 2 - enough historical detail to be interesting, a good and engaging plot with twists, turns, and plenty of pace, and yet I cared about and engaged with the characters too. A good read!
Sophie
Sep 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Moved to Canterbury this time to see the effect of the reformation on the cathedral community there. Glad I had some prior knowledge of the religious politics of the age, with the involvement of the Huguenot community.
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Pseudonym for author Stephanie Merritt

S.J. Parris began reviewing books for national newspapers while she was reading English literature at Queens' College, Cambridge. After graduating, she went on to become Deputy Literary Editor of The Observer in 1999. She continues to work as a feature writer and critic for the Guardian and the Observer and from 2007-2008 she curated and produced the Talks an
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More about S.J. Parris

Other books in the series

Giordano Bruno (5 books)
  • Heresy (Giordano Bruno, #1)
  • Prophecy (Giordano Bruno, #2)
  • Treachery (Giordano Bruno, #4)
  • Conspiracy (Giordano Bruno, #5)