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The Boy's Tale (Sister Frevisse, #5)
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The Boy's Tale (Sister Frevisse #5)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  783 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
Who could ever want to harm two young boys, ages five and six? When the boys are half brothers to Henry VI, King of England, the list is long and distinguished. A lady in their mother's household flees with the boys to St. Frideswide's and asks Sister Frevisse to offer then sanctuary. Unable to refuse children, she takes them in and conceals them. But as attempts are made ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 233 pages
Published August 1st 1995 by Berkley Prime Crime
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Vickey Kall
Feb 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
I stayed up till 2 am to finish this; that rates 4 stars. If you like history, especially the kind of history that backs Shakespeare's plays, you will enjoy this series.
This is the 5th book in the series, I think, and perhaps if I'd read the first 4 I'd warm up to the character a bit more. We see the daily doings of a 15th-century nunnery through the eyes of several characters, but mostly through Sister Frevisse's. She's the "Miss Marple" of the series, but stern and no-nonsense.
This particular
Apr 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
England in the summer of 1436. The King's mother Katherine of Valois, send her two little sons Edmund and Jasper (aged six and five) to safety in Wales from evil and ambitious men who want them out of the way. They are waylaid by thugs and must take refuge. with five members of their household, in St Fridewides Abby, where they are put under Dame Frevisse's protection, as Dame Frevisse is unable to turn away children. They become friends with a charge of the abbey of their own age, the Lady Adel ...more
I think I learn more about history from historical fiction than any of my classes. Pathetic, I know. I wish Frazer would stop killing off the characters I like. I wonder what it says about me that my favorite characters are usually squires or stable masters. Probably that I like my men to be “salt of the earth” types. Either that or I have a kinky blue-collar fetish. lol
Jan 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Another great entry in a great series. I wish that Frazer had somehow managed to inject a little more of the historical background for the sake of readers who don't have all these medieval royal machinations in memory, but it is a great read even without that. I didn't guess whodunit until quite late in the game, which was fun.
Aug 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Easily in the best in the series so fa, the combination of the description of the political intrigue around the Tudor family, and the rapid dense plotting and coverage of nunnery life, made this one of those rare mysteries I didn't want to end.
Oct 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Another absorbing story with historical background of the politics of the fifteenth century, and insights into medieval life, particularly that of a nunnery.
Laura Edwards
Mar 18, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathy Davie
Oct 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, mystery
Fifth in the Sister Frevisse medieval mystery series revolving around Dame Frevisse, a Benedictine nun with a talent for deduction.

My Take
Frazer effortlessly pulls us into an intriguing story about the medieval world of a house of nuns with its manners, mores, and style of living and one that makes me want to dig deeper into the history of Owen Tudor. I seem to recall that his children are the start of the Tudor line of kings. This particular tale is incited by the secret life of Katherine of Va
Andrew Doohan
Another engaging tale featuring the named protagonist who, along with the other residents of her Benedictine house, is drawn into royal intrigues and affairs of state.

As always, the unfolding of this story around the monastic regime makes for some interesting reading, particularly when, in order to solve the mystery, Dame Frevisse is torn between following the threads of intrigue and attending to her commitment to the monastic life and the Rule of St Benedict. How that tension is resolved will b
Carol Flatten
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have read five of the sister Frevisse mysteries before this one. In each, I learn a little more about how nunneries operated and about the history of the time. In this one, a plot to rid two possible contenders to the throne is the crux of the story. There are more murders in this one than in any of the previous ones I have read. And, the hurdles that Frevisse has to overcome to solve the mystery are very complex, as is the secrets she had to keep because of the royalty involved.
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another excellent medieval mystery. Dame Frevisse is the female counterpart of Brother Cadfael. They both solve mysteries without any modern electronics or forensics. This book gave a fascinating insight into the politics and intrigue of the British ruling class of the period, while most of the action took place within the walls of a convent.
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction-read
Another top-notch Dame Frevisse mystery! This one is extra-fun, as it includes young children taking up residence (Sanctuary) in the Cloister. The nuns of St. Frideswide nunnery have their hands full with two young boys, a small girl and others who are under their care as they hide from those seeking their lives. Definitely worth the read!
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jill Holmes
Jan 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
St. Frideswide's convent is more quiet than even the usual Benedictine near silence. Its esteemed and beloved Prioress Domina Edith is slowly, slowly approaching her last hours on earth. Prayers for her peaceful leave-taking fill the hearts of all the nuns including Dame Frevisse. But the peace is shattered as, near the convent's walls, an attempt is made to abduct or perhaps kill two small boys. The attackers are slain, and their knight and guard Sir Gawyn is seriously injured. The lady accompa ...more
Apr 18, 2012 rated it did not like it
c1995. This seems to be 2 authors ie Mary Monica Kuhfield and Gail Bacon writing as Margaret Frazer. I am never quite sure why this is done - I always have this feeling that "they" are trying to con me..I have no idea why or why it worries me so. I got well into the book and was enjoying it to a point. The pace suited the calmness of a nunnery in a way but then I just got all worked up as the story started to focus on the imminent death of the Prioress. Rightly or wrongly, I did not want to read ...more
Jun 10, 2015 rated it liked it
I Chose to read Margaret Frazer's, The Boy's Tale, because this author is an Edgar Award Nominee. The title is a mystery and an historical fiction so it met two of my favorite genres. Though the plot development took awhile to grap my interest, it is a worthy read. This medieval mystery with the fearless Sister Frevisse and the Sisters of St. Frideswide cloister monastery offer sanctuary to two small boys, several women and three knights after their entourage was attacked by unknown outlaws. In ...more
Susan Meyer
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh, what tangled webs we weave

An excellent, but oh, so sad mystery. The boy in this take is one of two taken to the number at Frideswide, to seek sanctuary, to hide until one of their protectors is healed enough to continue their flight to Wales. They started their journey with five men, two women and the two boys, ended at Frideswide with two of the men dead after a battle just before reaching the gates of the nunnery.
Inside, death already stalks the hallowed grounds. Domina Edith is dying, slo
This is a delightful historical/cozy mystery. Two small boys of importance to many people because of they are half-brothers to King Henry VI seek sanctuary at St. Frideswide's only to be stalked by a murderer or murderers. Twice attempts are made on the boys' lives and twice they are saved from death. Then two of the men who accompanied them to the nunnery die - one by drowning and the other is stabbed to death. It is up to Sister Frevisse to unravel the mystery. Who is trying to kill the boys a ...more
Catherine  Mustread
Jun 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical, england, 1400s
Not my favorite of the Sister Frevisse series so far but I did like the connection with the Tudor Boys. The ending seemed rushed and not fully explained, especially the arrival of Sister Frevisse's cousin, the Duchess of Suffolk and her part in the mystery.

I do enjoy reading about this time period and the nunnery characters are interesting. The impending death of the Prioress is a secondary theme, and if this is the first or only book you've read in the series would not be nearly as meaningful.
I did not suspect the bad guy in this at all. The Tudor forebears are small children and the powers that be have just learned they exist. There is a plan to flee to their fathers people in Wales but they are ambushed on the way, Maryon from a few books ago is in charge and so she leads them to the convent. Soon more are dead and Frevisse must figure it out. Meanwhile Domina Edith is dying and so Frevisse is rather alone in her machinations. While I knew it had to be some one inside I did not sus ...more
Nov 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
I loved getting another Sister Frevisse mystery, due to receiving a gift certificate from my insurance company. (I'm cheap and won't spend much on a book.) If money were no object, I'd buy them all. Unfortunately, I've read all those in my library.

Besides the history that each of the books in this series are steeped in, I love the sister's personality, her wish to spend her life in prayer and her inability to not try to solve any mystery she encounters.
Sandra Strange
This series continues to offer superior Medieval mysteries woven with actual personages and history. This one involves a widowed queen's remarriage and children, kept hidden from the nefarious power mongers in church and state in Medieval England. The protagonist, nun-sleuth must walk a very narrow path to avoid danger and death.
Katie Bee
Jan 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-books-read
Knew who the boys were instantly, just from the names and the time period. I'm not sure they always act as young as they're supposed to be - they seem more like 9 and 10 - but that's probably due to the fact that children of this era grew up more quickly. A well done book, and I was particularly sad for one of the deaths.
Dec 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2015
Fun to imagine the everyday people living the history we remember. The boy will be important later but in this story he's just a boy.
Nov 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
I read these books some time ago. I enjoyed the mix of historical fiction and mystery.
Elizabeth Boyle
Apr 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this one a lot!
Jul 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Eppie by: My Honey
Good book. Historical facts and imagination all in one. It is interesting to see other peoples determination to save children. And the innocence children can have to encourage the adults.
Jun 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bit of a royal connection with this one!
Jun 02, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unexpected villian

Liked it, but totally over Dame Alys. Good mystery, would of enjoyed more context for the boys and their provenance.
Melanie Barbarito
Jul 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Another lovely little mystery. I feel as though I must have read other Sister Frevisse mysteries, but I don't have them listed.
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Margaret Frazer is a pen name used at first by Mary Monica Pulver Kuhfeld and Gail Lynn Frazer writing in tandem for a series of historical medieval mysteries featuring Dame Frevisse. After the sixth novel, the works are written by Gail Frazer alone, and the name has subsequently been used exclusively by her. A second series of novels by Ms Frazer set in the same time and place feature the player/ ...more
More about Margaret Frazer

Other books in the series

Sister Frevisse (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • The Novice's Tale (Sister Frevisse, #1)
  • The Servant's Tale (Sister Frevisse, #2)
  • The Outlaw's Tale (Sister Frevisse, #3)
  • The Bishop's Tale (Sister Frevisse, #4)
  • The Murderer's Tale (Sister Frevisse, #6)
  • The Prioress' Tale (Sister Frevisse, #7)
  • The Maiden's Tale (Sister Frevisse, #8)
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