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No Dark Place

(Medieval Mysteries #1)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  278 ratings  ·  31 reviews
In the turbulent realm of Norman England, a young nobleman discovers that his identity is the link to an incredible mystery. Hugh Corbaille has just lost the person he cares for most in the world, his adoptive father, the Sheriff of Lincoln. While Hugh's grief is still raw, he is approached by a visiting knight with an unbelievable tale: Hugh may actually be Hugh de Leon, ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published April 5th 2000 by HarperTorch (first published 1999)
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Lorraine Yes. The name of this book is The Poisoned Serpent also by Joan Wolf. It continues the story of Hugh de Leon which takes place during the war between…moreYes. The name of this book is The Poisoned Serpent also by Joan Wolf. It continues the story of Hugh de Leon which takes place during the war between King Stephen, nephew of the previous King Henry I, and The Empress Matilda, daughter and only surviving
legitimate child of Henry I. The Poisoned Serpent is published by Harper Collins, and the copyright date is 2000.(less)

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3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  278 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Benjamin Thomas
I came to this one knowing it to be a historical mystery, set in the middle ages, but also knowing that the author is a fairly well-known romance writer. I have nothing against romance writers in general, preferring to judge every book and author on their own merits and not by some preconceived stereotype.

What I found was a nice story with an engaging mystery plot and fairly well-drawn characters. I happen to know quite a bit about the actual history of this time (just after the Battle of the St
Ana T.
Wolf was a familiar name to me as a writer of historical romance and traditional regencies. I was quite surprised when I discovered that she had also written two medieval mysteries and after reading them I can only say that it is a pity that she did not write more.

Set in 12th century England, No Dark Place is the story of Hugh Corbaille and the mysteries that surround him. When the story opens Hugh, the adopted son of the Sheriff of Lincoln has just lost his father and is “recognized” by a visit
Kit Door
Jan 11, 2015 rated it liked it
This is well written and interesting, but contains typos (such as wrong names) and weird errors like interchangeably using "wine" and "ale".. first 5 chapters are filled with repetitive mentions of the rushes on the floors. The author is clearly aware that 'dinner' is the midday meal, but often forgets and refers to the end of the day meal as 'dinner' too. The young heroine is very beautiful, but she also has a tan, which was basically a disfigurement for a lady in the 12th century. She is also ...more
Mar 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who enjoy Medieval mysteries
Great Medieval Mystery! This mystery touched on some topics one usually does not see often in medieval mysteries, but I am sure took place. Men in powerful positions especially when the feudal system was in place could do just about anything they wished, and Hugh de Leon's father was one of these type of men. It is no surprise that Hugh could not remember his years with his mother and father. Well done. I like the work of Joan Wolf.
Nov 17, 2017 rated it liked it
I might have rated this a two star but for the background events of the war between King Stephen and Empress Matilda. As the common folk suffered thru these years this book confirms it truly was a time when “Christ and his saints slept”. The main start about Hugh was nothing special.
Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well written cozy except for a few wrong names. This is definitely a romance mystery. It isn't an exceptional book in the larger world of mysteries but it is not bad for the genre in which it fits. A nice, light read.
Aug 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Definitely a high three... I read this years ago, and remembered it fondly enough to hunt it down these many years later. Hugh and Cristen are highly sympathetic and the story is engaging, even if it does occasionally read a bit like a friendly history lecture in its descriptions.
Set during the twelfth century in England with the struggle for the throne between King Stephen and Matilda as the backdrop, this story features a young man named Hugh Corbaille. Hugh was the foster son of the Sheriff of Lincoln but had no memory of his early years. Until one day he is recognized by a knight visiting his foster father's lands and is told he is the missing-presumed-dead son of the late Earl of Wiltshire.

Hugh rejects this idea on a visceral level. But he consents to go with the kn
This has been classified as a mystery, but it didn't strike me that way. The plot is of a young man in 12th century England who doesn't remember his early childhood. What he does remember is being brought up by the sheriff of Lincoln and his wife.

In the first chapter, another knight recognizes Hugh as the missing son of the former Earl of Wiltshire who had been killed thirteen years earlier. Apparently Hugh's features are so similar to his parents' that he could be identified after such a long t
Mar 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Set during the civil war between King Stephen and the Empress Maude, a young knight learns that he is probably the long lost son of an earl. I've loved some of Wolf's earlier books, her Dark Ages series starting with The Road to Avalon, and her Prehistoric series starting with Daughter of the Red Deer. I admit I was disappointed in this one. The story was good, the mystery wasn't obvious, and the main character was able to see strengths and weaknesses in both claimants for the throne. That said, ...more
May 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
#1 in this early 12th century English mystery series. England is on the verge of civil war between dual claimants to the English throne: Stephen and his half sister Matilda. 20 year old Hugh Corbaille has just emerged from the first battle between the 2 claimants and has seen his foster father killed and his life is bout to be turned upside down. He has no memory of his first 8 years of life before being found as a street urchin in the city of Lincoln by the man who becomes his foster father. It ...more
Clotilde Martinez
Jan 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
During the time that Stephen and Matilda were battling it out with who was ruler of England, Hugh Corbaille's world came crashing down around him with the untimely death of his beloved foster father. It was at this time that Hugh was recognized by a visiting knight as the kidnapped son of Roger de Leon, Earl of Wilshire who was murdered as the same time that Hugh was kidnapped. Roger's brother Guy is suspected to have Roger killed in order to gain control of Wilshire but there was never any proo ...more
Jean Perry
Nov 02, 2014 rated it liked it
I like a period piece every once in a while and Joan Wolf appears to be just what i need for some enjoyment. This is my first book of hers. I see she has a long list, so i will read more. Medieval England is ripe for mysterious historical fiction, there was so much going on. There are familiar and interesting characters in this book, the old, probably over-used, battle between Stephen and Maude. But this book gave a very good flavor of day-to-day life and surroundings, which i enjoy and it was a ...more
The dust jacket makes this novel sound interesting, I wish I had stopped at the dust jacket.

The book itself was poorly written, the story itself was completely predictable, the dialogue was shallow and dull. There was no character development, the romance portion of the story was passionless the characters had no chemistry.

All in all the only thing I was please with was the fact that I borrowed this from the library.

If you are looking for a good historical fiction try Sharon Kaye Penman's 'The
Karen Hufman
Aug 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
Boring. Hugh is a very serious (boring) young man who recently loses his father. A nobleman staying at his foster father's castle sees him and realizes that he is the long lost son of a hero from the crusade who was murdered 14 years ago. The mystery surrounds the murder which Hugh has no memory of whatsoever. In the meantime, he falls in love with the daughter of another nobleman. The story moves slow and it's not very exciting. I won't be reading the next one in that series!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kate  K. F.
Sep 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
I wanted to like this book. The medieval period with interesting characters and a thoughtful plot, I zipped through the first part of this book. Then I got stuck on being told again and again about rituals of disarming and who owes to whom. I didn't want to make this book a DNF because I think the story and world is well created but there's far too much telling versus showing, it pulled me out of it. Also the pacing felt off, I'm curious about what happens but not enough to finish it.
Aug 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
It took me a few days to get past the first chapter but then I couldn't put it down. I know nothing about this time in England's history but had no trouble following along nor did I feel like I was getting too much information as a way of showing that the author did her research. I am looking forward to reading the sequel.
Apr 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
A medieval mystery about a boy of royalty who disappeared 14 years earlier and who has now returned to find out who he is. I really liked this book because I found the character development interesting. The plot was solid but not totally original. I would give this book a 3.5 stars. It was good but not great.
Michele bookloverforever
Jul 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
dark, painful secrets are revealed at the beginning of the English civil war between empress Matilda and Stephen of blois....when a 14 year old murder is investigated by his long lost and amnesiac son...
Sep 26, 2010 rated it really liked it

I've a fondness for historical mysteries. The mystery is not particularly complicated, but I enjoyed this one. It's set in an interesting period (the struggles between Stephen and Matilda for the English throne), there's a nice romance, and Joan Wolf tells a good story.
Aug 11, 2012 rated it liked it
This was a great find. So glad I picked it up. Really liked the way she unfolded the characters and all the rich descriptive details she used in writing it. The story was a great pace with no low spots.
Jun 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical-novel
I read this when it first came out. I thought this was good.
The plot was pretty good, the writing clunky, the dialog terrible, and the characters had too many Mary Sues and Gary Stus among them.
Aug 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
England in the 1100's. Stephen vs Maude
Rosalind Hoenig
A well written book, easy to read and fast-paced.
The ending a bit of a let-down but nevertheless a good read!
Kim Stringfellow Long
Apr 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really really good! I can't believe I haven't read any of her other books but definitely have found a new author to read!
Oct 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Great mystery romance!!
Feb 26, 2009 rated it liked it
Actually I'd give it a 3.5-4, and I'm looking forward to getting to the 2nd book! I definitely enjoyed it, that's for sure.
Jan 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: summer-2014
First Joan Wolf I've read and I enjoyed it. The story flowed nicely, with a few surprises along the way and her characters lived on the page. I look forward to reading the sequel.
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Joan Wolf is a USA TODAY bestselling American writer, whose acclaimed Regency romances have earned her national recognition as a master of the genre. Her many historical and contemporary romances, some of which have been chosen as Literary Guild selections, have been highly praised by reviewers and authors alike.

Joan was born in 1951 and she grew up in the Bronx, New York. A former English teacher

Other books in the series

Medieval Mysteries (2 books)
  • The Poisoned Serpent (Medieval Mystery, #2)