Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Monastery Murders (Stanton & Barling, #2)” as Want to Read:
The Monastery Murders (Stanton & Barling, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Monastery Murders

(Stanton & Barling #2)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  2,171 ratings  ·  162 reviews
Their lives are ones of quiet contemplation—and brutal murder.

Christmas Eve, 1176. Brother Maurice, monk of Fairmore Abbey, awaits the night prayer bell. But there is only silence. Cursing his fellow brother Cuthbert’s idleness, he seeks him out—and in the darkness, finds him brutally murdered.

Summoned from London to the isolated monastery on the Yorkshire Moors, Aelred Ba
Audio CD
Published September 27th 2018 by Brilliance Audio
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Monastery Murders, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Monastery Murders

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,171 ratings  ·  162 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Monastery Murders (Stanton & Barling, #2)
The Monastery Murders is the second masterful book in the Barling and Stanton series, from E.M. Powell. It is a novel full of rich characters, a scintillating murderous plot and a backdrop truly immersed in medieval, 12th century England.

Fairmore Abbey is a monastery of the Cistercian Order located in a secluded area in the remote Yorkshire countryside. Abbot Philip of Fairmore, through King Henry’s great justice Ranulf de Glanville, has requested Aelred Barling, the King’s clerk, to in
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
*I would like to thank EM Powell, the Publisher and Netgally for allowing me to read this novel in exchange for an honest review.*
The Stanton and Barling Mystery Book 2 reads really well. The King's man and his assistant are asked to investigate a most mordid crime committed in a remote monastery in Yorkshire. The intrigue is intetesting and the characters are well developed and and the end we learn something more about Barling's past. The idea of a team of two working our mysteries has been lon
This medieval murder mystery series by EM Powell with senior court clerk, Aelred Barling, and his invaluable assistant, Hugo Stanton, is getting better and better. I recently read the first book, The King's Justice, and this one is a more than a worthy follow up. Whilst Barling and Stanton's relationship has improved considerably, the differences in their characters still gives rise to tension between them. It is 1176 in the austere Cistercian brethren run Fairmore Abbey, situated in a remote, d ...more
Dec 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aelred Barling, clerk to the King’s justices, and his Messenger Hugo Stanton are sent by the Chief Justice to King Henry II, Ranulf de Glanville, to investigate the horrific murder that took place on Christmas Eve at the Fairmore Abbey on the Yorkshire Moors in 1176. Upon their arrival at the isolated Abbey, there commence more murders that seem to mimic the story of The Vision of Tundale [an actual book written by the Irish monk Marcus in 1149].

Powell continues to develop Barling and Stanton’s
Take a remote monastery frequently cut off from the outside world in bad weather, an insular community where it’s not all brotherly love between the inhabitants, add a dash of frustrated ambition, a few secret vices and the harsh realities of monastic life and – as it turns out – you have all the ingredients for murder. Actually, no, you have all the ingredients for a series of murders. And quite gruesome murders they are too.

Finding the culprit is the stern task that faces King’s justice, Aelre
Dec 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second outing for the talented detective team of Aelred Barling, royal clerk to Henry II, and his assistant Hugo Stanton is full of chilling atmosphere, both literal and figurative. At the request of Ranulf de Glanville, Justiciar of England in 1177 AD, both are sent north from London, a ten days’ ride in darkest winter, to the remote Cistercian house of Fairmore Abbey in Yorkshire. On Christmas Eve, the mild-mannered sacrist, Brother Cuthbert, was found murdered in a pretty horrific way.

Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read both of the Stanton-Barling novels now, and really enjoyed this second one. I suspected who the murderer might be, but that did not spoil the book. The character development of Stanton and Barling is intriguing, and I am looking forward to reading more about them.
Tom Walsh
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was born and schooled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There were two societal levels there, when i attended college: the kids with rich parents, and the kids with poor parents. I was the latter. But, i friended a guy from the former category. His parents bought him gold ingots for his birthdays. He spoke holding his teeth together, which gave him an intelligent voice. I could do nothing right, in his pampered eyes. His way was the only way, I.e., God’s way. He would correct my grammar as i spok ...more
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Monastery Murders is the second installment from E M Powell’s series, Stanton & Barling. I thought it was a great read. It is full of mystery and suspense. I was left guessing of “who done it” up until the end. I could have never predicted the ending.

I am giving The Monastery Murders a well deserved five stars. I have not read the first book of the series, The King’s Justice, but will be looking forward to reading it in the future.

I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100%
Nov 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Ailred Barling and Hugo Stanton return for another Mystery when they are called away from the Christmas festivities in London to investigate the murder of a monk in a Cistercian monastery in the remote Yorkshire countryside.

This second installment once again delivers a mystery with twists, turns and red herrings which will keep mystery buffs guessing until the end, and a rich historical background. The last story was set in a village, this one details life in a 12th century Cistercian monastery

Fascinating medieval murder mystery featuring Aelred Barling and Hugo Stanton. It's 1177, Barling, a senior clerk of King Henry's court and his assistant Stanton will find themselves trekking through the wilds of North Yorkshire to a puritanical Cistercian community at Fairmore Abbey, rather than spending the new year ensconced in the celebrations of London (much to Hugo's dismay!)
A White Monk has been found foully murdered. The community has no idea of how such a thing could happen. Ba
Jasher Drake
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cannot believe that’s it’s taken me this long to finally get around to reading this book, and I’m infuriated that it did because just like always, E.M Powell has written something amazingly thrilling, thought-provoking and wholly original.

This book is so easy to read! It’s been written in such a way that you never get bored and you’re always left wanting more after putting it down.

Something I always love about E.M Powell’s books is that you can tell how much effort has been put into making the
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
It’s no secret that two of my favourite genres are crime and history. Put the two together and you have much, if not most, of what I like to read. Add in to that an authentic sense of place and clear indications of historical accuracy, and for me that’s a winning combination. The Monastery Murders, the latest novel by E.M. Powell, does not disappoint. As indicated in the title, this is a Stanton and Barling Mystery, the second to be exact.

It seems to be a cannon of this genre that crime solvers
Paul Bennett
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Their lives are ones of quiet contemplation—and brutal murder.

Christmas Eve, 1176. Brother Maurice, monk of Fairmore Abbey, awaits the night prayer bell. But there is only silence. Cursing his fellow brother Cuthbert’s idleness, he seeks him out—and in the darkness, finds him brutally murdered.

Summoned from London to the isolated monastery on the Yorkshire Moors, Aelred Barling, clerk to the King’s justices, and his messenger Hugo Stanton, set about investigating the horrific crime. They qu
Diane Estrella
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
For those that follow my reviews, this is not the typical "G" or "PG" rated book I generally gravitate towards. Historical fiction is my favorite, throw in the Medieval era, and an incredible mystery and I am hooked!

The story is very fast moving partly due to great writing and short chapters. This murder mystery has a high death head count and each of the deaths is particularly grizzly. Not for the weak of stomach here! The author is particularly clever in her plotting of the story as there were
This is the second outing of EM Powell's Stanton & Barling mystery series - the King's Justice being the first, and one I did not read beforehand.

The series is set in the time of Henry II, in this instance, after the murder of Thomas a'Becket, for which Henry is still atoning. The two are sent to the far flung Cistercian monastery of Fairmore in Northern Yorkshire to investigate the mysterious and gruesome death of one of the monks.

Along the way, and throughout, we are given a glimpse into the l
This concept of a "locked room" murder intrigued me. I didn't feel "lost" without reading the prior book in this series, even though events from that mystery were alluded to. This story was unique in that how many murder mysteries I've read taking place in the 1100s. (Not many.) Toward the end the pacing felt a little slow as everybody (or so it seemed) was getting killed and I just wanted the murderer to be found out already. The "extra" information on Barling revealed at the end of the book wa ...more
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very enjoyable historical mystery, fast paced and well written.
I liked the cast of characters, the plot was sound and entertaining.
I look forward to reading the next instalment in this series.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC
Richard Myers
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book

Once again I guessed wrong who the murderer was in this story. There were several people that I thought could have done the deed but as more and more victims showed up I was lost as to who wax guilty.
Altivo Overo
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tour de force

Carefully researched setting and masterful writing make this perhaps unbelievable plot work anyway. Complex, filled with twists and surprises, including a revelation at the end that I did expect, even when I failed to identify the murderer until they were revealed.
Nov 03, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
I like this series in general, but this one is just too derivative of The Name of the Rose.
After giving the second book a chance to change my mind about this series, I've given up. It's not a bad mystery or a badly written story, but it just didn't catch me. Also, the body count is prodigious and the methods of the killings are gruesome, which never interests me. There are so many other historical mysteries set during this fascinating time period that I've enjoyed more.

The audiobook narrator, James Langton, did an excellent job, and I have no complaints about the production.

Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another awesome read

Always a toss up on longer series like this if the rest of the books will be as good (or with hope better) than the first and this book wasnt a let down! Theres just something i love about people dropping like flies in a good old historical murder mystery!
Mrs. Y
My father used to warn me when I was young to watch out for what he called ‘grifters.’ They weren’t drifters; they were instead those who would do confidence schemes to harm others. He said to me often that one didn’t always know a stranger, no matter how familiar they might be or how long they have been acquaintances, and to be cautious when trusting them. So imagine my surprise when I picked up the second book in a series by E.M Powell and found out how wonderful a life lesson was when reading ...more
1176/77 When a monk of Fairmore Abbey is discovered dead a summons from Ranulf de Glanville sends Hugo Stanton and Aelred Barling to investigate. In the wintery month of January 1177 they make their way from London to North Yorkshire and this very isolated community. They have not been long at the monastery when the murderer kills again, and again.
A well-written mystery, an enjoyable read. A story where we also discover more of the history of the main two characters, who seem to complement each
Mrs. Moira McGeough
I throughly enjoyed this book and I'm glad to have found a new,to me, author. Set in a Cistercian monastery sited in a remote valley a series of gruesome murders take place. Aelred Barling and his companion Hugo Stanton are sent to uncover the murderer. The tension is heightened by a savage snow storm which means the abbey is cut off from the outside world and the murders continue. The characters are well drawn and rounded, the petty grievances between the monks very believable and the historica ...more
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Please don’t stop now!

Still unwell and able to luxuriate in reading. I loved this book which kept me guessing right up to the end. I read somewhere that it is part if a two-book series but it would criminal if the author stopped now that she has established her main characters and their relationship so well. Please write some more!!!!
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd been waiting for The Monastery Murders to be published ever since I finished reading The King's Justice, my choice from May 2018's Kindle First Reads list. Fortunately it popped up on my Kindle Unlimited list at a time when I had finished reading a series of contemporary thrillers and was in the mood for something historical...

As in the previous book the story opened with a public setting - in this case a bear baiting event on New Year's Day, 1177 in London - in which the relationship betwee
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In The Monastery Murders, the clerk to the king’s justice, Aelred Barling, finds that, once again, he is embroiled in a difficult and dangerous case, and, on this mission, more than ever, he is grateful to have the support of, his stalwart messenger, Hugo Stanton.

On the orders of Ranulph de Glanville, the King’s great justice, Barling and Stanton are sent to Fairmore Abbey, an isolated Cistercian Abbey in Yorkshire, where they are to investigate a brutal murder which has left the inhabitants of
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Having read and thoroughly enjoyed the the first Stanton & Barling book, The King's Justice, i was delighted to receive a review copy of E.M. Powell's new book The Monastery Murders in exchange for an honest independent review.

E.M. Powell's books are set in the twelfth century and The Monastery Murders sees Stanton & Barling sent to the fictional Fairmore Abbey, a remote Cistercian house in North Yorkshire, to investigate the gruesome murder of one of the monks.

What follows is a fast paced whodu
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Ordeal by Fire (A Bradecote and Catchpoll Investigation, #2)
  • The Final Toll (Servant of the Crown #4)
  • Marked to Die (A Bradecote and Catchpoll Investigation, #3)
  • Hostage to Fortune (A Bradecote and Catchpoll Investigation, #4)
  • Lost Innocents (Servant of the Crown Mystery, #3)
  • Servant of Death (A Bradecote and Catchpoll Investigation #1)
  • Season of the Fox (Servant of the Crown Mystery, #2)
  • A Man's Word (The King's Hounds, #3)
  • Vale of Tears (A Bradecote and Catchpoll Investigation, #5)
  • Caught Red-Handed (Servant of the Crown Mystery, #5)
  • Oathbreaker (The King's Hounds #2)
  • Season of the Raven (A Servant of the Crown mystery, #1)
  • The King's Hounds (The King's Hounds, #1)
  • The Wayward Apprentice (Stephen Attebrook Mysteries #1)
  • Murder at Broadstowe Manor (Stephen Attebrook Mysteries #8)
  • A Ruinous Wind (Thomas the Falconer Mystery Book 2)
  • The Corpse at Windsor Bridge (Stephen Attebrook Mysteries #10)
  • The Harper's Quine (Gilbert Cunningham, #1)
See similar books…
E.M. Powell’s historical thriller and medieval mystery Fifth Knight and Stanton & Barling novels have been #1 Amazon and Bild bestsellers.

The third Stanton & Barling mystery, THE CANTERBURY MURDERS, will be released in November 2020.

Born and raised in the Republic of Ireland into the family of Michael Collins (the legendary revolutionary and founder of the Irish Free State), she lives in northwe

Other books in the series

Stanton & Barling (3 books)
  • The King's Justice (Stanton & Barling, #1)
  • The Canterbury Murders (Stanton & Barling, #3)

News & Interviews

  Die-hard mystery fans are always on the hunt for their next supremely satisfying whodunit. To help you stock that Want to Read shelf, we asked...
52 likes · 22 comments