Award-winning Author of the Sister Frevisse Mysteries and the Joliffe Player Mysteries 










It is the year of Our Lord's grace 1431, and the nuns of England's St. Frideswide sweetly chant their Paternosters behind gracious, trellised walls. But their quiet lives are shattered by the unwelcome visit of the hard-drinking, blaspheming dowager Lady Ermentrude, with her retinue of lusty maids and men, baying hounds, and even a pet monkey in tow. The lady demands wine, a feast, and her niece, the frail and saintly novice Thomasine.

What she gets is her own strange and sudden death.

Sister Frevisse, hosteler of the priory and amateur sleuth, fears murder. The most likely suspect is pious Thomasine... but Frevisse alone detects a clever web spun to entangle an innocent nun in the most unholy of passions - and the deadliest of deeds.

The first volume of the award-winning Sister Frevisse novels!

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It was Christmastime, and the sisters of St. Frideswide cannot turn away travellers ... even the players knocking at the nunnery door. But along with the motley troupe comes the grievously wounded husband of the cloister's scullery maid, Meg. They swear they found the drunken wastrel in a ditch... but the tale sounds like another song and dance. Especially when two dead bodies are waiting in the wings...

Now Sister Frevisse must find out if one of the actors is a murderer in masquerade - or face a very unmerry Yuletide season...

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Edgar-Award Nominee

"The essence of a truly historical story is that people should feel and believe according to their times. Margaret Frazer has accomplished this extraordinarily well." - Anne Perry






On her way to baptism, Sister Frevisse finds blood is thicker than water... and is as easily spilled. Waylaid by a band of outlaws, she learns that their leader is her long-lost cousin Nicholas. He asks Frevisse's help to get him pardoned for his crimes. But while Frevisse is lodging at the home of Nicholas's business companion, someone commits an unpardonable act: Murder.

Now Frevisse must discover who robbed a rich landowner of his purse and his life - even if it means her own kin is condemned...

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"A tale well told, filled with intrigue and spiced with romance and rogues." - School Library Journal

"...a meticulous recreation of not only how people lived more than five hundred years ago, but how they loved, suffered and sinned. Just the thing for anybody who usually disparages the genre to show how well it can be done, in the right hands." -






Death, the pious say, is the great mystery, and Sister Frevisse finds it puzzling indeed. She has come to Ewelme Manor to grieve for her uncle; Bishop Beaufort arrives to mourn for an old friend. Neither expected querulous Sir Clement Sharpe to stand at the funeral feast, dare God to strike him down... and then collapse!

Since other guests have supped on the same meat and wine without ill-effect, all believe the Lord's hand smote Sir Clement. The wily Bishop Beaufort, however, secretly orders Frevisse to snoop from the kitchens to the chapel for an unusual poison. But the clever nun has her eyes open for something else: a killer with a venomous hatred... or a diabolic love.

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Minnesota Book Award Nominee

"Some truly shocking scenes and psychological twists." - Mystery Loves Company

"Rich period detail, canny characterization, and a lively plot should endear Sister Frevisse and her tales to anyone who enjoys historical mysteries." - Minneapolis Star Tribune






A dark lady rides back into the life of Dame Frevisse, bearing with her two small boys haunted by the touch of death and scandal. Nine men lie dead on the road behind them, victims of the grim fate which relentlessly pursues them. Some seek to turn them away, but when they request sanctuary Frevisse is bound by her holy oaths to grant it.

But in welcoming them within the walls of St. Frideswide, has Dame Frevisse allowed death to stalk the nunnery's halls? When she begins to untangle the mystery of these strange guests, the truth she discovers may be enough to doom them all. Forced to keep secrets better left untold even from the nuns of her own order, Frevisse is caught in a crucible between faith and duty.

To learn the boy's name is to be drawn into a conspiracy of shame. To hear the boy's tale is to face death.

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"Seeing events through the eyes of small children not understanding royal politics was an especially pleasing part of experiencing this story." - Books 'n Bytes

"Frazer's writing is both erudite and vivid, and she has the ability to bring characters to life within a strong, clear story." - The Drood Review of Mystery






Leaving St. Frideswide on pilgrimage was a welcome respite for Sister Frevisse - as was her errand along the way at Minster Lovell. But during her stay at the minster, Frevisse finds the bitter poison of jealousy and betrayal working at the hearts of the brothers Giles and Lionel.

Wanting nothing more than a passing moment of peace and quiet, Frevisse finds only the disquiet of the heart when jealousy turns to murder and death comes visiting at the minster's door...

"The period details are lavish and the characters are full-blooded..." - Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Frazer has created the most despicable villain since Iago.” - Detective as Historian






After Domina Alys was made prioress, St. Frideswide's became nothing more than a guest house for her relatives, the Godfreys. There was less and less peace to be had anywhere - especially for Sister Frevisse.

Constantly tormented by Domina Alys, Frevisse is further dismayed to discover that St. Frideswide's modest stores were being depleted by the Godfrey clan. And when a long-standing family rivalry begins with a kidnapping and ends with a murder, it's up to Frevisse to rid the nunnery of its unwelcome - and deadly - guests...

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Edgar-Award Nominee

"A stark portrait of a nunnery subject to the fierce tides of family rivalries and power plays." - The Poisoned Pen

"Splendid... Frazer has a sure grasp on the realities of medieval life..." - Mystery Lovers Bookshop






Sister Frevisse has made an unusual journey to London to meet the new prioress of St. Frideswide's. At the urging of her abbot, she stays with her wealthy cousin Alice, lady wife of the earl of Suffolk.

But Frevisse suspects more is involved than a friendly visit - for this London home houses a secret that has turned deadly: Alice is involved in the dangerous political machinations of the Duke of Orleans and King Henry VI. Their private correspondence is being routed through the Suffolk's home. But when one of the messengers dies under mysterious circumstances and Frevisse is asked to carry letters in his place, she finds herself faced with a deadly question: Can she find the traitor before the murderer strikes again when she herself has become the target?

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"One of the most enjoyable of the Sister Frevisse mysteries. The sights and sounds of medieval London are vividly described... Dame Frevisse herself is a formidable character, pious, intellectual and shrewd. I love reading her adventures... A delightful book." - L. O'Connor,

"Great fun for all lovers of history and their mystery." - Minneapolis Star Tribune.






As reeve of the small village of Pryor Byfield, Simon Perryn must rule on many local disputes - a task he often shares with the steward of St. Frideswide's nunnery. But when the steward is accused of dishonesty and forced to step aside, the worldly Dame Frevisse is sent to replace him.

Her new duties thrust the reluctant Frevisse into the conflicts, rivalries, and domestic dramas of the locals - and when a plague sweeps through the town, the overworked nun must stay so as not to expose the nunnery to the disease. But after two villagers are brutally killed, Frevisse must divide her time between tending for the sick and searching for the truth.

As death casts a cloud over Prior Byfield, fear and suspicion reign - and Frevisse's keen deductions lead her ever closer to the disturbing truth...

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Minnesota Book Award Nominee

"Offers a brilliantly realized vision of a typical medieval English village... Suspenseful from start to surprising conclusion... another gem." - Publisher's Weekly (starred review)






Years ago, young Robert Fenner was forced into marriage with Lady Blaunche. Now, in 1442, he is being forced toward warfare over the property to which she wrongfully claims ownership. To make matters worse, a wealthy young heiress has captured hearts on both sides of the feud - including his - and it is up to Robert to decide whom she will marry.

Drawn from her nunnery's contemplative quiet by Lady Blaunche's need, Dame Frevisse is caught up among the passions of a man desperate for what he cannot have; a powerful knight blocked from what is rightfully his; and a young woman trapped in the eye of the storm.

Who will see that justice is done after honest love and dishonest lust spawn anger, greed, and finally... murder?

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"As exquisitely woven as a medieval tapestry... Frazer's research is dazzling." - The Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Written with the graceful rhythms that have garnered her two Edgar nominations... transports the reader to a medieval England made vivid and a world of emotions as familiar then as now." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)






St. Mary's nunnery is a place of prayer and healing for women - so it is surprising to see a man sprawled out in the cloister garden. Dead. Less surprising, to Dame Frevisse, was the identity of the victim: Master Montfort was not particularly liked by anyone in the town of Goring. Even his own wife and clerk despised him. And as royal escheator he was trying to settle a heated dispute between a wealthy woman and her supposed nephew.

Now Dame Frevisse must step in and untangle the fortunes and felonies in a rivalry of wealth, family, and politics. But the true challenge will be putting aside her own feelings and serving justice for the murder of an unjust man...

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"The devout yet human Dame Frevisse is back... another well-wrought tale of intrigue and murder. History aficionados will delight and fans will rejoice that the devout yet human Dame Frevisse is back...." - Publishers Weekly

"A wonderful series. Frevisse, with her common sense and humor and tang of salt, is one of my favorite sleuths." - Sharon Kay Penman, New York Times bestselling author






It is the year 1447, and powerful men from all of England have been summoned to Parliament in the great pilgrimage town of Bury St. Edmunds. Most come to make laws and pass taxes. But a small group of nobles will use this chance to bring down their greatest rival through treachery...

From her nunnery, Dame Frevisse is brought into this swirl of politics and plotting by the ambitious Bishop of Winchester. While she is meant to merely observe and report to him what she sees, she is instead drawn into the dangerous maelstrom encircling the throne of England.

And what Dame Frevisse will soon discover is that desperate acts of loyalty and love are not always enough to save men from murder... or an innocent man from the gallows...

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"Anyone who values high historical drama will feel amply rewarded by Edgar-nominee Frazer's latest Dame Frevisse mystery... History fans will relish every minute they spend with the characters in this powerfully created medieval world. Prose that at times verges on the poetic." - Publishers Weekly






In the summer of 1448, when Sir Ralph Woderove is found murdered near his estate, not even his family mourns. A hard, vicious man of many quarrels, Sir Ralph could have been killed by almost anyone. And though the consensus is that his soul has surely gone to Hell, Sir Ralph will continue to infuriate his heirs in death through the grossly inadequate terms of his estate's settlement.

It falls to Dame Frevisse to escort Sir Ralph's widow and daughter back to their manor, when another death occurs under questionable circumstances - making it clear that not all grievances have been laid to rest. And as family secrets are dragged out into the light, Dame Frevisse realizes that there is a murderer among them who will not rest until the Woderove legacy has been settled once and for all...

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"Beautifully written and captures the essence of the characters in a way that's bittersweet as well as accurate." - The Best Reviews

"Frazer's latest will please both Frevisse afficionados and historical mystery readers new to the series." - Booklist






In the spring of 1449, widow Cristiana Helyngton has been kidnapped, defamed, and imprisoned in a nunnery - as her late husband's duplicitous relatives seek to obtain control over her lands and children. To secure her freedom and save her daughters, Cristiana must use a secret entrusted to her by her husband as he was dying - a secret that could bring down those lords nearest the king and destroy those most dear to her.

Dame Frevisse of St. Frideswide's nunnery must decide where her loyalties lies - to the crown, to the truth, or to England's peace. And whatever she chooses, in the end her help may be of little use against the ruthless men threatened by the secret on which all of Cristiana's hopes depend...

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"The suspense builds steadily ... in this well-wrought tale involving murder, treason, and 'layers of ambition and betrayal'." - Publishers Weekly

"[Frazer] uses many real historical persons in her books, deftly and flawlessly weaving them into the story. Her fictitious characters are also well-defined, and Cristiana will break the reader's heart." - Romantic Times






Since the death of her husband, Anne Blakhall has carried on their shared business as a tailor and embroiderer in the heart of London. Rather than remarry as prosperous London widows usually do, she has taken a lover - David Weir, a foreign merchant who is secretly a Jew and therefore in constant deadly peril so long as he remains in England, where Jews have been banished for over a hundred years. Anne, sharing in his secrets, knows that both his life and hers would be forfeit if ever he is found out.

Dame Frevisse of St. Frideswide's nunnery is in London to arrange the funeral vestments for her cousin's murdered husband, the Duke of Suffolk. But she is also charged with secretly recovering - and then conveying to her cousin - the gold the late duke sent out of England shortly before his death. But her duty and their love become more dangerous a rebel army advances on London - and a murdered body is discovered in the crypt of a London church, mutilated with what a Franciscan friar of the Inquisition claims are Hebrew letters.

Frevisse must discover not only who is guilty... but whether anyone is innocent at all.

"What Frazer, a meticulous researcher, gets absolutely right in The Sempster's Tale are the attitudes of the charactrs." - Detroit Free Press

"Medieval English society, culture, and politics come to life in Margaret Frazer's skillful application of vivid imagery, complex characterizations, and an intriguing plot." - BookLoons






Rebellious factions, determined to unseat King Henry VI from the throne, have been staging uprisings throughout England. London has been under siege for three days and the populace is ready to repel the invading rebels and reclaim the city.

In the midst of this unrest, Dame Frevisse of St. Frideswide's nunnery has come to her cousin's side. Lady Alice, widowed duchess of Suffolk, needs Frevisse's support in burying her husband, as the late but not lamented duke was so hated that even being in the presence of his corpse is unsafe. And when men in Suffolk's employ start disappearing, Frevisse fears for her cousin's safety.

Wandering player Simon Joliffe has also come to London, filling the role of courier for the exiled duke of York and bringing vital information - a list bearing the names of the English noblemen who purportedly betrayed their King by conspiring with the French. Included on this list are several of Suffolk's men, whom Joliffe has been seeking and finding dead at every turn...

If charges of treason are brought against Suffolk, Lady Alice fears her son will be disinherited. Joining Joliffe on his search for men on the list, Frevisse starts to wonder whether or not the list is real or part of an even greater conspiracy against the crown...

"Painted on a much broader canvas... Ms. Frazer portrays the curse of 'living in interesting times', making it all seem fresh and vibrant as a news bulletin. Possibly the best in the series to date, and that is saying a lot. Miss it at your peril." -

"When you pick up a Margaret Frazer novel, you know you're in for a treat. She has a marvelous way of weaving historical details, facts, politics, and the ins and outs of everyday medieval life into the fabric of her novels. If history texts were written in such a fascinating way, I'm convinced that every schoolchild would become a scholar." - CA Reviews






As the nuns of St. Frideswide's priory prepare for the welcome end of Lent, their peaceful expectations are overset by the sudden return of long-vanished Sister Cecely. Nine years ago she fled from the nunnery with a man. Now her lover is dead and she has come back, bringing her illegitimate son with her.

She claims she is penitent, that she wants only to redeem her sin and find a safe haven for her child. By the law of the Church, neither she nor the child can be turned away, but their presence begins to stir doubts and questions in the hearts of some of the nuns about their own faithfulness to the enclosed life they live. However, these doubts become the lease of the problems Dame Frevisse must confront when her worldly troubles follow Sister Cecely and her son into the nunnery, pursuing her out of the life she claims to have left behind.

Contrite Sister Cecely may be -- however much Frevisse may doubt it -- but truthful she is not, and as the apostate nun's lies begin to overtake her, dangers of more than one kind become an unwanted part of life in the priory.

"Overflowing with atmospheric details that make the complex historical setting come alive for modern readers..." - BookLoons