The Murderer’s Tale has been released for both the Kindle and the Nook. It can also be read on any iPad, Android, Windows PC, Mac, or Blackberry device using either the free Kindle Reading Apps or the free Nook Apps for those platforms. It will also be available through the iBookstore shortly, but Apple takes much longer to process new e-books than Amazon or B&N.
THROUGH A MURDERER’S EYES…
Caught under the tyrannical thumb of her new prioress, Dame Frevisse finds welcome relief in leaving St. Frideswide nunnery on pilgrimage. But the road brings with it unwelcome company: The wealthy Lionel Knyvet has been possessed by a foul demon. Seeking relief from the horrific terrors visited upon his body each fortnight, Lionel has dragged his entire household on an endless pilgrimage across the breadth and length of England. Frevisse wants nothing more than the peaceful bliss of travel, but must instead endure the incessant chattering of a mob.
Lionel’s possession, however, may only mask a darker sin. When the pilgrims make their way to the manor house at Minster Lovell, Frevisse begins to unwind the bitter poisons of jealousy and betrayal eating at the hearts of both Lionel and his brother Giles. Against her will, the innocent nun is drawn into the vilest depths of the human soul and there she unlocks the mysteries of a blackened heart. But even when the truth comes out, can justice be done? The pure of heart will find no peace when murder and death come knocking at the manor’s door…
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PRAISE FOR THE MURDERER’S TALE
“Frazer has created the most despicable villain since Iago.” – Patricia W. Julius, Detective as Historian
“Historical readers will be charmed with the story; feminists will be delighted with the strong female characters. Ellis Peters has a worthy successor in Margaret Frazer.” – Meritorious Mysteries
“Expertly captures the flavor of the period with vivid descriptions and creates dimensional characters true to the times.” – Rendezvous
“A diabolically smooth and logical frame-up… Frazer springs substantial surprises. A moving portrait of how afflictions torment body and mind and a meditation on selfless friendship. It’s a treat, with memorable characters and a thoughtful, bittersweet ending.” – S.M. Tyson, The Armchair Detective
The Murderer’s Tale was the last book that my then-co-author and I wrote together, before she gave up on medieval England and went to cozy needlework shop mysteries. We planned the book together, meaning from the very first to tell the story from the murderer’s point of view, and thereby came the parting of our ways, I think. She had always said she wanted to write light murder mysteries, murder mysteries that were essentially cheerful – what are now called cozies. I seem to be of a darker nature; nothing about murder seems cozy to me, and when – as was our wont – I began the first draft of Murderer’s inside the title character’s head, it was a nasty place to be. Given the crimes Mary and I had planned for him, how could it be otherwise? Nor did he get any nicer as the book went on. Unfortunately, he proved too much for Mary. She hated him so much that she finally refused to have anything to do with his chapters at all.
Now I have said elsewhere that I don’t identify with only my main character – that I identify with all my characters, turning inward on myself to find some part of me that — if cultivated instead of bypassed – could become what this character is. Then I explore that part of me, and it becomes the warp on which I weave a character. So exploring and creating Giles was not a pleasant experience for me. Nor was doing the same with Domina Alys in the next book. But it seems to me that if I am going to write about murder, then if the story is going to be worth telling at all, I have to look at the ugliness within a murderer, and not only the ugliness within a murderer, but the cruel changes that ugliness makes in the lives of the people around him or her. Hence, as Dame Frevisse is forced to deal with murders over the years, she grows and deepens. And because, through her, I have had to look far closer and deeper in the dark hearts of murderers (meaning into the dark corners of my own heart, as it were), I’ve grown and changed, too, have come to value kindness and generosity of spirit with far more passion that before and have a very focused hatred of cruelty.
This leads to occasional odd moments, such as when – working at the rewrite of a later book in the series – I found myself railing at the murderer for the cruel, vile, treacherous way he had killed his victim. How could he do such an ugly thing? How could he . . . Oh. Wait. I was the one who had written the scene that way. The whole thing was my fault.
So maybe it’s best if you just forget what I’ve said above about me being part of all my characters. It could make the next time we meet rather awkward if you find yourself wondering “Who is she today?”