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Read The Devil's Door (2004)

The Devil's Door (2004)

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3.97 of 5 Votes: 1
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0765310341 (ISBN13: 9780765310347)
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The Devil's Door (2004) - Plot & Excerpts

The story in this historical novel takes place during the time period leading up to the final confrontation between Bernard of Clairvaux and Peter Abelard at the council of Sens. (The novel says this occurred 1140 A.D.; Wikipedia says 1141 A.D.) This historical setting is peripheral to the fictional murder-mystery story, and is not an important part of the story. However, it places it firmly into a particular time in history. One of the things I appreciate most about Sharan Newman is her concern with accurately portraying the life and times surrounding the fictional plot. The actual plot itself is quite contrived, but what murder mystery isn't contrived? The plot of this book contains a legal hearing (a trial) near its end that is worthy of a Perry Mason TV show with emotional outbursts from almost everybody present. There's even a missing human head in the story that appears near the end in a very public way. The story includes a primer on medieval smelting of iron. The main character gets married in this story so there's ample discussion of their frustrated honeymoon. There are plenty of hints toward the end that she may be pregnant, and at the very end we learn the truth.One interesting aspect of the ten part Catherine LeVendeur series of novels is to try and figure out the thinking behind the selection of the book's title. The titles are always intriguing, but their application to the story tends to be obscure. This book is the second one in the series. I think anyone who enjoys the Brother Cadfael novels by Ellis Peters would also enjoy these novels as well.

Catherine's second adventure begins with a countess dying at the convent that she will be leaving shortly. When the countess is discovered to have been beaten, Catherine cannot stop in her quest to bring the perpetrator to justice, even if that means putting off her impending marriage. In her pursuit of the truth, she stumbles on the countesses disturbing family secret.I really like Catherine, she’s plucky and fearless. Taking her family secret of being Jewish in stride and expecting there to be justice, even if she has to prove it herself, just endears her to me more.

What do You think about The Devil's Door (2004)?

Another satisfying outing from the author of Death Comes as Epiphany. Sharan Newman's training as a historian and compendious research allows these books a breadth of subject matter. Whereas the first book was more closely concerned with the politics and practice of the medieval Catholic Church, this volume's murderous plot is squarely 'of the world' and concerns its laws and problems.That plot was a good one: I was able to guess the central secret, but not too long before our heroine did. The villains were suitably villainous, the authorities well-meaning but not unrealistically helpful. I continue to enjoy the secondary characters and the enveloping reality of a medieval world I can smell (all too well!) and see. I really like the heroine, Catherine, and look forward to many more adventures with her.

I love historical fiction. I'm always looking for new authors. I found Sharan in The Oregonian book review announcing her new book "Shanghai Tunnel". While waiting for a copy "on-hold" I've read several of her earlier books from the Catherine LeVendeur series.Her books are well researched and offer a wealth of information about medieval time. Did you know in France washing hands before eating was common and there were private rooms in public bath houses?The mysteries become formulaic, but the substance is always interesting and the characters are well rounded and whole. The books are hard to put down, good reads.I'm looking forward to learning more about Portland's history from Shanghai Tunnel.

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