The Chronicles of Brother Hermitage (#1,2,3,3.5, 4,5) by Howard of Warwick
Requirements: .ePUB reader, 2.18 MB
Overview: Howard of Warwick is but a humble chronicler with the blind luck to stumble upon manuscripts which describe the goings on of Brother Hermitage and his companion Wat the weaver.
His work has been heard, seen and read, most of it accompanied by laughter and some of it by money. His peers have even seen fit to recognize his unworthy efforts with a prize for making up stories.
Genre: Fiction > Mystery/Thriller
Book 1 (The Heretics of De’Ath): England 1066: At the monastery of De’Ath’s Dingle, during a completely pointless theological debate, there is a mysterious death.
Routine business for the average investigative medieval monk.
Unfortunately this isn’t a tale of average monks.
Anyone who would put the idiot Brother Simon in charge of a murder investigation is either one chant short of a plainsong, or is up to something.
When Brother Hermitage, innocent in every way, including bystanding, is lined up for execution, he begins to wonder if something might be going on. Perhaps his new companion Wat, weaver of pornographic tapestry, can figure out what it is. Before it’s too late.
If you are a lover of the historical detective genre, if you have a deep respect for the worlds created, don’t read this book. It’ll only upset you.
Book 2 (The Garderobe of Death): England 1067: Henri de Turold, King William’s favourite hunting companion has been murdered. How anyone actually did it, given the remarkably personal nature of the fatal wound, is a bit of a mystery.
Lord Robert Grosmal, of disordered mind, disordered castle and Henri’s host at the time, knows that King William gets very tetchy when his friends are murdered. He sends to the nearby monastery of De’Ath’s Dingle for a monk to investigate.
Medieval monks are usually good at this sort of thing.
Brother Hermitage is a medieval monk but he’s not very good at this sort of thing. Motivated by the point of a sword he and his companion Wat the weaver set off to solve the crime.
Oh, by the way King William is arriving that night so they better get a move on.
Brother Hermitage’s second criminal investigation reveals many things. Improvement is not among them.
If you are looking for a poignant evocation of the medieval world, an insightful exploration of the characters of the time, buy a different book. Ellis Peters is quite good.
Book 3 (The Tapestry of Death): England 1067: Briston the weaver has been murdered – in a very special way – and it is up to his old friend Wat to avenge his death.
Brother Hermitage will naturally support his companion in the quest, but the young monk worries as the number of suspects keeps rising. He’s never been good with crowds.
When events take a turn for the truly bizarre, Hermitage and Wat find themselves up to their Saxon socks in people who want them dead, people who want one another dead and people who seem to want everyone dead.
They must find a missing maiden, placate a giant killer and reveal the awful secret of the Tapestry of Death before matters are resolved. Resolved largely unsatisfactorily, but then that’s life.
With a monk, tradesmen, priests, Normans and Saxons, The Tapestry of Death should be a solid, traditional medieval who-done-it, but it isn’t. Really, it isn’t.
Authentic and accurate representation of the time? Barely.
Historically informative? Certainly not.
Hilarious and very silly? Now you’re getting warm.
Book 3.5 (Brother Hermitage: The Shorts): A short story from The Chronicles of Brother Hermitage.
Once upon a time there was a medieval monk who solved crime. No, not that one.
This is Brother Hermitage, a medieval monk who happens to be around when crimes get solved.
His full length mysteries, The Heretics of De’ath and The Garderobe of Death are available on Kindle. The Tapestry of Death is coming soon.
In this tale Brother Hermitage entered a hostelry to escape the cold and could not possibly imagine the bizarre situation he would find.
No, really, he has very little imagination.
If you are looking for a serious exploration of the period, a considered evaluation of the moral imperatives of eleventh century England, you are in entirely the wrong place. In fact, if you take your history at all seriously, you are advised to move on.
Book 4 – Hermitage, Wat and Some Murder or Other: Humour ahead: The works of Howard of Warwick are hilarious and very silly. If you value your historical proprieties look away now.
After 1066 not all the Normans were in England. Those left in Normandy were up to no good and the ghastly Le Pedvin, wants one of them dealt with.
Brother Hermitage, the most medieval of detectives, and his companion Wat, weaver of tapestry you wouldn’t want your children to see, are dispatched to the Norman home-land to bring a killer to justice. How they do it is up to them and why they’re doing it is none of their business; they have their orders and the consequences of disobedience will be death – as usual.
It’s not clear what Le Pedvin is up to.
It’s not clear that anyone is actually dead.
Not much is clear about Norman villagers at all.
It’s definitely not clear how Hermitage and Wat are going to get out of this alive.
But it will be….
Book 5 – Hermitage, Wat and Some Druids: Brother Hermitage is at it again – this time with druids.
Is it a murder mystery? Is it a thriller? Is it just something gone horribly wrong?
When his nemesis, the Norman conqueror Le Pedvin orders him to Wales, Brother Hermitage knows it is going to go wrong. He’s had a prophecy it’s going to go wrong. And from his first steps on the road it strides firmly in that direction.
Brother Hermitage, Wat, weaver of pornographic tapestry and Cwen, weaver in her own right and the fiercest of the lot, are commanded to find one dead Norman in the whole of Wales – as usual under pain of death.
Add to that some treasure and a druid curse or two, and we have the recipe for a laugh out loud historical tale like no other. (Apart from the other Chronicles of Brother Hermitage)
It’s all complicated enough, but when what seems like the whole of the country wants to join in, things get very messy.
And then there are the druids, and stone circles, and sacrifices..