A Play of Isaac (Joliffe Mystery Series #1)

A Play of Isaac (Joliffe Mystery Series #1)

by Margaret Frazer

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When his band of traveling players are taken in by a patron, Joliffe and company find that murder has taken their place in the spotlight--and it's up to them to catch a killer in the act.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781440623738
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/03/2004
Series: Joliffe Mystery Series , #1
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 241,570
File size: 317 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Margaret Frazer was a finalist for an Edgar Award for Best Original Paperback for both The Servant’s Tale and The Prioress’ Tale. The Sister Frevisse series includes The Novice’s Tale, The Servant’s Tale, The Outlaw’s Tale, The Bishop’s Tale, The Boy’s Tale, The Murderer’s Tale, The Prioress’ Tale, The Maiden’s Tale, The Reeve’s Tale, and The Squire’s Tale. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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Play of Isaac (Joliffe Mystery Series #1) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Thanks to Dame Frevisse, (see the SERVANT¿S TALE) Joliffe and his fellow thespians (Basses, his daughter Rose, her son Piers and their friend Ellis) ply their trade in England of 14 34 though they have no patron. This wandering troupe lives to act no matter the hardship. They are in Oxford performing an inn and to act in a play for the Corpus Christi festival. Lewis, an Eden-child (a person who has Down¿s syndrome) is so excited with their role-playing that he invites them to be his guest at his home; his parents the Penteneys, enthusiastically endorse their son¿s invitation.............................. Master Penteney, a wealthy and powerful merchant, asks the performers to put on two plays in exchange for room and lodging. This is a sweet deal and the actors accept, happy to have rest from the road. They have the whole barn to themselves but when they wake up the next morning, they find the murdered body of a man outside their door. The authorities believe the victim was a heretic, a member of the Lollards. He came to speak to Master Penteney, who sent him on his way. At the feast, many guests suffer from food poisoning and Lewis acts out of character with nothing soothing him. The troupe falls under suspicion so Joliffe, needing to save their reputation, investigates.............................. Margaret Frazier, famous for her Dame Frevisse medieval mysteries, starts a new series in the same era that is as good as her first one is. Fans of Roberta Gellis, Sharon York, or Ms. Frazier will be shocked by how terrible actors were treated in fifteenth century England. A PLAY OF ISAAC is a terrific historical who-done-it that will please amateur sleuth and historical mystery fans............................... Harriet Klausner
mkn46 More than 1 year ago
I purchased this e-book for my sister who shares this account. She always says that a good book will keep you up late. I saw her lights burning late into the night, and the next day brought a request for the rest of this series.
Anonymous 6 months ago
This sympathetic picture of a small band of players in 15th century England is as much a temporal travalog as it is a murder mystery. No cliff-edge knufe fights or frightening drama here, but lots of loose ends gradually getting tied up through careful thinking. Delightful.
Bill.Bradford on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Joliffe is a fascinating character and Frazer a master at medieval mystery. This book explores religious complications in mid 14th century England.
MrsLee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a new series featuring Joliffe, a player in the 1400's who we first met in the Dame Frevisse series. I was enchanted with Joliffe when I first met him in [u]A Servant's Tale[/u], and he didn't loose any of his charm in this novel. The players are in Oxford to perform when they are asked to stay with a family to entertain. It is a great opportunity for the players to have good food, rest and the possibility of a patron, but a corpse left by their sleeping place in the night may change all that.This story has some wonderful statements on life and its importance, as well as touching on friendship and the tragedy which can occur in lives when greed gets a stronghold.
cmbohn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
These are the first two in a series by Margaret Frazer. Apparently they are a spinoff of her Dame Frevisse series, but since I've only read one or two of those, I missed that one. Joliffe, one of a group of traveling players, is also called on to investigate mysterious deaths.In the first book, A Play of Isaac, the players are performing in a religious festival in Oxford. A merchant hires them to also stay at his house and perform for his guests before the festival. While there, they get caught up in the family dynamics there. Master Penteney has a married son and a single daughter, as well as two wards. The oldest of these is an 'Eden child', with what we call today Down's syndrome. The more deeply the players are drawn into the situation, the more complications are uncovered. And when a murdered man is found, only Joliffe can spot the murderer and clear the innocent.The second book, A Play of Dux Moraud, finds the players in better circumstances. They have been adopted by Lord Lovell, and under his patronage, things are looking up. But it comes at a price - he sends them off as a wedding gift to an underling, but with a secret mission. The bride's previous fiance died mysteriously. Lord Lovell wants to make sure it doesn't happen again. This book is darker than the first, with nasty little secrets at every turn and a much more adult feel. It also has a more dramatic and tragic ending.I liked the first book better, partly because the second was darker, and partly because I figured out how the title works. I don't want to give away too much, but let's just say that it's a strong hint about what's going on in the book. So the "dramatic revelations" in the second book were not a surprise at all. Some nasty characters in that one too. I think I will read the next one, as I got the first four from the library book sale, and see if that one is closer to the first or the second. I liked Joliffe well enough, so I'm willing to give it another try.
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