A Personal Devil

A Personal Devil When Sabina the blind mistress of the Old Priory Guesthouse accepts the offer of Master Mainard to live exclusively with him everyone expects that Mainard s wife Bertrild would be glad to be rid

  • Title: A Personal Devil
  • Author: Roberta Gellis
  • ISBN: 9780312875930
  • Page: 164
  • Format: Paperback
  • When Sabina, the blind mistress of the Old Priory Guesthouse, accepts the offer of Master Mainard to live exclusively with him, everyone expects that Mainard s wife, Bertrild, would be glad to be rid of him since his face is horribly birthmarked.This was far from the truth Bertrild attacks Sabina and demands that Mainard send her back to the whorehouse Before Mainard andWhen Sabina, the blind mistress of the Old Priory Guesthouse, accepts the offer of Master Mainard to live exclusively with him, everyone expects that Mainard s wife, Bertrild, would be glad to be rid of him since his face is horribly birthmarked.This was far from the truth Bertrild attacks Sabina and demands that Mainard send her back to the whorehouse Before Mainard and Sabina can decide what to do, Bertrild is murdered, and Mainard is the chief suspect.Fearful that her lover will be hung for murder, Sabina flees to her old whoremistress, Magdalene la Betarde, for help Magdalene is no stranger to murder and will use her powerful friends to help the women who work for her, including Sir Bellamy of Itchen, who reunites with Magdalene in unraveling this tangled web of hatred, fear, and blackmail.

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      Posted by:Roberta Gellis
      Published :2018-06-03T16:48:26+00:00

    1 thought on “A Personal Devil”

    1. Disclaimer: my degrees are in early english history, celto-romano through the dark ages, & so the books I've read written by Ms. Gellis were approached solely from that viewpoint, admittedly an odd one. :)Roberta Gellis has an excellent grasp of the social history of this era & I've read her work just for the pleasure of seeing the era through her eyes (i.e skimming the bodice-rippery of her other series). In Personal Devil she does an excellent job of encapsulating the feeling of the er [...]

    2. This is a murder mystery and as a murder mystery it works well enough and I will say I liked it well enough. The twist is that it is an historical murder mystery. It takes place in England of 1139. The problems I had with it relate to that. Frankly, I did not get the feel of twelfth century England. Okay, no one pulled out their cell phone or traveled in an automobile. The expected level of technology was all in place, but there was very little reference to it. In one way that is good writing. O [...]

    3. An enjoyable audio historical mystery (read by Nadia May) set in England during the reign of King Stephen. I really liked all the characters and the plot had enough twists and turns to keep my interest.

    4. Magdalene la Batarde runs the Priory Guesthouse in London. The guesthouse is actually a high end whorehouse with wealthy clients and lots of discretion. When one of Magdalene's women leaves her to become the exclusive leman of a saddle maker, Magdalene is happy for her.But soon Sabina is back with a desperate request for Magdalene to help her prove that her lover did not kill his despicable wife. Scenes of 12th century London are interspersed with an intriguing mystery with many potential killer [...]

    5. I enjoyed visiting the Old Priory Gatehouse and the ladies in A Personal Devil. I liked learning about what they had been up to and I look forward to the next book. I also enjoyed the narration by Wanda McCaddon.

    6. This is the second Magdalene la Batarde mystery, Gellis's 12th-century London whoremistress who protects her women and caters to a clientele who can pay enough to keep them in comfort. With her clientele, and with the Bishop of Winchester as her landlord (she rents the Old Priory Guesthouse as her whorehouse), she has a much wider range of contacts and potential allies than the average whoremistress.She also has more education and culture than the average whoremistress, but we only gradually lea [...]

    7. Answers Several Unanswered QuestionsTo me, the plot of this book was not nearly as engaging as the first book in the series was. The mystery wasn't particularly mysterious and it did not capture and hold my attention. However, I appreciated the background information about Magdalena included in this installment. It made her character far more understandable. I also liked the additional information included about her co-workers.These are not, edge of your seat nail-biting mysteries to me. Rather [...]

    8. Twelve years ago I wrote this combined review of the first two books of the Magdalene la Batarde mystery series. As I have already commented, the series is now out of print, but can be found on Kindle, secondhand book sites, and on audibleviewers-choice/a_morOf the series, A PERSONAL DEVIL is the one that is most self contained, focused within Magdalene's little community except for a specific list of suspects among her clients. In the others, author Roberta Gellis at least touches on the events [...]

    9. A really good blend of mystery, historical fiction, and a dash of romance. The "detective," Magdalene la Batarde, owns a brothel in medieval London, but no longer practices the trade. She is drawn into investigating mysteries that might implicate her business, her employees or favored clients. The historical detail is impressive and illuminates both the everyday aspects of medieval society and the background of political intrigue and conflicts. Each book in the series (this is number 2) has its [...]

    10. What a strange book Roberta Gellis expends a lot of ink trying to convince readers that Madalene's "ladies" are happy in their work and would choose to do nothing else. Also that Madalene, independent, hardworking "whoremistress", prefers remaining in that career to marrying the loving and kind Bell and relinquishing her independence.Though I'm not convinced of the likelihood of the above, A Personal Devil is nevertheless an intriguing medieval mystery with colorful characters and period detail. [...]

    11. Though it is very unbelievable that women, let alone whores, would have so much freedom in 12th England it is a work of fiction and should be treated as such. The plot was good, though I think it took a little too long. I enjoyed the love story between Sabina, the blind whore and her protector Master Mainard as well as the interesting tid-bits about life back then, including the use of chastity belts on women, ugh! This is not a book I would read more than once, but I liked it nevertheless.

    12. I really appreciate the way Roberta Gellis immerses the reader in the details of life in the 12th century without becoming pedantice history melts seamlessly into the story, in a really masterful way. The mystery was decent, but most of the interest in the story comes from the internal development of the main characters and the tantalizing hints that they will become more involved in the political intrigues of the time.

    13. (Audio) This is another mystery about the 12th century whore mistress Magdalene. She only employs women who like to get it on. Very preposterous. Sir Bellamy loves her and protects her, and they get in a lot of trouble with various murders. The blind whore has been bought out a tanner, and his wife who is a supreme horrible woman, is murdered. They must clear his name, and it takes awhile. Mediocre.

    14. This could have been a fine detective story but it turned out to be very disappointing ! The characters were just a mix of huge clichés, the corny an sappy love story really got on my nerves, and all sorts of useless details and secondary plots just come up and ruin the actual investigation to find out who the real murderer is. To cut a long story short : this book was a real waste of time.

    15. I was anxious to read the second book in this series, and this did not disappoint! Although at times it felt like I was trying to keep up with too many characters, the backstories were explained enough that I didn't get lost.There were more tantalizing details about Magdalene's own history, and I'm hoping the third installment will finally explain all of that.

    16. I enjoyed this novel as an audio book. Set in one of the most interesting time periods in England, the 12th century, the story is filled with vibrant characters - mercers, a whore mistress, a Bishop's knight, a deformed saddle maker & others. Well executed mystery with an author's note that puts the story into its proper historic place.

    17. Another enjoyable book. I enjoy the 12th century setting and the glimpse into the society of master craftmens. Magdalena as a whore mistress is an interesting character. I've been listening to the audio version and the narrator is wonder and does a fine job of distinguishing characters by voice inflection. Loved the ending as well.

    18. An improvement on the first one, which was itself enjoyable. The plot was tighter and the solution less obvious in this one, but I did feel that there were some inconsistencies in character between the first and the second.

    19. A harmless enough early medieval murder mystery, although the band of friendly prostitutes that are the main characters are somewhat preposterous. Good for a quick read on the bus! But sadly lacking in comparison to something like Cadfael.

    20. Good mystery. Disgusted with the explicit sex terms which would not have been used then, modern terms and totally unnecessary.

    21. Excellent mystery, set in the 1100s. I love the language and details. This is an audio book. I love the reader

    22. Always a great readWhat a history lesson! The author takes a fascinating period of history, populates it with believable characters & makes it come alive. I'm hooked!

    23. Second in the series. Gellis does a great job of depicting 12th century life in England -- politics and social dynamics. Looking forward to the third.

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