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By 1322, Mathilde of Westminster was considered the finest physician in London. But in her years as lady-in-waiting to Princess Isabella, she was drawn into the murky politics of the English court, where sudden, mysterious death was part of the tapestry of life.Many years later, Mathilde looks back and chronicles her turbulent life. With her sharp, suspicious intellect reaBy 1322, Mathilde of Westminster was considered the finest physician in London. But in her years as lady-in-waiting to Princess Isabella, she was drawn into the murky politics of the English court, where sudden, mysterious death was part of the tapestry of life.Many years later, Mathilde looks back and chronicles her turbulent life. With her sharp, suspicious intellect ready to distinguish between a fatality and an unnatural death, Mathilde is confronted by a host of chilling murders. The source of these horrors is the fierce political rivalry between Philip of France and Edward of England. This manifests itself in a series of gruesome killings, one of which actually took place during Edward II's Coronation, when a knight of the Royal Household, Sir John Baquelle was crushed to death....

Title : The Cup of Ghosts
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780755328758
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 416 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Cup of Ghosts Reviews

  • Susan in NC
    2018-12-02 08:26

    I would give this book 2-1/2 stars if possible, because for me, it fell in between "okay" and "liked it". As the above blurb outlines the story, I won't waste space repeating it; I will say I generally enjoy Paul Doherty's various historical mystery series (those set in medieval England more so than those set in ancient times), but sometimes find his characters one-dimensional and unrealistic. At times, he seems more interested in setting an authentic street scene (which he does very well, but it almost becomes formulaic at times), and his characters stride on and off like stage players, delivering stiff speeches at each other rather than having real conversations; this sometimes makes it difficult to care about what happens to them! And let's face it, knowing the history of Isabella and Edward's reign (and Edward's dismal end), the Mathilde of Westminster series seems doomed to be VERY dark, so I don't know if I will read books 2 and 3 in this series.

  • Robert Olson
    2018-11-29 09:44

    Entertaining.Interesting take on Edward II. Story got slow at times, Mathilda is an interesting character, and looking forward to more books in the series. I have read several of Doherty's historical mysteries,and the rating may be a grade against his own work. I have read several I could not put down, this was not one of those.

  • Poached Hens
    2018-12-05 16:15

    The first few pages sow curiosity, then it become a little dull and slow, and then towards the end it picks up momentum. A little elaborate, but what are historical mysteries if they are not!Somehow entertaining and a little tedious at the same time.

  • Ana T.
    2018-11-12 09:42

    By 1322, Mathilde of Westminster was considered the finest physician in London. But in her years as lady-in-waiting to Princess Isabella, she was drawn into the murky politics of the English court, where sudden, mysterious death was part of the tapestry of life. Many years later, Mathilde looks back and chronicles her turbulent life. With her sharp, suspicious intellect ready to distinguish between a fatality and an unnatural death, Mathilde is confronted by a host of chilling murders. The source of these horrors is the fierce political rivalry between Philip of France and Edward of England. This manifests itself in a series of gruesome killings, one of which actually took place during Edward II's Coronation, when a knight of the Royal Household, Sir John Baquelle was crushed to death. Paul Doherty's book was nothing like I imagined. I think in end it read more like an historical fiction story than a murder mystery. I think the most interesting part is how well Doherty knows the period he is writing about and how he makes the day's political machinations very much a part of his story. Sometimes you have a feel of the period but here you really are in the period with it's main characters, political decisions, templar's persecution and arranged marriages. And all this is an integral part of the plot. I liked how he gave plausible explanations for Isabella and Edward's behaviour in the beginning of their wedding. I found the murder part in itself a bit confusing, there are a lot of characters, a lot of deaths and there's some lack of urgency for it's resolution. I was unprepared for how young Mathilde was going to be in the beginning and it seemed a bit unbelievable that she would know so much and understand the political intrincacies so well. Isabella, who in the beginning seems to be the stronger personality ends up dependent from Mathilde as her only friend. However the set of the period is so well done that I want to continue reading almost for it alone, I want to know more about that period in history and more about Isabella and how Doherty explains what went wrong with her wedding. There's also a portuguese character that has already been introduced as a villain so the lure to continue is irresistible.Grade: BInteresting review http://edwardthesecond.blogspot.com/2...

  • Heather
    2018-11-29 16:30

    I had a dificult time with this book. Although a quick and easy read, it seem at first, Doherty can't be bothered to write in detail, which makes for dry reading that is hard to visualize or 'lose yourself in'. The whole time I read this book, I was very aware I was reading a book. I much rather have a book sweep me up and take me in to the story and time period it is set in. As a lover of historical fiction, I felt that the characters didn't feel 'believable' for the period, that the mystery was somewhat predictable, and Mathilde was too powerful a character for the time.I did not get a real sense that Mathilde was revered as a physician. It seemed as if she had only watched her uncle and treated one patient! The princess spoke of her skills as a physician, but never saw her perform her services. it was if the teenaged princess was just sticking up for a friend, rather than believing in her skills.As lady-in-waiting to the princess/queen, the princess would never pour her drinks or dress herself! That would have been Mathilde's job! Nor would Mathilde ever be invited to privately converse with the king, unless chosen as a lover. Mostly I was confused by the amount of power Mathilde had in the story. Being allowed to wander the city without constant escort is outstanding and speaking to men of high status (especially without being spoken to first) would have been unheard of. This character seems more likely to be tried as a witch in 1322 rather than follow a successful path like the protagonist in this story. I would have enjoyed this book far more if it was more historically accurate.

  • LJ
    2018-12-02 12:24

    THE CUP OF GHOSTS (Historical-France/England-1300s) – G+Doherty, Paul – 1st in seriesHeadline, 2005- UK Hardcover – ISBN 0755328736*** Mathilde, trained as a physician by her father, finds her life in jeopardy and uprooted. With the Pope’s declaration of Templer’s as heretics, she is taken to her uncle for safety just before her father is executed. The only way for her uncle to keep her safe is for her to become lady in waiting to Princess Isabella and, after Isabella’s marriage to Edward II of England, escape to England as part of the Royal household. *** This is as much a novel of French and English history as a mystery. The attention to period detail is exacting. The story is told in retrospect by Mathilde and it is interesting to see Mathilde use her training to uncover causes of death during this period. That is not to say, however, that it lacks for danger, intrigue, and bodies galore; almost too much so, for I didn’t feel I ever really had time to connect with the character. However, if turbulent history and court intrigue fascinate you, this is the book for you.

  • Karen
    2018-12-04 08:40

    This was OK but it was one of those stories where there were so many murders it took me a while to work out which one was the 'important one' I was supposed to have paid most attention to! It also read like a historical novel where the history was more important that the plot or the characters, and it had the 'setting up the detective so that I can follow it up with lots more books' feel about it. So overall, I am surprised anybody survived the 13th century given the constant stabbings, poisonings, drownings, throwing off walls etc that seem to have taken place, and there must have been people who were happy and liked and trusted one another but they do not seem to have found their way into this sort of story. Mathilde of Westminster seemed highly improbable - not so much her knowledge or role as confidante to the princess - but the way that she managed to walk in and out of city gates, mortuaries, churches, and set about asking leading questions, all with a little flash of her mistress' seal.Still, if you like your medieval whodunnits then this is probably as good as any.

  • Margaret
    2018-12-04 08:16

    Paul Doherty isn't always successful with female protagonists. Mathilde is the exception. Based on the medieval female physician Matilda of Westminster, the character is well rounded and a joy to read.Set during the reign of Edward II, Mathilde is the maid de chambre of Isabella, who came down to history as the notorious 'She-Wolf of France'.Members of Edward II's secret council are in France arranging the marriage of Isabella to Edward, and someone is killing them off. They look like accidents at first, but when they get to England and the killings continue, the realisation that these are murders hits home.This set against both the royal wedding and the destruction of the Templar order. Both have far reaching affects on the characters.This was supposed to be the first book of an ongoing series, but, alas, Paul has only written three books and it doesn't look like there will be any more.

  • Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
    2018-11-25 12:34

    Set in the early 1300s during the reign of Edward II, this is the first in a series by Paul Doherty about Mathilde of Westminster, the lady-in-waiting to Princess Isabella.Mathilde escapes the persecution of the Templars, assumes a new identity and is placed in the service of Princess Isabella. An arranged marriage between Princess Isabella and Edward II sees them move from France to England. Mathilde has an in depth knowledge of herbal remedies and by 1322 was considered the finest physician in London.This book was full of suspense, political intrigue and violence, coloured by Royal decadence - definitely a recipe to keep the pages turning quickly.I am a huge fan of historical fiction, although this is the first time I've come across this author, who has written 14 books set in medieval times (which I can't wait to read).I absolutely loved this book, and can't wait for the next one in the series.

  • Angie
    2018-12-09 13:35

    Apparently the "ghosts" are a clever metaphor as there are no actual ghosts. I guess that's my own fault for not looking into it more thoroughly, though. Nonetheless, I found this book slow with poor development of many characters who come to play a role in the final 100 pages. I often found myself asking "wait, who is that and why do I care?". The ending also seemed abrupt and as though I need to read the next book(s) in the series to solve the mystery completely. This is disappointing as I was really hoping it would be a stand-alone book despite being in a series.

  • Kathy Moberg
    2018-11-14 15:35

    This is a new historical mystery series by an author I like enormously. This book wasn't quite up to par, but interesting enough that I will read the next one when it comes out in paperback. The lead character is a lady in waiting (and well educated healer)to Queen Isabella, wife of Edward II of England. Court intrigue and unpleasant characters abound! My biggest problem with the book is that Isabella simply does not behave or sound like a 13/14 year old, even if she is very bright and has grown up in the midst of plots and an awful family.

  • Val Sanford
    2018-12-11 09:39

    If I hadn't read an in-depth biography/history of Queen Isabella, I would have been completely lost and bored. As it was, I had a hard time getting through the first 50 pages or so. Then the writing picked up, or I caught the groove anyway, and came to appreciate the alternative view of history being portrayed. That said, Edward, Gaveston and Isabella as secret friends and allies is just a little too much.The neat wrap up, the unapologetic poisonings and the matter of fact violence just didn't float my boat.

  • Rich
    2018-12-09 13:33

    Mathilde looks back on her life with Queen Isabella, and their many dark deeds.This has an interesting heroine and a compelling prologue which sets the scene. From then on though, it's downhill. Acres and acres of descriptions of clothing, food, and interiors delivered in a plodding fashion. What little mystery there is here is swamped in all the detail. A tedious read. There's potential here for a good series but there's a serious lack of narrative drive.

  • Cheryl Brock
    2018-11-28 14:28

    A well-researched historical novel based in 1322 during Edward I rule. Seen through the eyes of Mathilde of Westminster (who was to become one of London's finest physicians)she is drawn into the murky politics of the English court and a host of chilling murders and personal danger. The author skillfuly uses both the present and past reflections of Mathilde - as a young woman in her 20's and an old woman in her 80's.

  • Julia
    2018-11-20 16:42

    The story, told in the first person, is rarely free from intrigue and danger. I just wish my mind was as twisted! Matilda is fictional viewer of life in the French and English courts. Her journey sees Isabella of France develop into a complex character with more than her share of life's little difficulties and some that cannot be historically verified but which demonstrate the kill or be killed culture of politics at the time.

  • Helen
    2018-11-12 13:41

    This shows lots of promise as a series. The title isn't explained till towards the end, but that doesn't matter. It also doesn't matter that the character is overlaid on a real person of the time. If you are following "The She Wolves of England" you'll have met the illustrious Isabella recently and know that there are a number of rumours circulating about that lady.

  • Fservin
    2018-11-21 09:25

    I love the Hugh Corbett and father Athelstan series, but here, I felt that the real history was too close and hindered the plot and description of the characters. I shall not follow this series for the moment.

  • Hristina Ivanova
    2018-12-03 10:21

    I still can't get enough of Doherty's novels,they get better and better.And this one is no exception.Intriguing plot,historical accuracy and intelligent characters,all mixed up with political and personal relationships to form one great novel.

  • Jen
    2018-11-23 15:16

    This was a very entertaining book. I'm not in love with his writing style, but it was engaging and a good read.

  • Caroline
    2018-11-18 14:37

    Trois étoiles pour le contexte historique, parce que pour l'intrigue, c'est pas vraiment ça!

  • Winnie
    2018-11-12 10:31

    I think the idea of telling his version of the story of Edward II and Isabella through the memoirs of Mathilde of Westminster is absolutely genius. A thoroughly riveting read.

  • Kay E. Cavanaugh
    2018-12-09 12:33

    Unusual characters - the mystery a little weak but obviously first in a series need to establish characters, setting and situation