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A Very Private Grave (The Monastery Murders Book 1) by [Fletcher Crow, Donna ]
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A Very Private Grave (The Monastery Murders Book 1) Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 385 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English
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Product description

Product Description

Felicity Howard, a young American studying in a remote monastery in England is devastated when she finds her beloved Fr. Dominic bludgeoned to death and Fr. Antony, her church history lecturer, soaked in his blood.
A Very Private Grave is a contemporary novel with a thoroughly modern heroine who must learn some age-old truths in order to solve the mystery and save her own life as she and Fr. Antony flee a murderer and follow clues across a sacred landscape. The narrative deftly mixes intellectual puzzles, spiritual aspiration, romance and the solving of riddles ancient and modern. Ancient buried treasure, a brutal murder and lurking danger—an itinerary of terror across a holy terrain

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3458 KB
  • Print Length: 385 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1854249681
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #95,737 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition
I have had this on my kindle for some time but have only just got around to reading it. I really wish I had read it sooner. This is the first in a series and introduces the reader to Felicity and Anthony. A beloved priest, father Dominic, is found bludgeoned to death. Following this felicity and Anthony have to flee from the monastery in order to protect themselves. This leads to a chase throughout the UK whilst they investigate the murder. Without giving too much away ecclesiastical history forms a large part of the story. The historical research in the book is sound and I found this aspect fascinating. The sense of place in this book is also excellent. I learnt so much about different areas of the UK, including Scotland, where I live. This is a first class book with a strong plot and likeable characters. I would have no hesitation in highly recommending.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.1 out of 5 stars 41 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful blend of history, mystery, romance, action, faith, psychology, and more 22 November 2013
By Sheila Deeth - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
American Felicity has a pleasing mix of brash certainty and religious questioning. English Anthony, by contrast, has quiet confidence and religious conviction. And both are soon on the run through the North of England after arriving first and second on the scene of a gruesome murder. But who would kill gentle Father Dominic? And what secret did he carry to the grave?

An American in England, or a layperson in a monastery, both will relate to Felicity’s sense of “counter-cultural existence... living in a parallel universe.” Author Donna Fletcher Crow skillfully conveys the contrasting viewpoints of her very different protagonists as this murder mystery progresses. Equally skillful and evocative is her portrayal of history and landscape, both of them surely characters in this tale.

“Holiness can be a very irritating quality,” says one character. Another condemns himself with prayer; “We have left undone those things which we ought to have done...” while the words of scripture and devotions bring his inner musings to vivid life. Felicity hides real doubts and real concerns behind her growing faith, and others hide real secrets. But deepest are the secrets of ancient history, its imprint still clear on church, state and landscape in the wilds of Lindisfarne.

I’ve been to Seahouses. I remember the awe-inspiring sight of Bamburgh Castle overlooking the sea. And this story feels real. The gently romantic elements and mystery seem eminently plausible. The history, land and architecture are beautifully researched. And the Christian faith is integral to characters and tale, not a manufactured add-on, or a tool for conversion or betrayal.

Disclosure: I’ve read others in this series. Now I’m delighted to have finally read the start.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Enchantment 12 January 2012
By William S. Shepard - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"A Very Private Grave" is an enchantment. Yes, it is cerebral and concerns the faraway past, and is set in an ecclesiastical setting with its own rules, but once the reader is on the trail with Felicity and Father Antony, the discoveries of time and place are compelling. Objecting to that setting, as some reviewers seem occasionally to have done, is like objecting to one's failure to find the proper railway line to Hogwarts.
I visited Great Britain at the millenium, and made a point of seeing sites that were important duing the first millenium, 1,000 years earlier. A British friend told me that there were two great hatchet jobs in British history - the most recent the Tudor view of Richard III, and the earlier one, the Norman view that before them, there was no civilization in Britain. Properly viewed, perhaps the Dark Ages weren't so dark after all. That seemed reasonable to me, but still, I had no idea of the riches of the Anglo Saxon period, that Donna Fletcher Crow sets forth for us here. One can almost see the Vikings land, and the monks disperse, trying to save their treasures, both material and ecclesiastical.
She does so in a captivating way. On the trail of the final resting place of St. Cuthbert, she writes (of Whitby), "Seabirds filled the air. Everywhere the white of soaring wings flashed against the blue sky as joyous cries gave a descant to the deeper roar of the waves beating at the foot of the cliff..."
Her characters are believable, their flaws reasonable. But the journey through time and faith is the propellant. Go with that journey, and you will join the enchantment of Crow's well told story. If I make another trip to Yorkshire, these sites will be musts to visit. If I do not, I will look forward to joining the author's creations as this enchanting series unfolds.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Past is With the Present 2 April 2011
By Nash Black - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Donna Fletcher Crow's A VERY PRIVATE GRAVE has Felicity Howard and Father Anthony traveling across England in search of a brutal killer. Who hated Father Dominci, a gentle man hunting funds to establish a hospital for children with AIDS in Africa?
Felicity is an American student at the Anglo-Catholic College of Transfiguration and Father Anthony is her church history professor. A more unsuitable pair of sleuths hunting for clues is not found in modern mystery fiction. Felicity is head strong and obstant in her convictions. Father Anthony is hesitant and questions each of his actions. Though neither will stand aside from the challenge forced upon them. Both are innocent when faced with the forces of evil which does not let anyone block their path.
Father Dominci, before his death, gave Felicity a small travel note book filled up his jotting and the expenses incurred on a recent retreat. Following his path may result in their own demise if they cannot out wit a killer who also following a trail steeped in the early church history of England.
This was my third Kindle read and I kept flipping the next page button, though I had to pull an old copy of KINGS, RULERS AND STATESMEN from my shelves to check names and dates.
Nash Black, author of Indie finalists WRITING AS A SMALL BUSINESS and HAINTS.
5.0 out of 5 stars An Extraordinary Read! 4 February 2012
By lighthouse88 - Published on
Verified Purchase
Title: A Very Private Grave
Author: Donna Fletcher Crow
Publisher: Monarch Books
Year: 2010
Pages: 371

What do a priest, a girl, murder and mystery have to do with this work of fiction? All of those things are in this story and so much more. It has history, distant lands, artifacts, relics and ancient writings. Think I have told you everything? Oh no, I have hardly scratched the surface of this book, the first in a series called The Monastery Murders.
The first words in the story will capture the reader, leading them through many intriguing plots, subplots and the book's overall theme. As the book is opened, there is a Prologue that begins in the year 698. From there you will go forward in time to learn how the events that happened way back when affect the "today" of the characters in the novel.
We are introduced to someone called Cuthbert. We learn of his dreams, desires and actions. There are others involved who pledge to protect a secret and their identities remain unknown from page one of the story. Just how far will these characters go to protect or murder to uncover the secret that is believed to be worth its weight in gold?
The author does such a splendid job of describing the places, smells, and characters that the reader is transported there by virtue of reading this novel. Donna Fletcher Crow does her homework. In fact, she is a researcher extraordinaire. She has traveled the lengths of the lands she describes, and therefore is able to accurately portray what we would see, smell or feel if we were there. Her website: [...] has extra material for those who would want to know both the author and the lands as she shares in research journals located on her website.
I recommend this book highly; it is a five star from start to finish. The second book in this series is available as well called A Darkly Hidden Truth. Look for a review of the sequel here within the next few weeks.
4.0 out of 5 stars Real people 24 May 2013
By Northern CA fan - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I liked this story as the individuals seemed real and there was limited text spent on setting up scenes. Rather the individuals talked and interacted and that allowed you to understand what the scene was and allowed your own imagination to work on the details. And most importantly, the main characters were not perfect individuals, they certainly had their foibles and that set up some of the mis-steps and tension in whether or not they would solve the mystery as they kept just one step ahead of the cops. The main reason that I didn't give this 5 stars was that the reasons for the villian's actions seemed to be added at the end, with little to no lead up throughout the story although he was introduced relatively early in the action. Still, I would recommend this story to someone who likes to figure out mysteries and enjoys learning about the history of monasteries in England.

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