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Joliffe the Player Books In Order

Publication Order of Joliffe The Player Books

A Play of Isaac (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Play of Dux Moraud (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Play of Knaves (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Play of Lords (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Play of Treachery (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Play of Piety (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Play of Heresy (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle


Joliffe the Player books form a captivating recipe of mystery, well plotted scenarios and incredible secrets all placed in long forgotten time, England’s 1400s. It all begins in Oxford, when a celebration requires Joliffe and his troupe to perform Isaac and Abraham in a play. Much of their theatrical representations were sought for by a wealthy merchant who offered them in exchange room and board. Margaret Frazer has written 7 interesting books about a series of political situations, mystery and ultimately murder to which she adds the well rounded character, Joliffe.

The character of Joliffe

Many readers find Joliffe as an extremely vibrant character who is very talented at impersonating various people as well as being clever and observant. The author managed constructing a highly credible character by putting him in the middle of complicated political and social situations, in order to see his true set of virtues. Being an actor, Joliffe the Player is able to disguise himself as different persons, thus serving various interests coming from influential people. His services are mostly requires for spying and solving mysteries out of which Joliffe will have to use his full potential to get out of. His incredible wits are surpassed only by his ability to observe essential details, which come quite handy in all of his endeavors.

The plot

There are a lot of fans out there who are looking for that special taste of the Middle Ages, and Margaret Frazer is praised for offering just that to her audience. She cleverly builds exquisite sceneries in which the reader gets fully lost in the Middle Ages. However, that period carries within itself a history of secrets, mystery, and of course, murder. As the first book in the series lets us know that Joliffe and his theatrical troupe are offered a room and board in exchange for their performance, we’re also shocked to read about a murder in their proximity. Joliffe will later on investigate their benefactor’s past to determine who would have been able to commit such a murder. The faithfully rendered 15th century England and France’s socio-political contexts are suitable for any medieval mystery fans. The following books depict Joliffe as being asked to perform as a spy to uncover certain secrets of a family’s history in order to stop a wedding from taking place. The third book will take us in the year of 1435 when Joliffe and his players are asked to stage plays but also to uncover other dark secrets about a town’s wealthy families. This book will find Joliffe in the middle of a web of seduction, deception and blackmail. The fourth book in the series depicts Joliffe the Player yet again as a spy among the British aristocrats, when suddenly a series of murders take place, one more violent than the other. Next, we find Joliffe travelling to France as a servant to a widow in order to actually train for a spy craft. Murder takes place yet again, challenging the main character to a new investigation scheme without getting murdered himself. The year of 1436 will leave Joliffe and his troupe without work, forcing him to find something in the hospital. Unfortunately, there he will find a widow who suffers from imaginary ailments and who expects to be waited on royally.

However, patients start dying mysteriously in the hospital, and the widow suspects someone is trying to kill her, confronting Joliffe with a new mysterious case to solve. The last book in the series finds Joliffe being summoned by Bishop Beaufort to use his spy services to uncover a mystery regarding the town’s elitist characters. This is because a merchant has gone missing and is assumed to be dead and Joliffe must also shed light on the truth regarding the heretics sent that are after the Church itself.

About a Play of Treachery and a Play of Piety

A Play of Treachery is the 5th book in the series and it depicts the colorful landscapes of medieval France. This is the only book in which you’ll see Joliffe the Player traveling to another country in order to offer his spy services by working in a widow’s household. The author knows how to present the culture, clothing, manners and politics, not to mention the intricate details about the building’s architecture. This is the book in which Joliffe’s intelligence and abilities start to get noticed by other influential people, getting him to land right in the middle of high stakes politics. All medieval tale fans will be taken under Margaret Frazer’s spell as she magically takes her reader back in time.

A Play of Piety is the 6th book in the series and maybe a lot more interesting to some niche readers as this book takes Joliffe into a medieval hospital. The author once again exceeds herself in presenting a study of medieval medicine, aside from the fact that the main character will, once again, need to investigate a series of mysterious deaths. You’ll be surprised to find out how people back in the Middle Ages were able to fully take care of their patients, as opposed to what we learned from the conventional history books. Not just that, but the difficult widow Thorncoffyn will surely leave a mark in any reader’s mind with her interesting performance.

Joliffe’s stories on TV

Although the carefully constructed scenarios, landscapes, situations and characters have a lot to show to the world, these books weren’t turned into movies yet. However, maybe such an opportunity will rise if a visionary director cares to show viewers a long lost world, colorfully described by the author and faithfully rendered through the main character, Joliffe.

Joliffe the Player series will surely delight many readers who are avid seekers of adventure, mystery and suspense. Moreover, these books are great for medieval tales fans, since Margaret Frazer is an experimented writer who really knows how to carefully describe a forgotten world. Many of the series’ fans claim that these enchanting books were able to take them back in the Middle Ages with great ease and simplicity. Joliffe, the main character, is very dynamic, being able to conquer his readers from his first attempts of solving mysteries. Joliffe is a truly authentic character, and Margaret Frazer lets us know of that through his actions and reactions to different situations in a very realistic manner.

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