Margaret Frazer Books In Order

Publication Order of Sister Frevisse Books

The Novice's Tale (1992) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Servant's Tale (1993) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Outlaw's Tale (1994) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Bishop's Tale (1994) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Boy's Tale (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Murderer's Tale (1996) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Prioress' Tale (1997) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Maiden's Tale (1998) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Reeve's Tale (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Squire's Tale (2000) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Clerk's Tale (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Bastard's Tale (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Hunter's Tale (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Widow's Tale (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Sempster's Tale (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Traitor's Tale (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Apostate's Tale (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Sister Frevisse Short Stories

The Midwife's Tale (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Witch's Tale (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Stone-Worker's Tale (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Winter Heart (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Sister Frevisse Collections

Sins of the Blood (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

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

Publication Order of Bishop Pecock Tales Short Stories

The Simple Logic of It (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Heretical Murder (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lowly Death (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Circle of Witches (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Short Stories

Neither Pity, Love, Nor Fear (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Strange Gods, Strange Men (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Shakespeare's Mousetrap (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
This World's Eternity (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Volo te Habere... (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Death of Kings (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Margaret Frazer (November 26, 1946 – February 4, 2013) was an American writer focused on writing books based on life from medieval England. She was born and grew up in Kewanee, Illinois, but later moved on and worked and lived in Elk River Minnesota.

To describe her just as a regular writer wouldn’t be enough. Namely, Margaret Frazer was a pen name, and first books were written by two women – Gail Frazer (born Gail Lynn Brown) and Mary Monica Pulver Kuhfeld, who met at in a historical recreationist group called the Society for Creative Anachronism. The two started writing together the first book that was published under the name of Margaret Frazer, “The Novice’s Tale”. The cooperation between the two writers ended with the sixth book in the series, leaving Gail using the pen name Margaret Frazer for herself.

The first book was a great success, and was a feat by itself since it presented a unique challenge to write it – it was focused on Dame Frevisse, a nun in a small priory, involved with murders and mysteries. How does one write a novel about two things that seemingly never go hand in hand? Nonetheless, each book in the series offered its readers a unique view on England in 1400s because of very vivid descriptions of sceneries and atmosphere. The main character, Dame Frevisse, was often seen as a formidable, pious and intellectual, and readers enjoyed her adventures.

One of the most notable books in the series was “The Outlaw’s Tale”. Dame Frevisse was captured by outlaws, but recognized their leader as her long lost cousin Nicholas. The two then start a journey of getting Nicholas pardon for his crimes and salvation for both his soul and life. Vividly described atmosphere of medieval England, mysteries, murder and intrigues, along with proficiently portrayed characters and lively dialogues, along with strong storyline, make this book stand out of an already outstanding series by opinions of many.

Margaret Frazer also wrote a series focused on another character, Joliffe, a medieval actor. Readers will recognize this character as he first appeared in “The Servant’s Tale” from Dame Frevisse series, and crossed paths with her on several other occasions. The series also offer a vivid and lively insight into the way of life in 15th century’s England, but his time from another perspective. Even though Joliffe is an actor, he possesses a spy mindset and a cunning personality. Each of the books from the series was a success, continuing the legacy of the Dame Frevisse book series, with accurate descriptions of the ways of life from the 1400s, richly detailed writing and intricately plotted mysteries.

First book in the Joliffe series was “The Play of Isaac”, which introduced the readers to the new main character, adding a new angle of view on medieval England, but keeping the highly accurate and vivid description of sceneries and people. Books of the same series that followed further confirmed Frazer’s status of one of the best crime novel writers, and her unique style, combined with the age she chose as the time of her novels, proved to be a very successful combination.

As her books revolved around medieval England, Margaret Frazer had to do plenty of research regarding that particular age. She explained that her love for medieval England, and the inspiration for her novels, was during her brief college career with an archaeology major, when she was more introduced to the medieval England’s way of life, and other aspects. At the time, writing was intended only to be a hobby to her, but grew into her primary activity, only rivaled by her love for research. Frazer once stated that final steps towards her falling in love with medieval England were watching a Shakespeare’s play “Richard II” and then reading Josephine Tey’s “The Daughter of Time”.

As her curiosity grew about the complex relations of honor, duty and betrayal in 1400s, she set her sails on to research how people of that time viewed their countrymen and land, and how they understood the times they were living in. She started learning about pretty much everything there is to be learned about medieval England – the economy, society, politics, religion, philosophy, psychology of the people.

It can be said that she did the researching pretty thorough, as her descriptions are so lively and accurate. Reason why descriptions in her novels are so well written is probably the fact that she tried to bring that atmosphere to her readers by writing from a point of a person who lived in that time, and not from our point of view. Nonetheless, her writing strategy was widely regarded as one of the best in her niche.

Margaret described herself as an ordinary woman “with four cats and not enough bookshelves”. She was married, but got divorced around the year 1991. She has two sons, Justin Alexander and Seth Gupton. Both of her sons remember their childhood as a rather jolly memory, as they describe how their mother could have often been seen clad in armor and swinging a sword, and often took them to medieval fairs, that invoked same kind of curiosity about 1400s England, as the books did with her.

Her last book, “Circle of Witches”, was published in 2012.

Besides writing, she also had passion for acting. She appeared at the Guthrie, Theater in the Round and the American Shakespeare Repertory.

Margaret Frazer received a nomination for the 1994 Edgar Awards for “The Servant’s Tale” in the “Best Paperback Original” category. Next year “The Bishop’s Tale” received a “Best Novel” nomination at the Minnesota Book Awards convention. In 1998th her novel “The Prioress’ Tale” received a nomination for the Edgar Awards “Best Paperback Original”. Minnesota Book Awards nominated her again in 2000th for “Best Novel”, and the nominated novel was “The Reeve’s Tale”. She received the Herodotus Award for “Best Short Story Historical Mystery” in the same year for her short story “Neither Pity, Love, Nor Fear”.

Her most memorable quote was that when she stated that she writes too often, and when she moaned “I have to get a life”, her family replied with “You have one. It’s in the 1400s.”.

Unfortunately, in the year “The Novice’s Tale” was published, Gail was diagnosed with the first stage of breast cancer. Her writing partner at the time, Mary Monica, said that Gail never gave much attention to cancer, and was living free, as if the cancer never was there.

Margaret Frazer died on 4th of February 2013 from breast cancer, aged 66.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Margaret Frazer