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Alan Gordon Books In Order

Publication Order of Fools Guild Mystery Books

Thirteenth Night (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Jester Leaps In (2000) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Death in the Venetian Quarter (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Widow of Jerusalem (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
An Antic Disposition (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Lark's Lament (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Moneylender of Toulouse (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Parisian Prodigal (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Alan Gordon is a renowned American writer of historical mysteries, thriller, and suspense novels. He is particularly famous for writing the Fool’s Guild Mystery series. Gordon’s historical mysteries are widely popular and have achieved success in many parts of the world. His first historical mystery is inspired by the characters of the Twelfth Night, a popular play by William Shakespeare. This was followed by several other popular historical mysteries in the later years. Author Gordon was born in 1959 in Texas, US. His parents were musicians, as a result, he also developed a taste in music while growing up. Gordon spent most of his earlier years in New Jersey. Currently, he resides in New York City and works as a lawyer. In relation to his profession as a lawyer, he is associated with the Legal Aid Society. He believes that this profession has helped him come in contact with many interesting people and provide legal help to make them come out of their troubles.

In addition to writing historical mystery novels, Gordon is also known to have penned the libretto for a few musicals, including The Usual and The Girl Detective. In 2013, he was awarded the Kleban Prize for his work for The Usual. Gordon was labeled as the Most Promising Musical Theater Librettist. Prior to becoming a lawyer and beginning his career in the field of writing, Gordon completed his graduation from Swarthmore College. Later, he attended the Law School at the Chicago University and earned his law degree. Gordon is happily married to his beloved wife Judy Downer. The couple has a son named Robert. Gordon lives with his family in New York City and manages to take out time from his busy schedule to be in the company of his wife and son and spend some quality time. It was at the age of 30 that Gordon took an interest in writing with all seriousness.

In his historical mysteries, Gordon has depicted the central characters in the roles of Theophilos and Viola. Theophilos a.k.a Feste is an investigator by profession who takes up the cases of murder mysteries and solves them with the help of his skill and determination. Viola works as Theophilos’ apprentice and assists him in carrying out the investigations. Some of the places where Gordon has set his stories include Constantinople, Tyre, Denmark, Toulouse, etc. After writing his first book based on a Shakespearean play, Gordon adapted another novel from Shakespeare’s Hamlet and named it An Antic Disposition. Gordon has also penned several short stories in his writing career. In 2008, he wrote Fresh Meat as a part of the anthology called Wolfsbane and Mistletoe.

The essays and short fiction written by him have featured in the Mystery Magazine by Alfred Hitchcock, Science Fiction Magazine by Asimov, Mystery Magazine by Ellery Queen, Medieval Academy Newsletter, etc. As of now, Gordon uses most of his daytime working as a lawyer and undertakes novel writing only in his spare time. Gordon has taken inspiration from a number of lawyers like him who have turned into novel writers and songwriters. The most prominent one among them being Ralph Rainger. Gordon is hopeful of continuing with both the professions like always and face the challenges that life throws at him in the days to come.

The Fools’ Guild series written by author Alan Gordon began in 1998. A total of 8 books were released as a part of this series up to 2010. Each novel of this series features historical mysteries that take place in the 13th century. Gordon has depicted that a secret organization existed in Europe in the thirteenth century and was called The Fools’ Guild. The main character of this series, Feste, is depicted as a member of the Guild. He is faced with the task of solving mysterious murders throughout the series. Feste is also known by the name Theophilos. Every time Feste takes up a case, he faces a challenge from his adversary named Malvolio to match wits. Malvolio is depicted as Saladin’s agent and the Guild’s sworn enemy. Other essential characters mentioned by Gordon in the series include Claudia, Viola, Philoxenites, Richard, Portia, Scarlet, Isabelle, Father Gerald, Amleth, Folquet, etc.

An exciting novel of this series is entitled ‘A Death in the Venetian Quarter’. It was released in 2002 by the Minotaur Books. The book opens in the year 1203 and shows that the Byzantine Empire’s peace gets shattered when the Fourth Crusade’s ships dock outside Constantinople. Initially, the Crusade was set to travel to the Holy Land and fight the infidels. But, it sails out of Venice, subverts, and moves to besiege the city. Feste, Viola, and their companions face a catastrophe as they are inside the city walls and are about to witness the shattering of the Fools’ Guild’s peace that they have worked very hard to maintain. As the disaster looms, a silk merchant loses his life in Constantinople’s Venetian Quarter. The death seems insignificant in such testing times, but the Imperial Treasurer named Philoxenities takes a special interest in the case of the merchant’s death and persuades Feste to look into it.

Feste knows that Philoxenites is a schemer and wants to divert his attention. Nevertheless, he begins investigating the case and learns that the silk merchant was not what he seemed to be. Later, Feste succeeds in establishing a link between the merchant’s death and the Crusade standing outside the gates of Constantinople. In order to safeguard Constantinople’s peace, he must act fast and find out what forces are responsible for the death of the merchant. This realization motivates him to take a deep interest in the investigation and proceed further to solve it.

Another mind-blowing book of this series is known as ‘The Widow of Jerusalem’. It was also published by Minotaur Books in 2003. Gordon has set this novel in 1204 AD and has shown that an intolerant Church forces the Guild to be on the run. Feste, his wife Claudia, and his infant daughter Portia arrive very late to join the Guild. After initially risking their lives to obtain a valuable tavern sign, they must now flee the city before the Papal army finds and executes them. Later, while traveling through the Alps, Feste narrates a story to his wife about a beautiful lady in the Jerusalem Kingdom and her jester named Scarlet. In 1911, King Richard had raided Jerusalem to capture it from Saladin’s army. Feste joined hands with Scarlet to manipulate the events and stop the bloodshed. The mission leads them to Tyre, where Saladin’s army seemed weak. Tyre is filled with refugees, splintered factions, and spies. The important factor capable of providing relief in such an intriguing time is Jerusalem’s Queen Isabelle and Scarlet and Feste are ready to do anything to safeguard the Guild’s interest, Isabelle’s future, and the lives of innocent people.

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