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Catherine LeVendeur Books In Order

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Publication Order of Catherine LeVendeur Books

Death Comes As Epiphany (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Devil's Door (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Wandering Arm (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Strong as Death (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cursed in the Blood (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Difficult Saint (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
To Wear the White Cloak (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Heresy (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Outcast Dove (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Witch in the Well (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon

The “Catherine LeVendeur” series written by author Sharan Newman is from the historical mystery genre. The series started in the year 1993 with the release of “Death Comes As Epiphany”. This is after her first series that she wrote about Guinevere.

The series stars Catherine LeVendeur, who was a student of Heloise (which is a convent) at the Paraclete. Her father sent her here because he wanted her to conquer her own pride. Catherine is only eighteen years old when she is sent to the convent, and this is right about when the series opens. She is married to Edgar, an Anglo-Scot and Solomon, he is a Jewish merchant in Paris. They met each other when a dead body was thrown and landed on her. He has a fear of heights, something that is puzzling to Catherine, due to all of the close calls with death that he has experienced and he did not flinch during any one of them.

“Death Comes As Epiphany” won a Macavity Award for having the best first mystery in the year 1994, and “Cursed in the Blood” won a Herodotus Award for the Best US Historical Mystery.

“Death Comes As Epiphany” is the first novel in the “Catherine LeVendeur” series and was released in the year 1993. This novel is set in the year 1139. Catherine LeVendeur has to get over her sin of pride, and she does so as a young scholar at the Convent of the Paraclete. It is famous for abbess (the much fabled Heloise), prayer, and learning.

There is a manuscript that was produced for Abbe Suger, the great; and it goes missing, which raises rumors of the book having passages of a sacrilegious nature. It may just be used to condemn Heloise’s famous lover, who is named Peter Abelard.

Catherine has to find the manuscript and find out who changed the text in it, so that she can save all that she holds sacred and her Order. She will risk the wrath of the Church and family, disgrace, and even face an evil that is older than even Time. She will lose her soul, if she is not careful.

Fans of the novel found that Newman does a great job of incorporating the historical details from the period the novel is set in. This is a very well researched novel, and hard to put down to boot, making for quite a historical mystery novel. Some look forward to reading some more of the novels in the series, and hope that they deliver on some of the promise that this one has.

“The Devil’s Door” is the second novel in the “Catherine LeVendeur” series and was released in the year 1994. The year is 1140 Anno Domini. A wealthy countess lies on the ground dying after being beaten by some unknown assailants. She is in the Convent of the Paraclete while dying, and despite some entreaties, she refuses to name who killed her. Catherine LeVendeur (beautiful and is the most learned novice scholar at the Paraclete) vows to find her attacker.

Her beloved, named Edgar, leads her from life at the convent to a life of the flesh. It makes her torn between the vow she made to him, and her wanting justice. She wants to keep every vow that she has made to everyone, and if she gives up her quest for the truth, more will die. It may be something that could destroy even the convent.

Fans of the novel enjoy the characters, that are well drawn, and the plots are intricately woven. Newman is even able to have a twist ending at the end of the books that make you pay even more attention to them. Some enjoyed reading the book, and cannot wait to read more about these wonderful characters. Most like the amount of research that Newman does when writing one of these books, and find she does a great job of weaving it in to the story.

“The Wandering Arm” is the third novel in the “Catherine LeVendeur” series and was released in the year 1995. Edgar agrees to find the relic of the Wandering Arm (St. Aldhelm’s mummified arm) it was stolen from Salisbuy Cathedral, in England and later hidden in Paris. Then a hated Jewish merchant is found murdered, he may have had some part in moving it. While dying, he actually fell on Catherine.

Christian authorities want to point the finger at someone in the Jewish community, so they can have a scapegoat. In the middle, is Eliazar (who is Jewish); he is also linked to both crimes, it turns out. They have to find both the killer and the relic, and risk it all, once again.

Fans of the novel enjoyed the mystery that was quite twisty and turny and felt the mystery was wrapped up in historical details. Newman definitely does her homework before she writes one of these books. You get to learn quite a bit about life back at that time. This is quite the series to get hooked on. Some found that this was the best novel from the first four books from this series, and some were able to finish it in just a single sitting.

“Strong As Death” is the fourth novel in the “Catherine LeVendeur” series and was released in the year 1996. Catherine LeVeneur (after miscarriages and a stillbirth) still wants kids, and has a prophetic dream. It is interpreted by Peter Abalard as meaning that she needs to go to the shrine of St James in Compostella (a six month journey). This is to petition St James for a kid of her own.

During their journey, Catherine and Edgar find mad monks, an assortment of pilgrims, crusader knights looking for hidden treasure, and most want to keep their own secrets to themselves. They are joined by Hubert (her father) and Solomon (her Jewish friend), who insisted on tagging along with them.

Many of their party are killed and the evidence points to a sin from long ago, and a villain that is hidden. This villain has been on a quest for revenge that involves an appalling crime. It is a revenge quest that almost gets Catherine killed.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Catherine LeVendeur

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