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Reviews of 'The Sins of the Father'

Print Reviews

The Sins of the Father is gripping, with interesting characters who are credibly mediaeval […] a fascinating glimpse of how a mediaeval murder might really have been investigated. Highly recommended.”

Historical Novels Review (online version of the review available here).

“Well plotted and a rattling good read […] makes everyday life in a castle and town come alive […] this is the Middle Ages as it no doubt was.”

Professor Penny Eley, University of Sheffield (this appears on the book jacket)

"Played out within the claustrophobic confines of Conisbrough Castle, this is an engrossing tale of medieval murder, with an array of believeable suspects and characters in an original setting that carries the reader through to the surprising and most satisfying conclusion. C. B. Hanley offers an absorbing slice of genuine medieval life, full of authentic detail, to create a moment of convincing drama from these exciting times."

Sean McGlynn, author of Blood Cries Afar: The Forgotten Invasion of England 1216 and By Sword and Fire: Cruelty and Atrocity in Medieval Warfare (this appears on the book jacket)

"A murder mystery begins to unfold at the castle, but this multi-layered novel is about much more than that [...] the action is played out against a cinematic background of dark castle keeps, flickering candles, chivalrous and not so chivalrous knights [...] vignettes of life in the mediaeval feudal system give the tale a vivid and authentic feel that helps the reader to care about what happens to the well-sketched central characters."

Review in the Avon Grapevine (full review here)

Online Reviews

an absolute must read for readers who like their mysteries complicated and their settings realistic. At the same time it is an inspiring and sensitive tale of a young man's passage into adulthood in the most trying of circumstances. If his next adventures are a patch on this, Edwin Weaver may well become one of the great fictional detectives for the discerning reader."

"An admirable debut [...] a horrific prolog sets the stage for a slowly unfolding drama [...] enough red herrings for those who delight in puzzling out identities and motives [...] Excellent crossover appeal for historical fiction buffs as well.

The Library Journal (Where The Sins of the Father was mystery debut of the month)

"entertaining, enjoyable and a novel that keeps you guessing right up until the end [...] I hope, no I pray, that C. B. Hanley returns to the character of Edwin."

Alt Hist review

"In addition to the brilliant scene setting and excellent period detail, Hanley can write a thumping good story. This mystery is a real page turner, with several plot twists throughout. I was hooked from the prologue, which is mysterious and intriguing. The prologue becomes part of the bigger story later on, with everything coming together into a surprising conclusion. Hanley is a gifted storyteller, with her words flowing beautifully from the page. In fact, I can’t think of one thing I disliked about the novel, it was excellent. Five stars!"

Sarah's History Blog

"...a great novel, combining an intriguing mystery with period detail and intelligent characterisation. The plot is intelligent, with clues scant yet present and the actual solution shocking. The reader understands the basic motive but red herrings lead us away from the true killer. The location detail is wonderful, giving a intriguing insight into the workings of the lower echelons of castle inhabitants as well as its lesser nobility.  I can highly recommend this novel to both mystery readers as well as those interested in medieval life."

HistMystReader (post dated 6 August 2012)

"This novel brings life in a medieval castle from the viewpoint of the lower orders ... come to gritty, colourful life. [...] The research is meticulous and the knowledge of 13th-century England, its politics and all the factions vying for supremacy is impressive. [...] This is an engaging mystery ... well-paced with lots to interest and blind alleys. Those who love the England of medieval castles, and the harsh rules the inhabitants lived by, will enjoy this novel."

Historical Novel Review