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Extended Audio Sample A Mortal Bane, by Roberta Gellis Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (332 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Roberta Gellis Narrator: Wanda McCaddon Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Magdalene la Bâtarde Mysteries Release Date: February 2005 ISBN: 9781455179350
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Roberta Gellis, acclaimed author of The Roselynde Chronicles, brings medieval London to life—and death—with this tale of splendor and squalor.

Magdalene la Batarde is the madam of the Old Priory Guesthouse in Southwark. She and her women are expected to engage in a number of sinful activities, but bloody murder isn’t one of them—until Baldassare, the messenger, dies. Magdalene and her women refuse to allow his death to go unavenged, aware that if they don't find the killer, they will be assumed guilty, because they are whores.

Into this sea of intrigue steps the handsome Sir Bellamy of Itchen. The bishop of Winchester, who was served for many years by Baldassare, has put Bellamy, his most trusted knight, in charge of the murder investigation. Bellamy is convinced that Magdalene is involved right up to her beautiful eyebrows, but he is unable to believe that his captivating chief suspect is a killer. Now, he must find out how and why Baldassare died—or watch the mysterious Magdalene meet her fate on the gallows.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “In Gellis’ new series, she has created a superb female medieval sleuth with a sexy knight for a sidekick. You’ll love every minute of this tightly woven mystery.”

    Catherine Coulter, New York Times bestselling author of The Edge

  • “Brother Cadfael, move over and make room for Magdalene. A Mortal Bane vibrates with sharp, witty, memorable characters; Magdalene and company are uniquely qualified as historical detectives, and as always, Roberta Gellis is incomparable! This one’s a page turner. I couldn’t put it down.”

    Amanda Scott, author of Dangerous Lady

  • “In A Mortal Bane, Roberta Gellis has created a medieval cozy with a wonderfully unique cast of characters.”

    Kathy Lynn Emerson, author of Face Down Among the Winchester Geese

  • “In this top-notch production [Wanda McCaddon] uses different cadences to effectively denote different characters. Her mellifluous voice and accents are perfect for the story. The authentic historical detail, mystery, romance, and well-defined characters work together to create a memorable story.”

    AudioFile

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Grace | 2/2/2014

    " Mystery set in the 1100s England. I thought it was well crafted. Had me surprised at the end. I didn't figure it out. Love the writer and the reader. This is an audio book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lorena | 1/22/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book. The medieval setting was convincingly portrayed, and the layers of political intrigue were a fascinating backdrop to the story. I also enjoyed the main character, Magdalene...I found her very compelling and interesting, and I thought the author provided a very plausible reason for her to interest herself in the mystery and its solution. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandi | 1/21/2014

    " A really good historical mystery. When a papal messenger is found murdered outside the church steps, the women of the Old Priory Guesthouse are accused and since they are whores they decide to find out the real culprit before they hang. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Trieste | 12/8/2013

    " Great read, old school murder mystery. It left me wanting to know more about the future of the "ladies" and their Madam. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katie Lequia Rowland | 11/27/2013

    " This is instantly one of my favorite books! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anita | 11/15/2013

    " Gellis is one of my favorite medieval authors. Excellent writing and terrific story-telling. This is the first in the Magdalene la Batarde series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Summerfly | 11/7/2013

    " An interesting look into the lives of Medieval "working girls" and how they go about clearing their names when a man is found murdered in their stables. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amanda | 11/3/2013

    " Luv this more than i can say...a must read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate | 10/29/2013

    " My mom recommended this mystery about a medieval madam because its in the library's downloadable collection which we both use heavily. Unusual setting. Good book, great reader. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jami | 9/23/2012

    " If I had any notion that working/being in a whorehouse was romantic or could be, this book might have elicited some positive thoughts on it. Alas, I have never thought this and could not get past how ridiculous the story was. But finished it because I hate to leave it undone. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deidre | 8/15/2012

    " Denise gave me this one, it was enjoyable and I ended up buying used here and there for the whole series "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 4/15/2012

    " Good medieval mystery. The characters are interesting, if not probably historically correct--I think the bishop is more tolerant of women than a man of his time would be, but it kept my interest. I listened to it while helping to paint a friend's house. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenn | 2/7/2012

    " Casting a net for more medieval mysteries... Writing is clunky at times, but I liked it enough to go searching for the sequel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 A. Non | 9/27/2011

    " Well-researched medieval mystery. Need to seek others in this series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ruth | 8/27/2011

    " good. setting:1100's brothel - protagonist: madame "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diane Hawkins | 7/29/2011

    " I have read these over and over. Good mystery, lots of history, and a whole new look at the life of women in the Middle Ages. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 6/24/2011

    " Great historical fiction/mystery set in the same time period as Pillars of the Earth. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cherie Leblanc | 5/20/2011

    " Loved the subject, the characters, fun book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandra | 5/7/2011

    " Listened to this. Great reader. This is the first in a series of mysteries set in the 10th century in Britain. Really liked it. Characterization is very good with a great picture of the era. Will look for the next one. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 S.A. | 3/9/2011

    " What a dull, plodding book. Imagine taking a tale about whores and murders and making it dull. What an accomplishment. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 12/27/2010

    " Good medieval mystery. The characters are interesting, if not probably historically correct--I think the bishop is more tolerant of women than a man of his time would be, but it kept my interest. I listened to it while helping to paint a friend's house. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amanda | 8/12/2010

    " Luv this more than i can say...a must read "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenn | 8/8/2010

    " Casting a net for more medieval mysteries... Writing is clunky at times, but I liked it enough to go searching for the sequel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cherie | 6/9/2010

    " Loved the subject, the characters, fun book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 A. | 1/14/2010

    " Well-researched medieval mystery. Need to seek others in this series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ruth | 12/30/2009

    " good. setting:1100's brothel - protagonist: madame "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandra | 7/13/2009

    " Listened to this. Great reader. This is the first in a series of mysteries set in the 10th century in Britain. Really liked it. Characterization is very good with a great picture of the era. Will look for the next one. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anita | 11/10/2008

    " Gellis is one of my favorite medieval authors. Excellent writing and terrific story-telling. This is the first in the Magdalene la Batarde series. "

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About the Author
Author Roberta Gellis

Roberta Gellis has master’s degrees in medieval literature and in biochemistry. She is the author of numerous novels and the recipient of many awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award for Historical Fantasy and the Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Roberta Gellis lives on Long Island with her husband of more than fifty years and her Lakeland terrier, Taffy.