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The Falconer's Knot by Mary Hoffman


The Falconer's Knot by Mary Hoffman

Silvano and Chiara are two teenagers with a difference. Silvano has been accused of a murder he did not commit. Chiara has been ousted from her family as a young woman with no marriage prospects. For these two very different reasons they are forced to seek refuge in a neighbouring convent and friary. And when they meet they are instantly aware that they are both outsiders, ill at ease with monastic life. Then a grisly murder - followed by another, and then another - strikes fear into the close-knit community. Chiara and Silvano cling together within the terrifying spiral of murder as they, and the friends they have made, attempt to solve the deadly mystery. This remarkably rich mystery thriller, with all the pace and action of a 'whodunnit', is set in the incredibly atmospheric environs of a friary in 14th-century Italy. Amidst all the action of the murder mystery, the author depicts in fascinating and intricate detail the lives and tasks of the friars and nuns, whether it be crushing pigments to create paints for the fresco artists in nearby Assisi, or the daily and nightly ritual of the religious services. All the historical detail is carefully researched. A huge cast of characters with romantic teen heroes, combined with the thriller-murder element, ensure a pacy, richly enjoyable read.


'Mary Hoffman's medieval murder mystery has all the ingredients needed to weave a satisfying web of intrigue ... This is a pacy and highly enjoyable read ... there is a freshness of perspective and intricacy of plot that lifts the story above the obvious or crass. The female characters and their struggles to find some autonomy beyond the confines of the roles allotted to them provide a particularly vivid thread beneath the mystery narrative ... I defy anyone to read this book and not want to visit Assisi.'

About the Author

Mary Hoffman

Mary Hoffman has written around 90 books for children. Amazing Grace, commended for the Kate Greenaway medal, has sold over 1.5 million copies. Its sequel, Grace & Family, was among Junior Education 's Best Books of 1995 and shortlisted for the Sheffield Libraries Book Award 1996. Mary lives in Oxfordshire.

You can read her contributions to The History Girls blog by clicking here.

Mary Hoffman's Ten Things You Didn't Know About Me:

I had my appendix taken out by Enid Blyton's husband! (Fortunately he was a surgeon)

My first book was read in manuscript by Richard Adams, author of Watership Down and he suggested sending it to his publishers, Rex Collings, after a dozen others had turned it down. They took it.

I didn't change my surname when I got married.

Amazing Grace and Boundless Grace (which is what Grace and Family is called in the US) were both turned into musical plays and performed in Minneapolis in 1995 and 1998.

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a garage mechanic.

I didn't learn to drive until I was over fifty.

My husband is half-Indian. His mother was a Parsee, born in Bangalore.

One of my great-grandfathers was German, another Irish.

I am learning Italian and would love to have a house in Italy.

I never wear or own anything blue.

Photo by Jess Barber (©Jess Barber)

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Book Info

Publication date

7th April 2008


Mary Hoffman

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Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


304 pages


Thrillers (Children's / Teenage)



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