Book Review – The Godless by Paul Doherty.

4 out of 5 stars

I would like to thank Severn House for providing me with a free electronic ARC of this book, via Netgalley. Although I required their approval, the decision to read this book is my choice and any reviews given are obligation free.

‘The Godless’ is book nineteen in the ‘A Brother Athelstan Mystery’ and I admit here and now that, although I have read other books in this series, I’ve not read them all, nor read them in order. Historical crime fiction is my favourite genre and authors like Mr Doherty were my introduction to this genre and, I feel, a big reason I love it so much.

As with the other books I have read in this series, Mr Doherty seems to bring 14th century London alive. Yes, modern language is used (as how many people today would be able to understand 14th century English?) but other than that, I felt myself become fully absorbed into the world the author so artfully wove.

Yes, I kind of guessed the whodunit early on, but it’s a savant part of my idiot to be able to do this (joke about my neuro-diversity people). 😀 But it was written in such a way that I was still guessing until the end to see if I had guessed correctly or was mistaken. To me, that’s the best way to write a whodunit – make it plausible enough that the reader may have figured it out… but then give them enough doubts that they simply MUST read to the end to see if they were right. I simply ADORE that sort of crime fiction, historical or otherwise.

The characters were engaging, the world described so full of the five senses you can easily imagine yourself there, and the personalities in tune with the era. I do hate a historical fiction where the characters have modern day ethics… and so really loved how Mr Doherty kept the characters true to what we know about the 14th century.

Book nerd side of things – nothing to complain about. I have come to expect near perfect formatting for Kindle from Severn House and this is what I got. The copy editing was excellent too and I can’t remember a single clanger. I always expect high quality stories from this publisher and was not disappointed. And, no, they do not pay me to say that. In fact, they’ve recently declined my requests for a few books and I’m still happy to say nice things about them as they produce such high quality works.

Would I recommend this book to others?

Yes I would. As I’ve not read this series in a while, it was like reading it as a stand-alone novel, and it was fine to read as such. Each Brother Athelstone book I’ve read is pretty much a stand-alone within the series. As in, same characters and usually same setting, but the story is rarely carried from one book to the next so that you feel like you’re missing out on something.

Would I buy this book for myself?

As much as I love this series, and enjoy the writing style of Mr Doherty, I don’t think I would. And this is simply because I don’t think buying a kindle copy for $25 AUD for a single book in this series worth it.  I mean, if I was buying it as a paperback? Yes… but any eBook that costs over $10 AUD always worries me and I know how much it costs to publish paper vs electronic books and really don’t see how authors/ publishers can justify such a high price for an eBook. Sorry… you may be an excellent publishing house, but not THAT excellent.

I will stick to hunting out my historical crime fiction novels from the local libraries, more within my budget. 😉

In summary: An enjoyable historical crime fiction, true to the series it is part of.

Until next time,


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