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Summary

It is Midsummer, 1631, and while Alexander Seaton and his fellow masters enjoy the holiday, Robert Sim, librarian of Marischal College, is murdered in a dark alleyway in town. As the university and town authorities investigate the murder, Seaton is asked by the college principal to look into Sim's private life. During the course of this research, Alexander discovers a side to the librarian he could never have guessed, and personal feelings threaten to cloud his judgment and endanger his new marriage.

It is only when a second, apparently unrelated murder comes to light that Seaton begins to piece together the connections between a young weaver, a consignment of books, and a college in the Low Countries in order to unmask the perpetrator of a years'-old deception.

©2012 Shona MacLean (P)2012 Audible Ltd

What listeners say about Crucible of Secrets

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

I loved the first and disliked the second (annoying boring story and characters) but this 3rd book is as gripping as the 1rst.!I love her style, evocative choice of words, superb insight and description of feelings and emotions. Scotland and the period come to life. Fascinating characters, brilliant book, great author.

5 people found this helpful

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Trouble in Aberdeen

The Alexander Seaton books seem to divide people - you either like them or you don't. At times they can seem quite slow moving, which is strange as actually quite a lot happens in them. In this one, Seaton is asked to investigate a murder to ensure the good name of his college does not come into disrepute. More incidents follow, while Alexander has his usual personal crises to face. He is lucky in his friends.
Every now and then Shona MacLean gets us rather bogged down in the Rosicruceans, but her descriptions of a period notorious in Scottish history for its witchhunts is quite fascinating. I have read this series in order and think it might be difficult to tackle them as standalone novels, as the characters develop throughout, but the little explanations are possibly enough to help.
I have heard them all as audiobooks, and the change of narrator took a bit of getting used to, but Crawford Logan and David Monteith bring out slightly different character traits

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable

Getting over initial disappointment in change of naarator from first book took a long time, however, David Monteath has won me over.

This is another enjoyable story, easy listening and gives a 'good' feel of the era - not in any depth though!

All in all, well worth a isten, in my opinion. Others, as is their right, may disagree.

2 people found this helpful

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Complicated, but an interesting story

I enjoyed this book, the characters are very likeable and one wants them to be successful. I did find the story a bit long winded and overly complicated, but all in all I am glad to have read it.

2 people found this helpful

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Another gripping tale

I have enjoyed following Andrew Seaton through three books now and enjoyed them all.
I had been concerned over the change of reader from the first to the second however should not have been, both were excellent.
I would recommend to anyone who enjoys historical fiction or who, like me, simply enjoys mystery/thrillers. I usually read thriller's based in the 20/21's century but enjoyed the change.

2 people found this helpful

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better than the second book in the series.

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed this story of alexander searching for the killer of his friend.
nearly as good as the first book.
david macintosh did a good job of performing the book.

2 people found this helpful

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Needlessly convoluted?

I can’t decide if this one is clever tricksy or covering a thin plot tricksy. I have a stinking cold so may be being harsh but it felt like by the end I wasn’t that bothered who did what. Apologies to the author if that’s unfair.

1 person found this helpful

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Took me home

As a graduate of Aberdeen University it was interesting to hear about it in the past. Similarly all the places I knew growing up.
Well read and narrator had a lovely NE accent.

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Good book but disappointing performance.

This is a good novel. The story is well crafted and the setting is convincing. However, an audio book stands or falls by the quality of performance and this narrator declaims rather than narrates. The result is that, too often, the emphasis in a sentence falls on the wrong word and the characters give little speeches rather than having conversations. Do audio books have the equivalent of proof- reading? Perhaps they should.

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Good read

i enjoyed the book very much and look forward to hearing the next one in the series