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Search tags: Ellis-Peters
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review 2017-11-09 22:37
Square 4! Penance Day Read
Dead Man's Ransom - Ellis Peters

This is my first filled square for the 16 Tasks game. I decided to do:

 

Book themes for Penance Day: Read a book that has a monk, nun, pastor / preacher, priest or other representative of the organized church as a protagonist, or where someone is struggling with feelings of guilt or with their conscience (regardless over what).

 

This is 9th in the Brother Cadfael series, and our erstwhile detective/medieval monk and herbalist, must determine who murdered Sheriff Gilbert Prestcote once he is returned from Wales as part of a prisoner exchange. The prisoner, the young, brash Welsh noble Elis, has managed to fall in love with Prestcote's daughter, Melicent, who returns his affections. Once Prestcote is murdered, suspicion falls on Elis.

 

This is very standard fare for a Brother Cadfael mystery. Cadfael must determine who killed the Sheriff using the tools at his disposal in the 12th century (which is to say, some cloth fibers and the strong compulsion based upon religious norms to unburden oneself before dying). It isn't the strongest entry in the series, but Melicent and Elis were likeable, although their instalove made me eyeroll a bit.

 

The end of the book was so abrupt that I wondered if something had gone wrong with my download, however. The story just . . . ends. And then a preview of the next book in the series begins. For that, I give it 3 1/2 stars.

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review 2017-09-21 15:10
Halloween Bingo Update 5: The Virgin in the Ice
The Virgin in the Ice: The Sixth Chronicle of Brother Cadfael - Ellis Peters

The Virgin in the Ice is set in the "dark, dark woods."  Perhaps not so surprising when it's 1139, there's a civil war on, and Brother Cadfael is on the road to another monastic house (in his capacity as healer).

 

For the Forest of Cree is full of ice and snow and wind, and murder and mayhem, as well.

 

 

It would also work for Amateur Sleuth or Murder Most Foul.

 

 

Read and Called:

 

Werewolves: Marked in Flesh, by Anne Bishop

In the Dark, Dark Woods: The Virgin in the Ice, by Ellis Peters

Locked Room Mystery: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, by Agatha Christie

Ghost: The Canterville Ghost, by Oscar Wilde

 

Read, but Uncalled:

 

Supernatural: Murder of Crows, by Anne Bishop

 

Called, but Unread:

 

Genre: Horror

Diverse Voices

Murder Most Foul

Witches

Cozy Mystery

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review 2017-09-14 20:06
Monk's Hood / Ellis Peters
Monk's Hood - Ellis Peters

Gervase Bonel, with his wife and servants, is a guest of Shrewsbury Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul when he is suddenly taken ill. Luckily, the Abbey boasts the services of Brother Cadfael, a skilled herbalist. Cadfael hurries to the man's bedside, only to be confronted by two very different surprises. In Master Bonel's wife, the good monk recognises Richildis, whom he loved before he took his vows. And Master Bonel has been fatally poisoned by a dose of deadly monk's-hood oil from Cadfael's herbarium. The Sheriff is convinced that the murderer is Richildis' son Edwin, but Cadfael is certain of her son's innocence. Using his knowledge of both herbs and the human heart, Cadfael deciphers a deadly recipe for murder...

 

I read this for the “Murder Most Foul” square of my 2017 Halloween Bingo card.

Brother Cadfael has not disappointed me yet. In this book, one of his herbal potions is used for evil instead of for good and the Brother feels he must right the wrong caused by his tincture. A very young step-son is blamed for the murder and since Cadfael is sure the boy is innocent, he pursues the matter all the way to Wales.

Cadfael is such a steady, sensible character. It’s a joy to watch as he methodically put together the pieces, assesses the people involved, and uses his opportunities to solve the mystery, while still managing to (mostly) obey the rules of the Abbey. This situation has probably perturbed him the most because of his reconnection with Richildis, the woman he loved before he went to the Crusades and joined the religious order. One poignant scene has him looking at her son and thinking “That child could have been mine if I’d returned to her.”

This is a very quietly enjoyable series and I will look forward to the next installment with anticipation.

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review 2017-09-11 18:35
Monk's Hood - Ellis Peters

(this and Death on the Water are going to be part of the Bookish Halloween bingo but I need to do some finessing tonight with them before being done, that and decide what squares they're going to be for)

 

I believe I've seen this one at some stage so much of the plot was known to me before reading.  Cadfael finds that a murder and an old flame are interlinked and he has to deal with abbey politics to find the truth.  Much issues about mistaken identity and many intriguing moments where poison is used from Cadfael's own herbarium.  When the sheriff is certain he knows how the murder was committed it doesn't work for Cadfael.  He also needs to work through his feelings for Richildis, an ex-flame whose light has been quenched by distance and time.

 

Interesting read, I must read more of these. 

 

This falls into Terror in a small town, terrifying women, amateur sleuth and murder most foul and I'll be using it for Amateur Sleuth

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review 2017-06-16 22:36
One Corpse Too Many / Ellis Peters
One Corpse Too Many - Ellis Peters

An ingenious killer disposes of a strangled corpse on a battlefield. Brother Cadfael discovers the body, and must then piece together disparate clues--including a girl in boy's clothing, a missing treasure and a single flower--to expose a murderer's black heart.

 

"The trouble with me, he thought unhappily, is that I have been about the world long enough to know that God's plans for us, however infallibly good, may not take the form we expect and demand."

Brother Cadfael, that former military man in a monk’s robe, knows his onions….and his murder victims and fugitives! When a murderer dumps his victim amongst the bodies of those hung for treason, Cadfael is not willing to let the perpetrator get away scot-free. Dragged away from his garden and his herbal potions, the good Brother must search for justice, but not interfere in politics.

I so enjoy the time period and setting of this particular series! I also appreciate the non-gory nature of the mysteries and the slower pacing more suited to the historical period depicted. Sure, there are pressures to solve the murder, but Cadfael has the time and thinking space in his garden to put the facts together and come up with a logical argument. He has both his military experience and his monastic learning to draw on, a formidable combination.

But it is Cadfael’s common sense and knowledge of human behaviour that makes him a good detective—and his willingness to admit that sometimes his monastic duties will need to be set aside if justice is to be done. A good man to have on your side!

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