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review 2017-11-24 18:25
St. Peter's Fair / Ellis Peters
St. Peter's Fair: The Fourth Chronicle of Brother Cadfael - Ellis Peters

The great annual Fair of Saint Peter at Shrewsbury, a high point in the citys calendar, attracts merchants from far and wide to do business. But when an unseemly quarrel breaks out between the local burghers and the monks from the Benedictine monastery as to who shall benefit from the levies the fair provides, a riot ensues. Afterwards a merchant is found dead, and Brother Cadfael is summoned from his peaceful herb garden to test his detective skills once more.

 

What a pleasure it is to find a character and a series that I consistently enjoy. Four books into the Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, and I am well and truly hooked. So I am well pleased to see that I still have 16 books ahead of me. The trick will be not to read them too quickly!

Brother Cadfael is a wonderful medieval sleuth—he’s participated in the Crusades, he’s had love affairs, he’s a man of the world, but he has chosen “retirement” in Shrewsbury Abbey. I think his philosophy would be that God helps those who help themselves, although in this installment he receives one of his greatest breakthroughs by withdrawing to the chapel to pray. Abbey politics also feature in these books and Cadfael is getting used to a new leader (and they seem to see eye to eye).

People are people, regardless of time period. Young people are going to have strong opinions, occasionally drink too much and embarrass themselves, fall in love, and generally do the things that young people do. Including getting implicated in crimes. Cadfael is wonderfully non-judgmental for a monk and full of quiet wisdom. A person who notices small details and can put them together quickly & accurately, he is an excellent forensic investigator before such a thing was considered.

A joy to read this comfortable, entertaining series.

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review 2017-11-24 00:00
The Potters Field: The Seventeenth Chronicle of Brother Cadfael of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Peter and Paul at Shrewsbury (Brother Cadfael Mysteries)
The Potters Field: The Seventeenth Chronicle of Brother Cadfael of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Peter and Paul at Shrewsbury (Brother Cadfael Mysteries) - Ellis Peters The Brother Cadfael books are great comfort reads. Ellis Peter's tells these stories with wisdom and grace, using language that harks back to the 12th Century where they are set.
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review 2017-11-21 21:20
A Morbid Taste for Bones
A Morbid Taste for Bones - Ellis Peters

This was a fun read. And I might just have found my favorite literary monk in Brother Cadfael.

 

[Source]

 

He is a man of the world, who turned to priesthood in his later years, he isn´t the most pious monk, he is keenly aware when one of his brethren is full of BS, he is a topnotch matchmaker, he is an amateur sleuth and on top of it all he is Welsh (don´t ask me why, I really like that about his character).

 

So in this novel there is a small town in Wales, a murder, a lot of monks and relationsships are at stake or are formed and Cadfael is in the midst of it all, trying to untangle all the mysteries and problems that arise on this journey. And I enjoyed every second of this book and I can´t wait to read the second novel in the series.

 

 

16 Task of the Festive Season: Penance Day (Square 4):  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).

 

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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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