An Excellent Mystery: The Eleventh Chronicle of Brother Cadfael

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Morrow, 1985 - Fiction - 190 pages
14 Reviews
In the sunny month of August, A.D. 1141, Brother Cadfael is presented with a double mystery set against the larger drama enacted by King Stephen and his arch-enemy, cousin, and rival claimant to the throne, the Empress Maud. In the bloody struggle for the crown, Henry of Blois, Bishop of Winchester and papal legate, is drawn into a contretemps that will result in a town laid waste, a nunnery burned to the ground, churches razed, and the priory of Hyde Mead engulfed in flames. Hence the arrival of Brothers Humilis and Fidelis to the abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul at Shrewsbury. Humilis, the elder of the pair, has entered the cloister because of the profound injuries he suffered during the Crusades. His companion and friend is a retiring youth whose perfect devotion to Humilis is made all the more poignant by his muteness. Concerned with the fragile condition of Humilis's health, Cadfael comes to his assistance with his prodigious skills as an herbalist -- and as a friend. - Jacket flap.

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User Review  - gypsysmom - LibraryThing

The eleventh Brother Cadfael mystery involves an injured knight who becomes a monk, his faithful mute attendant, and his squire who seeks to marry the knight's fiancee. "Then a latent tragedy becomes ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - fuzzi - LibraryThing

Most of the mysteries in this series that I have read are about a murder that needs to be solved. An Excellent Mystery is different, and takes its time to get "to the point", but it's still a good ... Read full review


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About the author (1985)

Ellis Peters is the pseudonym for Edith Pargeter, who was born in Horsehay, Shropshire. She was a chemist's assistant from 1933 to 1940 and participated during World War II in the Women's Royal Navy Service. The name "Ellis Peters" was adopted by Edith Pargeter to clearly mark a division between her mystery stories and her other work. Her brother was Ellis and Petra was a friend from Czechoslovakia, thus the name. She came to writing mysteries, she says, "after half a lifetime of novel-writing." Her detective fiction features well-rounded, knowledgeable characters with whom the reader can empathize. Her most famous literary creation is the medieval monk Brother Cadfael. The blend of history and the formula of the detective story gives Peters's works their popular appeal. As detective hero, Brother Cadfael remains faithful to the requirements of the formula, yet the historical milieu in which he operates is both fully realized and well textured. Peters received the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award in 1963 and the Crime Writers Association's Silver Dagger Award in 1981.

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