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Monk's Hood (Brother Cadfael Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 1992

4.6 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ellis Peters is a pseudonym of Edith Mary Pargeter (1913–1995), a British author whose Chronicles of Brother Cadfael are credited with popularizing the historical mystery. Cadfael, a Welsh Benedictine monk living at Shrewsbury Abbey in the first half of the twelfth century, has been described as combining the curious mind of a scientist with the bravery of a knight-errant. The character has been adapted for television, and the books drew international attention to Shrewsbury and its history.
 
Pargeter won an Edgar Award in 1963 for Death and the Joyful Woman, and in 1993 she won the Cartier Diamond Dagger, an annual award given by the Crime Writers’ Association of Great Britain. She was appointed officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1994, and in 1999 the British Crime Writers’ Association established the Ellis Peters Historical Dagger award, later called the Ellis Peters Historical Award.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“A more attractive and prepossessing detective would be hard to find.” —The Sunday Times
 
“You’ll love Brother Cadfael, wily veteran of the Crusades. . . . This was England before the age of tea and crumpets.” —Los Angeles Times 
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Brother Cadfael Mysteries
  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Mysterious Press; 1st Mysterious Press edition (November 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446403008
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446403009
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #604,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steve Benner VINE VOICE on May 28, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Monk's-Hood" is Ellis Peters' third Brother Cadfael mystery, following nicely on from "One Corpse Too Many". It is set at the close of the year 1138. Almost six months have elapsed since King Stephen's army laid siege to and finally took the English town of Shrewsbury. But, whilst the King may have withdrawn his forces, and departed the town to impress his claim to the English throne on other areas of the Kingdom, murderous deeds are still afoot on the Welsh Marches. And, once again, Brother Cadfael finds himself firmly in the midst of it all.
The tale this time involves the mysterious poisoning of a guest of the Benedictine Abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul, by means, what's more, of one of Brother Cadfael's own healing concoctions. With his own - as well as the Abbey's - honour at stake, Cadfael refuses to let matters lie, especially when the sheriff's somewhat over-zealous sergeant appears to be rather hastily leaping to the wrong conclusion as to who is responsible for the dire deed. To add further complications to the task before our mediaeval sleuth, Cadfael suddenly finds himself confined to the Abbey precincts by a more than usually overweening Prior Robert. As always, though, Cadfael's greater humility and wit (aided somewhat by divine providence) win out in the end, with our hero triumphing over arrogant authority of both secular and cloistered varieties.
Ellis Peters uses her own flawless wit and easy flowing prose to spin an enchanting and compulsive story around the central mystery, although the book is not really of the classic whodunnit mould.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Brother Cadfael is called upon to help a poisoned guest at the Abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul. Upon reaching the dying man's side, Cadfael discovers two very disturbing things: the poison was taken from Cadfael's own workshop, and the dead man's widow is Cadfael's former fiance. Cadfael feels that it is his responsibility to find the guilty man and to prove the widow's son innocent of the murder of his stepfather. I found it especially interesting as it gave a rare glimpse into the past of our Crusader-turned-monk.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ellis Peters has done it again in this, her third Brother Cadfael novel. She provides us with a delectable murder mystery, served up on a platter of Cadfael's private memories, garnished with monastic disorder. Abbot Heribert suddenly relinquishes the reins of abbatial power to the serenely capable hands of Prior Robert, acting Abbot. You can be sure that the Rule will be strictly enforced at last!
The first novel, A MORBID TASTE FOR BONES, presents Cadfael's devotion to his beloved Saint Winifrid (also of Wales). The second novel, ONE CORPSE TOO MANY, chronicles his friendship with the new deputy, Hugh Beringar, a King's man. Here in #3 we enjoy a private glimpse into his amorous (pre- Benedictine) past, as he encounters his secret fiance, Richildis Vaughn--two husbands later. Still slightly susceptible to feminine charm despite long years waring the cowl, Cadfael debates visitng her one last time before she moves to a distant manor. Will our favorite Brother of the Abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul have something to Confess--to her or in the cloister?
An aging man with a feisty nature is viciously poisoned after eating a partridge sent as a gift, prepared by the Abbot's cook. Cadfael discovers that the murder weapon was none other than oil of monk's hood, disguised in the sauce; this oil was prepared by his own hand, to relieve the aches of old bones and sore muscles. Shocked that a soothing salve to reduce stress has actually caused death, Cadfael undertakes the investigation personally--as far as his snooty superiors permit. He is aided by his young, loyal assistant in the herb garden, Brother Mark--an eager sidekick to search for clues. Eventually Hugh returns to take up the case, but can they all prove that Richildis' young son is innocent?
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The third book in the Brother Cadfael series, "Monk's Hood," is a powerful parable of forgiveness.
The more I read of this series, the better it gets. I recommend it to anyone.
Historically, I have not been much of a reader of mystery writers. The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael have made me a fan of Ellis Peters's writing. She does not write the one-sided characters that too often fill such books. She consistently surprises me with the depth and realistic humanity of her characters. This is seen most clearly in the "villain" of "Monk's Hood."
Peters's vision of medieval Shrewsbury becomes, like Cadfael and fellow monks, more interesting with each book. It is a perfectly conceived (or reconstructed) world in which to act out her tales.
I am pleased to see Brother Robert's return to a place of prominence within the storyline. He is the perfect personification of pomposity-a delightful foil for the straightforward Cadfael.
I give a heartfelt recommendation to "Monk's Hood" and the whole Cadfael series. Check it out.
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