- Mass Market Paperback
- Publisher: Fawcett (April 12, 1986)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0449206998
- ISBN-13: 978-0449206997
- Package Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.1 x 0.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 114 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,696,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Monk's Hood Mass Market Paperback – Unabridged, April 12, 1986
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A more attractive and preposessing detective would be hard to find -Sunday Times --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Ellis Peters is one of the pseudonyms of Edith Pargeter who wrote several books under her own name and also Peter Benedict, Jolyon Carr and John Redfern. She was the recipient of the Crime Writers Association and the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award. She died in 1995. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Cadfael is involved once more in a Murder, at a time when the abbey is in turmoil over a possible change in leadership just as a valuable property is due to pass into the abbey's purview. Then the owner of that property is killed with a poison made by Cadfael himself (as an ointment for sore joints). Complicating matters is the presence of an old flame from his past. Cadfael is largely unaffected by this, but he is sent away to tend a sick brother in Wales "for his own good".
We have the usual police procedural tropes here, less-well-mentally-equipped policemen in charge of the official investigation, "superiors" who credit the protagonist with drives and motives he or she does not in fact possess, accidental discoveries that play into the final solution and most annoying for the reader, the very occasional "I'll tell you later" obfuscation that is always thwarted by events. One wonders why the protagonists of such genre fiction, when confronted with this bewildering nonsense, don't just reach out and grab the prevaricator by the throat and shake the information out of him or her.
Of course, this is all par for the course and the enjoyment of walking with Cadfael and watching him work it all out is all the fun.
It scratches a lot of itches for me - an interest in medieval history, an interest in medicine and natural remedies (and, as a professional chemist, their active ingredients and pharmacology), a fan of historical mysteries, and from my own familiarity w/ the Benedictine order as a student and for the week I spent in the monastery while I was in college to see what monastic life was like and whether it suited me.
People looking for a thriller will be disappointed, but there's so much else to like about the setting, characters, the plot, and more - in this particular case, I think the tension could have been strengthened with more suspicion of Cadfael himself - but that's just me - the connections he had with an old love, the workings of law as regards inheritance, the emphasis on Welsh language (which always ties my tongue in knots) and legal customs - it was all interesting and entertaining
I look forward to reading more!