Jul. 24th, 2010

Monks hood

Jul. 24th, 2010 07:04 pm
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Monk's Hood (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #3)Monk's Hood by Ellis Peters

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Brother Cadfael is, as aye, a splendid guide through mediaeval England on the Welsh borders. His wisdom and gentle spirit lead us here through a tangle of abbey and family relationships. Murder, middle age, and romance, set in Shrewsbury and Shropshire. This book will be finished all too soon, I fear!

[Later:] I stretched it out for a day or so.

An excellent mystery, with several likely candidates. And several minus one red herrings! I confess I picked the wrong one, until about a paragraph before Cadfael pounced.

There's a love story, albeit peripheral, to match the centre stage murder. Or perhaps two love stories, for one of the brothers is all too eager to point the finger at another who may be straying.

An officious policeman, a tangle of church politics, a question of law, and the bustling community of Shrewsbury, set against the rising Welsh hills an easy mule away.

Brother Cadfael is ever the shrewd detective, doing the best he can with his limited freedom and meagre resources. Perhaps his best weapon now that he's done crusading is his ready charm. He certainly has many followers in the abbey, in the town and in the countryside around.

And one in Australia. I've visited Shrewsbury twice now, gone into the hills of Wales - once by accident, once all the way to the sea - walked in the remaining portion of the abbey, seen the flow of the Severn, stood in the mediaeval market, and been utterly charmed by the town and the long gone monkhood.

Highly recommended for the atmosphere, the puzzle, the charm.

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