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Summary

In the summer of 1138, war between King Stephen and the Empress Maud takes brother Cadfael from the quiet world of his garden to the bloody battlefield. Not far from the safety of the Abbey walls, Shrewsbury Castle falls, leaving its 94 defenders loyal to the empress to hang as traitors. With a heavy heart, Brother Cadfael agrees to bury the dead, only to make a grisly discovery: 95 bodies lie in a row, and the extra corpse tells Cadfael that the killer is both clever and ruthless.

But one death among so many seems unimportant to all but the good Benedictine. He vows to find the truth behind disparate clues: a girl in boys' clothing, a missing treasure, and a single broken flower - the tiny bit of evidence that Cadfael believes can most easily expose a murderer's black heart....

©1979 Ellis Peters (P)2011 Isis Publishing Ltd

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  • anne
  • Bedford, United Kingdom
  • 07-09-15

A lovely listen!

Set in the times of king Stephen and Empress Maude and the ensuing civil war this series of books combines basic forensics and poetic language. Given that they were brutal times, there are no gory and unpleasant scenes. A mystery that highlights the ways of human beings. The good points and the bad.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A ripping yarn!

An excellent story by Ellis Peters, which contains a number of strong threads that weave together. Brother Cadfael is sagacious and crafty and a truly wonderful creation. The narration was excellent particularly for the voice of Cadfael, which has a solid worldly Welsh sound, even the female characters are well done. I hope that more of these stories are put onto audible (I think that she wrote about 20 Brother Cadfael novels), as I would love to hear more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant narrator.

Stephen Thorne’s narration brought the book to life. Unlike other narrators I’ve heard trying to pronounce Welsh words, he flowed naturally and fluently. A lovely performance.

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good rendition

A good rendition of this excellent Cadfael story. Although it did take me a while to warm to the narrator, his reading was consistently good and warm

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adored it

brilliant story. excellent reading. every drop a gem and a joy from start to end.

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love this series

I love Cadfael. Watched all the tv series but the books are as always much better.

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Such a good series

I read these books in the late 1970's and early to mid 1980's. They eww good then, but are even better in audio book format. I would highly recommend this recording.

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medival justice.

medival justice called trial by combat. nowadays, with no more death penalty, now is the time to revive trial by combat.

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  • IAN
  • United Kingdom
  • 15-06-17

Ellis Peters weaves a tapestry of the 12th century


England is in turmoil over the crown, between King Stephen and Queen Maude. King Stephen has set siege on the castle of Shrewsbury, who are loyal to Queen Maude. After taking the castle, and the principle players against him have escaped, Stephen orders that the 94 loyal Maude supporter left to be hanged, and the brothers at the Benedictine Abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul are ordered to bury the dead.

But when Brother Cadfael arrives and does a body count, there are 95 not 94. It soon becomes apparent that there is one corpse too many, 94 hanged men and one murdered man.

Brother Cadfael is given 4 days in which to solve and catch a murderer, before King Stephen moves on and allows the murderer to roam free.

This is the second of the Brother Cadfael mysteries, and is full of intrigue, mystery and romance.

Ellis Peters weaves a tapestry of the 12th century, drawing you in and holding you captive.

I love historical mysteries, and Ellis Peters is one of the best writers in this field. She has me returning back to her stories, time after time.

This was a audiobook, produced by Hachette Audio UK and downloaded via Audible.co.uk. Narrated by Stephen Thorne, whose rich voice, brings Brother Cadfael and the 12th century to life.

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Good plot/good listen

I have yet to read a Cadfael book that that is rubbish. Ellis Peters yet again has an unusual plot. Excellent read by Stephen Thorne.