Justice can be arrived at by routes than one I thought this book was a swell start to this series Brother Cadfael, monk by vocation and detective by circumstance, is a really delightful character A medieval time, Welsh born man, Cadfael now carries out his monastic duties at Shrewsbury Abbey in England He has not been in the service of the church his entire life, however, and that is what makes him such an intriguing fellowFor Brother Cadfael had come late to the monastic life, like a battered ship settling at last for a quiet harbourA former soldier and captain of a ship, Cadfael has even experienced his fair share of sweetheartshe remembered other ladies, in lands than one, with whom he had enjoyed encounters pleasurable to both parties, and no harm to eitherYou can t help but adore this guy While Brother Cadfael may be well liked, author Ellis Peters also introduces us to some less agreeable characters as well Prior Robert cuts a splendid and authoritative figure, and is well aware of this factFor whatever virtues might be found in Prior Robert, humility was not one, nor magnanimity He was invariably sure of his own rightness, and where it was challenged he was not a forgiving manThe prior s latest ambition is to acquire the relics of a saint in order to advance the prestige of the monastery Thus begins an adventure to Wales in search of the resting place of Saint Winifred Prior Robert bands together a small group of his monks to carry out his mission, Brother Cadfael among them due to his Welsh background He will serve as translator between the Shrewsbury brothers and the people of Gwytherin Upon their arrival at Gwytherin, the monks quickly realize that despite the fact the saint s grave has been neglected, the villagers are not necessarily keen to give her up to a group of strangers Here we meet another group of interesting men and women Peters certainly delivers in her characterizations I loved that she also included a strong female figure in a young woman named Sioned Brother Cadfael is not without a great sense of respect and admiration for her as wellThere are women as strong as any of us, and as able When a leading citizen of this quaint Welsh village turns up dead, Cadfael will put to use his sleuthing skills to ensure that justice is served But this unconventional monk will not necessarily do everything by the book, making for an intriguing, sometimes humorous, and very enjoyable read I ve had A Morbid Taste for Bones waiting for me on my kindle for quite some time now I dillydallied about actually reading it, thinking that a book about an assortment of monks could be either a snooze fest or too heavy on the religion I was wrong When a GR friend chose this book for me as part of a book swap, I finally jumped right in I am so glad that I did, because I have now found a fabulous, new to me, historical mystery series to indulge in thanks, Jen Recommended to those that love historical mysteries with an appealing and bit out of the ordinary leading man. I am quite sure that I used to own a copy of this novel, back in the early 1980s I finally donated it because I just couldn t get into the story Now, I look back at my younger self and shake my head, because this time around I found the story to be very accessible and very easy to engage Another instance of the right book at the right time not suitable for me in my 20s, but eminently suitable for me in my 50s.I think that Brother Cadfael will become an old friend I will certainly be reading the next book of the series In my opinion, Peters transplants the murder mystery genre into medieval times extremely well She gives Brother Cadfael common sense and logic to work with, plus a good dose of human psychology How he deals with the Church hierarchy and the other Brothers feels very real and is often amusing.The action begins slowly the reader must be patient as Peters builds the story towards the murder, but after that, the action is unabated until the final resolution This story is quite different from the forensic based murder mysteries that crowd today s shelves, but that very difference recommends it Not exactly a cozy mystery, but a gentler one No gore or psychopaths to deal with here. Note, Aug 7, 2017 I edited this just now to correct a minor typo.Dame Edith Pargeter had already, by 1977, made a reputation for herself, under the pen name of Ellis Peters, as a mystery writer but under her own name, she was also a respected author of historical fiction, much of it set in medieval Wales When she brought the two genres together in this first of many novels, set in the border country between England and Wales where she grew up in the turbulent mid 1100s and featuring Brother Cadfael, a former veteran soldier now a monk in his sixties, and well versed both in herbology and in solving mysteries, she single handedly created the now flourishing historical mystery subgenre Before that, the only historical mysteries were Sherlock Holmes pastiches The appeal of the series comes mainly from the character of Cadfael himself wise, shrewd, caring, a bit mischievous, and endued with a gentle, life affirming faith much like Pargeter s own It also comes from her appealing depiction of the 12th century world, her sympathy with her characters, and her optimistic and moral view of the world Writers, she once said, need to depict evil but for them to take pleasure in evil is mortal sin Here, the Welsh born Cadfael finds himself brought along as an interpreter on his prior s expedition into Wales to extract the bones of a saint venerated as holy relics from the unwilling congregation of the little country parish where she s buried But when the most vocal opponent of transferring the bones turns up the victim of a murder, Cadfael finds himself called on to do than translate The solution of the mystery will demand detective ability, but this is only part of the picture Pargeter has stated that she was never attracted to the purely intellectual puzzle type of mystery, so as much of the focus here is on the human drama of the characters and their interactions. This book is actually quite good I must admit though, I had a hard time getting through it In fact, I pretty much had to sit myself down and force myself to read through to the end I ve decided that has much to do with me than the book itself consequently my high rating The truth is, I just don t like mysteries, and now I know that even by setting the mystery in a fascinating time period, this doesn t change When I was younger, I used to read every Agatha Christi Poirot story I could get my hands on, and I think I burned myself out Most of the time I just don t care about whodunit This leaves the magnetism of the detective to carry the story, which recently just hasn t been enough.For people who love mysteries though, I think you will love this Peters writes very well She uses dialogue to bring her characters to life, and it s great I was surprised at how funny this book was Cadfael is simply a GREAT character Peters also captures the 1100s with insightful details into monasterial life I think so many authors forget how powerful and important the church truly was during this time This same attention to detail was used on the inner workings of a medieval Welsh village too So many books just make out the villagers out to be ignorant clods, but Ellis is much generous than that, giving everybody a rounded feel Everybody has a different agenda and a different motive, and Cadfael is able to work this out quite clearly and succinctly.Maybe someday I will be in the mood to read another Cadfael book, but I think I m going to skip historical mysteries for a while I do believe this is the cr me de la cr me of historical mysteries though. Publicada hace m s de 40 a os 1977 , es la primera de la serie Cadfael, y tambi n mi primera incursi n en esta autora Este monje benedictino es una especie de Sherlock Holmes de la poca La serie cuenta con m s de 20 novelas, as que supongo que el personaje protagonista habr alcanzado mucha fama De esta primera entrega he sacado una grata impresi n, aunque se nota el estilo t pico de los a os 80, que hoy puede parecer viejuno Una trama con pocas complicaciones y no demasiado misterio, centrado muy acertadamente en el tr fico de reliquias tan corriente en esos a os de superstici n y supercher a Un Cadfael que se me hizo simp tico y cre ble, adelantado a su poca, con una sagacidad que sin duda le sacar de muchos apuros en las siguientes entregas.Una lectura muy ligera, apta para descansar de tanto gore presente en las novelas actuales Seguir con la siguiente, intuyendo de antemano que ninguna superar las cuatro estrellas, pero esperando que tampoco baje de tres. The first of the Brother Cadfael novels by Ellis Peters, which I have just discovered is a pseudonym for Edith Pargeter, a Welsh woman by birth and a historian by nature I would not have suspected that these stories were written by a woman because she captures the brothers of the Shrewsbury Abbey, a Medieval enclave of male figures, perfectly, From the stuffy, overblown Prior Robert to Brother Cadfael himself, every character is believable and interesting You soon realize that it takes all kinds of make a religious, just as it takes all kinds to make a secular, world Cadfael is a late comer to the calling, a sort of retirement job for him, and that I think is his primary strength He can see both inside and outside the religious community very clearly, and he brings enough of the worldly with him to recognize the emotions and failings of men, even those who claim spirituality Back years ago, when PBS aired its take on the good brother, with Derek Jacobi in the starring role, I watched religiously pun intended Of course, in reading this, I felt I already knew Cadfael and had his face set in my mind I loved the character then, and find he is just as comfortable, level headed, unassuming, and easy to admire in the book version I am looking forward to reading the entire series eventually I suspect I am in for a treat with each one. 8 2019 reread listened to the audiobook this time, love Patrick Tull s narration what a wonderfully satisfying ending makes me chuckle every time 2017 I first read Brother Cadfael over 30 years ago during high school and college breaks I became addicted and thus began a lifelong love of accurate and well written historical mysteries.I d seen reviews by GR friends and felt it was time to revisit Shrewsbury and the delightful world of Cadfael This was a very satisfying re read for me, and I ll be revisiting this series again in the new year I love Cadfael s decency, warmth and humanity and humor Same reason I enjoyed Margaret Frazer s Dame Frevisse series a smart, strong, experienced religious makes a wonderful detective This visit to a Welsh kingdom to acquire the remains of a saint for Shrewsbury Abbey stirs up unforeseen conflicts and a murder, and we are introduced to several wonderful Welsh characters, along with Cadfael s English fellow religious, some truly good, some cynically manipulative of the faith of others.I love reading novels set in a much slow paced time although I don t yearn to live in a time before germ theory, women s suffrage and civil rights, I do find the portrayal of such a simpler time peaceful and relaxing I look forward to visiting Shrewsbury again soon Ellis Peters Introduction To The Murderous Medieval World Of Brother CadfaelA Morbid Taste For BonesIn The Remote Welsh Mountain Village Of Gwytherin Lies The Grave Of Saint Winifred Now, In , The Ambitious Head Of Shrewsbury Abbey Has Decided To Acquire The Sacred Remains For His Benedictine Order Native Welshman Brother Cadfael Is Sent On The Expedition To Translate And Finds The Rustic Villagers Of Gwytherin Passionately Divided By The Benedictine S Offer For The Saint S Relics Canny, Wise, And All Too Wordly, He Isn T Surprised When This Taste For Bones Leads To Bloody MurderThe Leading Opponent To Moving The Grave Has Been Shot Dead With A Mysterious Arrow, And Some Say Winifred Herself Held The Bow Brother Cadfael Knows A Carnal Hand Did The Killing But He Doesn T Know That His Plan To Unearth A Murderer May Dig Up A Case Of Love And Justicewhere The Wages Of Sin May Be Scandal Or Cadfael S Own Ruin Marvelous story You have to read it to find out exactly what happens A fun spoof on religion The historical detail, the characters, and the humor are enchanting By the end I loved Brother Cadfael and all the villagers of Gwytherin, Wales An utterly charming tale and funny too 1.99 Kindle sale, today Dec 13, 2017 only Some of my GR friends love this medieval mystery series, so I think I m going to give it a shot.