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Book Note: Ellis Peters, An Excellent Mystery

I read this book about 18-Oct-2004. I've read this book before. The book is copyright 1985. This note was last modified Monday, 19-May-2014 16:51:19 PDT.

This is book 11 of the "Brother Cadfael" series.

This note does not contain major spoilers for the book.


The eleventh Brother Cadfael novel. Nearly all of them start with a fairly precise statement of the date; this one begins "August came in, that summer of 1141,...."

A crusader turned monk, and a brother monk devoted to tending him, come to Shrewsbury in the wake of the sack of his own abbey in Winchester. He's dying, and picked here because he was born near here. Nice guy, really. Brother Fidelis, who cares for him, is also nice, though mute. And an old squire turns up, to ask permission to seek the hand of Julian Croce, the woman the crusader had been engaged to before his severe injury rendered him unfit for marriage. After investigation there's suspicion that the woman was done away with, probably by an old family retainer that she trusted. He's even identified as having sold some of her jewelry, and was seen giving some of the proceeds to another mysterious figure.

Eventually all is cleared up, Brother Fidelis safely disappeared, Julian Croce resurrected without scandal to herself or the Benedictines, and safely handed over to the former squire. There's a definite shortage of villains in the immediate story, which is pleasant.

The title refers to a biblical quote on marriage, incidentally.

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David Dyer-Bennet