The Hermit of Eyton Forest (Brother Cadfael #14) ★★★☆☆

eytonhermit (Custom)

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Hermit of Eyton Forest
Series: Brother Cadfael #14
Author: Ellis Peters
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 240
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

A young novitiate’s father dies. His grandmother wants him to come home so he can marry a neighbor’s daughter so the grandmother can rule all. However, the father’s wishes were for him to stay at the Abbey and learn until he reached his majority.

At the same time, a saintly hermit and his young assistant move into an abandoned hermitage. A landowner comes looking for his runaway serf and is murdered. The young heir also goes missing. All of this is happening while the war between Stephen and Maude continues apace.

Cadfael must put the pieces of this puzzle together while making sure that justice is served and mercy has its place.

 

My Thoughts:

Cadfael was almost a background character here. It was more about the hermit’s assistant than anything else. And his story was all about “young love” conquering all. It kind of made me roll my eyes. I guess I’m getting too old and cynical.

I still enjoyed the overall story but I’m not sure that Cadfael tagging along while everyone else does the actual work makes this a Brother Cadfael Mystery. However nothing here is going to stop anyone from continuing this series. If you’ve stuck around this long, you’ll keep on sticking around. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to complain like a son of a monkey about the tenuous link.

★★★☆☆

bookstooge

  1. The Pilgrim of Hate (Book 10)
  2. An Excellent Mystery (Book 11)
  3. Raven in the Foregate (Book 12)
  4. The Rose Rent (Book 13)
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The Rose Rent (Brother Cadfael #13) ★★★☆☆

rose (Custom)

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Rose Rent
Series: Brother Cadfael #13
Author: Ellis Peters
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 239
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

A young widow, the owner of a well to do business, gave a house she owned to the Abby, on the condition that they pay a “rent” of one white rose on the anniversary of her husband’s death. Should the rose not be delivered or the widow not be able to take it, the Abby forfeits the house and it reverts back to the widow.

She is pressed on all sides by suitors but when a young monk is killed and the rose bush burnt, things have moved into serious territory. Then when the widow disappears and another man shows up dead, Cadfael must solve what is going on before the widow ends up dead. Things have a happy ending when Cadfael solves the mystery and the widow ends up with the local leather worker who is a widower with a young daughter.

 

My Thoughts:

Not really much to say about these. First off, it’s a Mystery and that’s not my go-to genre so I’m pretty meh about it. Second, it is a Cadfael mystery, so there’s a lot of just kind of hanging around while things happen. Being a monk really cramps his style.

There is a lot of descriptive stuff that I simply blew by. I just didn’t care. I’m sure it set the tone but that was lost on me.

Cadfael is a literary palate cleanser for me. It is well written, I don’t expect much and it delivers just enough to keep me happy. Kind of like those baskets of bread rolls at restaurants that you munch on before your food arrives.

★★★☆☆

bookstooge

 

  1. Review of Book 6
  2. Review of Book 7
  3. Review of Book 8
  4. Review of Book 9
  5. Review of Book 10

Raven in the Foregate (Brother Cadfael #12) ★★★☆☆

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This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Booklikes & Librarything and linked at Goodreads by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

 
Title:        Raven in the Foregate
Series:     Brother Cadfael #12
Author:   Ellis Peters
Rating:    3 of 5 Stars
Genre:     Mystery
Pages:      244
Format:   Digital Edition

Synopsis:

A new priest is installed in the town [as opposed to being at the abbey] when the old priest, Father Adam, dies. Where Father Adam was an easy going, accepting man who loved his flock even when they strayed and was friends with all, Father Ailnoth is a whole nother matter.

Moving boundary stones, calling into question whether a man is a freeman or surf, refusing to interrupt his prayers to give last rights to a dying baby and then not allowing it to be buried in the church grounds because it had not been shriven, excommunicating a young woman for her wandering ways, beating the boys who he was supposed to be teaching, Ailnoth has turned the town against him. So when Ailnoth turns up dead, there are more suspects than you can shake Father Ailnoths ebony staff at.

The war between Empress Maude and King Stephen is still going on and their vassals fortunes rise and fall according to how things are going. One young man is on Maude’s side and of course gets involved in the death of Father Ailnoth while falling in love with a local girl.

Cadfael solves the mystery. The End.

 

My Thoughts:

This is book 12 in the series. If you’ve stuck around this long, this book will not dissuade you from continuing.

I am finding that I am liking the historic aspects of the novel more than the mystery, as it gets boring with somebody “dying” and then solving who/why, etc. I am not a big mystery fan, so it helps keep my interest by showing other things.

I am getting a bit tired of “young man comes to Shrewsbury, gets involved in a murder in some way and escapes with the help of a local lovely and they go off to X to get married”. This young man, Benet, showed some real promise as a Class A Donkey’s Head. He was an idiot and I was hoping something terrible would happen to him. Oh well, he wasn’t the one responsible for Ailnoth’s death and since he’s leaving, I’m hoping I won’t have to read about him again.

Other than that, this is a Cadfael mystery. He does things in his little herbarium, pokes around the scene of the crime, and solves things.

★★★☆☆

bookstooge

 

  1. Review of Book 1
  2. Review of Book 2
  3. Review of Book 3
  4. Review of Book 4
  5. Review of Book 5

An Excellent Mystery (Brother Cadfael #11)

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This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Booklikes & Librarything by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

 

 

Title: An Excellent Mystery

Series: Brother Cadfael #11

Author: Ellis Peters

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Genre: Mystery

Pages: 253

Format: Kindle Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

A wounded Crusader has become a monk who has been befriended by a mute young monk. In the power plays between the royalty, an abbey is destroyed and the monks therein scatter.

The aforementioned Crusader makes his way to Shrewsbury, where it is found out that the young woman he was to marry but forswore to become a monk, went to become a nun. Only she never arrived at the Abbey. Now a young man who was with the Crusader monk must track her down to press his own suit for her hand, if she is alive. If she is dead, then he’ll pursue vengeance.

Caught in the middle of it all, is Cadfael. Seeing more than others, caring for all, trying to make everything work out without destroying a man, a name, a legacy or a young woman.

 

My Thoughts:  Spoilers

If you aren’t as dull as dullard, you’ll have figured out what is going on at probably about the same time as Cadfael. If you are that dull, here’s a Pro Tip: young women can disguise themselves as boys.

And honestly, that is what made me shake my head over and over.  How does a woman disguise herself so thoroughly that nobody in a bloody Abby discovers it? She has to bathe sometime. She has to have her period sometime. It gets hot in the summer and she can’t wear the monk’s habit ALL the time. I get that a young woman can pass as a young man for a time, among strangers. But among a cloistered community? It just beggared my belief.

Apart from that, this was a half decent Cadfael story. He actually plays a rather small part. There is also a lot of “Historicalness” going on and those goings ons are what actually drive the story. Kind of like getting a history lesson on the sly.

star30full-custom

The Pilgrim of Hate (Brother Cadfael #10)

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This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes. blogspot.wordpress.com by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: The Pilgrim of Hate

Series: Brother Cadfael

Author: Ellis Peters

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Genre: Mystery

Pages: 270

Format: Kindle digital edition

 

Synopsis:

The bones of St. Winifred are being brought out to display and for a miracle to happen. Pilgrims flock to the Abbey. Some true pilgrims, some scofflaws and others with very mixed motives. Cadfael is still feeling guilty about burying Winifred back in Wales and wants a sign that he did right.

While this is all going on, the war for the Kingdom continues. London is far away but what happens there ripples out to the rest of the land. A murder there affects a whole group of Pilgrims at the abbey, whether they know it or not.

 

My Thoughts:

Been about 2 months since my last Cadfael read. That seems to be a good space. Any sooner and I’d start champing at the bit with these.

This story had as much historical action as the previous book. Empress Maude makes the classic blunder of not sucking up to those in power and they spurn her attempt at  becoming Queen. So the war between her and Stephen continues. Which is just the backdrop for everything happening at the abbey.

Cadfael is all doubt’y until his son shows up and then it is all rainbows and ponies and a sign that Winifred approves his decision. Cadfael, while having given up the life that he led before, certainly doesn’t seem in the least repentant for ANY of it. I know that the religious and theological isn’t the main purview of this series, but still, I’d like that aspect touched on a bit more, even if it “is” Catholicism 😉

The one thing that really bugged me however was all the references to previous stories. I don’t remember individuals from the other books and so to have them mentioned was just an annoyance. I don’t keep that kind of detail in my head for more than about 2 days, then *delete*, it is gone to make room for the next book I’m reading. Which is why reviews of books that I have finished over a week ago tend to be quite a bit sparser than ones done immediately after reading.

Finally, I am really liking these MysteriousPress.com covers. While they don’t have the Priest’y vibe of the earlier ones, I am very much drawn to the whole colored cover thing. It works for me.

Dead Man’s Ransom (Brother Cadfael #9)

46f72d019a2be8a8a6ca84ced3f4be0eThis review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.anobii.com by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Dead Man’s Ransom

Series: Brother Cadfael

Author: Ellis Peters

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Genre: Mystery

Pages: 273

Format: Kindle digital edition

 

Synopsis:

King Stephen has been captured, as has Sheriff Prestcote. The Welsh make a move against the inhabitants that Beringar must now look after [as his lord was Prestcote, who’s lord was Stephen]. In the process, they capture a young man who they think they can exchange for Prestcote.

During the exchange, Prestcoste is murdered and it is up to Cadfael to find the murderer and determine if Justice, or Mercy, are truly due.

 

My Thoughts:

For some reason, this just hit the spot.

Part of it was last weekend where I drove almost 1K miles and moved my parents in 90degree weather with 90% humidity. Then once home and finding booklikes glacial and staff actively unresponsive [not sure what else you call changing your facebook page so people can’t comment/ask questions], I was just stressed.

So a little murder mystery where things would get worked out in the end was pleasant, very pleasant. The young people involved were all idiots, all of them, but thankfully they were balanced out by Cadfael, Sister Magdalena and Beringar. Which is much like real life.

The Devil’s Novice (Brother Cadfael #8)

653a0609cd37644257219352119db364This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: The Devil’s Novice

Series: Brother Cadfael

Author: Ellis Peters

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Genre: Mystery

Pages: 273

Format: Kindle digital edition

 

Synopsis:

A young man desires to join the monastery, with an incredible fervor.

At the same time, an emissary of the King is found dead, under mysterious circumstances.

Thankfully, Cadfael is on the case!

 

My Thoughts:

I vaguely recalled this from when I was watching the tv series. So I “knew” that things weren’t all that they seemed and the path was twisty. I just couldn’t remember when things turned left or right.

I enjoyed this more than the previous books. Most of that I suspect is BECAUSE I didn’t know what was going on. I’ve found that most murder mysteries aren’t good as re-reads. Not that I’ve read a lot of murder mysteries.

I am thankful that I picture Derek Jacobi as Brother Cadfael. The tv series definitely got that part down right.