For those who like Medieval Murder Mysteries, like Sister Fidelma.
Who is Brother Cadfael?
Written by Edith Mary Pargeter, using the pseudonym Ellis Peters, this classic series is about Monk who aids the law with solving murders during the Anarchy in England.
Set in the 12th century, the novels focus on a Welsh Benedictine monk living at Shrewsbury Abbey in western England. Even if Brother Cadfael spends much of his time tending the herbs and vegetables in the garden, he is the monk to look for when there’s a murder to investigate.
Brother Cadfael Books in Order:
- A Morbid Taste for Bones – Brother Cadfael is to serve as translator for a group of monks heading to the town of Gwytherin in Wales. The team’s goal is to collect the holy remains of Saint Winifred. But when the monks arrive in Gwytherin, the town is divided over the request. When the leading opponent to disturbing the grave is found shot dead with a mysterious arrow, some believe Saint Winifred herself delivered the deadly blow. Brother Cadfael knows an earthly hand did the deed.
- One Corpse Too Many – 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.
- Monk’s Hood – Christmas 1138, a local dignitary is poisoned with one of the herbalist’s own concoctions and Brother Cadfael has to defend himself against charges of murder.
- Saint Peter’s Fair – In July of 1139, a quarrel between the local burghers and the monks of the Benedictine monastery over Shrewsbury’s annual Fair leaves a merchant dead.
- The Leper of Saint Giles – Autumn 1139. Outside the town of Shrewsbury is the infirmary of St Giles. When a member of a wedding party is savagely murdered, the only suspect claims sanctuary within its walls.
- The Virgin in the Ice – During the bitter November of 1139, civil war brings refugees to Shrewsbury in search of sanctuary. But two orphans and their companion, a nun, do not arrive from Worcester as planned, and Brother Cadfael is despatched from the Abbey to try and locate them.
- The Sanctuary Sparrow – In the Spring of 1140, a young man, pursued by a lynching mob, claims sanctuary just in time to save his life. Brother Cadfael believes the boy is innocent and sets out to prove it.
- The Devil’s Novice – September 1140. It falls to Brother Cadfael to find the disturbing truth behind the violent nightmares of a young novice in the Abbey of Shrewsbury.
- Dead Man’s Ransom – The sheriff of Shropshire has been captured and the king taken prisoner. Then an exchange of prisoners is arranged – but before the exchange is completed, one captive is murdered. It is Brother Cadfael who first notices evidence of unnatural death.
- The Pilgrim of Hate – During the May of 1141, pilgrims gather at Shrewsbury. The news from the road is that a knight has been murdered in Winchester. Brother Cadfael suspects this distant crime has a solution close to home.
- An Excellent Mystery – In the hot, dry August of 1141, England is still torn by civic strife. Amidst the carnage the Abbey of Hyde Meade is totally destroyed; its resident brothers dispersed, finding refuge in the Abbey of Shrewsbury. But Brother Cadfael realizes that two of these refugees are not all that they appear to be.
- The Raven in the Foregate – Winter, 1141. The Abbot of Shrewsbury returns from London bringing with him the harsh, unforgiving Father Ailnoth as pastor for Holy Cross parish. None are surprised when Ailnoth’s body is found on Christmas morning, but it falls to Cadfael to find his murderer.
- The Rose Rent – In June of 1142, a young monk is murdered next to a white rose bush at a property bequeathed to the Abbey by a young widow. Brother Cadfael finds evidence that points to the widow’s own household.
- The Hermit of Eyton Forest – In the Autumn of 1142, a holy man living as a hermit is found dead. His murder coincides with the arrival at the Abbey of Shrewsbury of the new Lord of Eaton. Brother Cadfael suspects a connection, but the new lord is only ten years old – who can have been acting in his interests?
- The Confession of Brother Haluin – December, 1142. A brother of Shrewsbury Abbey suffers a fall that almost kills him. He makes a shocking deathbed confession to Brother Cadfael. When the man recovers Cadfael accompanies him on an arduous journey to redeem his past sins.
- The Heretic’s Apprentice – In the Summer of 1143, two visitors arrive at the gates of the Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul bearing a corpse. But another violent death follows in their wake, and Brother Cadfael is called upon to investigate the connection between these two gory events.
- The Potter’s Field – August, 1143. During the ploughing of Abbey land, the hastily buried remains of a woman’s body are unearthed. Uneasiness pushes Brother Cadfael to find the whole truth behind this unexpected discovery.
- The Summer of the Danes – In the April of 1144, Brother Cadfael is sent to Wales on Church business, but becomes entangled in the affairs of a young woman desperate to escape an arranged marriage.
- The Holy Thief – In early 1145, subsiding flood waters reveal a robbery has been committed on church grounds, and Brother Cadfael thinks the robbery is connected to a murder.
- Brother Cadfael’s Penance – November, 1145. The bitter rift between King Stephen and Empress Maud at last has a chance of reconciliation. Brother Cadfael is faced with a shocking revelation: one of the hostages is his illegitimate son.
- A Rare Benedictine: The Advent of Brother Cadfael – Set in the Year of Our Lord 1120, three tales of intrigue and treachery, featuring the chain of events that led one-time crusader Cadfael into the Benedictine Order.