An Excellent Mystery Two monks seeking refuge bring with them a troubling mystery that will test Brother Cadfael’s beliefs
In the year of our Lord 1141, August comes in golden as a lion, and two monks ride into the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul bringing with them disturbing news of war—and a mystery.
The strangers tell how the strife between the Empress Maud and King Stephen has destroyed the town of Winchester and their priory. Now Brother Humilis, who is handsome, gaunt, and very ill, and Brother Fidelis, youthful, comely—and totally mute—must seek refuge at Shrewsbury. From the moment he meets them, Brother Cadfael senses something deeper than common vows binds these two good brothers. What the link is he can only guess. What it will lead to is beyond his imagining. As Brother Humilis’s health fails—and nothing can stop death’s lengthening shade—Brother Cadfael faces a poignant test of his discretion and his beliefs as he unravels a secret so great it can destroy a life, a future, and a holy order.
“Enchanting . . . Medieval England comes marvelously alive.” —The Washington Post
“Absorbing, superbly crafted . . . Unflagging tension which builds to a swift, satisfying climax . . . Peters never disappoints.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Each addition to the series is a joy.” —USA Today
Ellis Peters is a pseudonym of Edith Mary Pargeter (1913–1995), a British author whose Chronicles of Brother Cadfael are credited with popularizing the historical mystery. Cadfael, a Welsh Benedictine monk living at Shrewsbury Abbey in the first half of the twelfth century, has been described as combining the curious mind of a scientist with the bravery of a knight-errant. The character has been adapted for television, and the books drew international attention to Shrewsbury and its history.
Pargeter won an Edgar Award in 1963 for Death and the Joyful Woman, and in 1993 she won the Cartier Diamond Dagger, an annual award given by the Crime Writers’ Association of Great Britain. She was appointed officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1994, and in 1999 the British Crime Writers’ Association established the Ellis Peters Historical Dagger award, later called the Ellis Peters Historical Award., an excellent mystery, what makes an excellent mystery shopper