Dead Man's Ransom Brother Cadfael must intervene when a prisoner exchange is interrupted by love and murder, in the Silver Dagger Award–winning medieval mystery series.
In February of 1141, men march home from war to Shrewsbury, but the captured sheriff Gilbert Prestcote is not among them. Elis, a young Welsh prisoner, is delivered to the Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul to begin a tale that will test Brother Cadfael’s sense of justice—and his heart.
By good fortune, it seems, the prisoner can be exchanged as Sheriff Prestcote’s ransom. What no one expects is that good-natured Elis will be struck down by cupid’s arrow. The sheriff’s own daughter holds him in thrall, and she, too, is blind with passion. But regaining her father means losing her lover. The sheriff, ailing and frail, is brought to the abbey’s infirmary—where he is murdered. Suspicion falls on the prisoner, who has only his Welsh honor to gain Brother Cadfael’s help. And Cadfael gives it, not knowing the truth will be a trial for his own soul.
“Each addition to the series is a joy. Long may the Chronicles continue.” —USA Today
“A fascinating chronicle of twelfth-century England . . . We meet again the canny Brother Cadfael . . . pre-dating Sherlock Holmes by generations.” —Los Angeles Times
“One of the series’ best.” —Chicago Sun-Times
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.