Brother Cadfael, the medieval mystery-solving monk, is a fascinating detective, at once a man of God, of science, and even of action. Derek Jacobi stars as the former "soldier, sailor, sinner, and Crusader" who has his faith tested by crimes of royal intrigue and baffling murders that seem to plague 12th-century Shrewsbury. You'll find few Benedictine monks so skilled at using a quarterstaff, but beware never to tell him your theory of how a crime "must" have been committed. "We must always be wary of 'must'," he states. "Nothing is certain." And so attest these divine mysteries based on the books by Ellis Peters. Each feature-length episode is self-contained but plays against the backdrop of England's civil war between forces loyal to King Stephen and those to Empress Maud. Eoin McCarthy costars as local Under-Sheriff Hugh Beringar, who relies on Cadfael when murder subverts his efforts to keep the peace. --Donald Liebenson
All thirteen episodes of the drama series starring Derek Jacobi as the medieval sleuth. In the opening episode 'One Corpse Too Many', Cadfael, once a man of the world, has become a man of the cloth. However, this by no means qualifies him as a saint. He discovers a murder, and sets out in pursuit of the perpertrator, assisted by a lovely young fugitive. 'The Sanctuary Sparrow' sees Brother Cadfael investigating the murder of the local goldsmith. In 'The Leper of St Giles' a great wedding is to take place in the Abbey of Shrewsbury between Baron Huon (Norman Eshley) and Iveta De Massard (Tara Fitzgerald). Iveta is a beautiful, kind soul and on the day she and her betrothed ride into the town she throws money to the lepers, but her brutish Baron beats them. On the eve of the wedding he rides off into the night never to return. Cadfael sets out to find out what is going on. In 'Monk's Hood', a landowner cuts his son-in-law out of his will, leaving his inheritance to the church. However, before the transaction is finished, Gervase Gurney (Bernard Gallagher) is poisoned whilst staying at the Abbey of Shrewsbury. Cadfael finds someone from his past as he looks into the poisoning. In 'The Virgin in the Ice' Cadfael has to prove the innocence of his novice, Oswin (Mark Charnock), who is accused of murdering a nun after he is found wandering deliriously. In 'The Devil's Novice', Cadfael is suspicious when a young man, Meriet (Christien Anholt), arrives at Shrewsbury Abbey wishing to become a Novice. Canon Eluard (Ian McNeice) shares Cadfael's doubts as to Meriet's intentions, and when the half-burned body of a colleague is discovered, Meriet is accused of murder. In 'A Morbid Taste For Bones', Cadfael reluctantly accompanies an expedition to dig up the grave of St Winifred, after one of the Shrewsbury monks has a vision. He soon finds himself investigating a murder, when Lord Rhysart (John Hallam) is found dead on a forest track with an arrow in his chest. Robert (Michael Culver) believes the culprit to be Godwin, who was having an affair with Rhysart's daughter, Sioned (Anna Friel). However, Cadfael has other ideas. In 'The Rose Rent', the recently-widowed of a rich merchant becomes an attraction for the men of Shrewsbury, until one of her suitors and a monk are murdered. In 'St Peter's Fair', conflict arises between the townspeople of Shrewsbury and visitors to the annual fair. In 'The Raven in the Foregate', Cadfael has a double murder to solve when a pregnant girl and a priest who refused to hear her confession are both killed. In 'The Holy Thief', Cadfael is on the hunt for a beautiful slave girl and the bones of St Winifred, both of which have mysteriously disappeared from the Abbey. In 'The Potter's Field', Cadfael uncovers a terrible web of jealousy, adultery and suicide pacts when he examines the past of a potter who has entered the monastery under suspicious circumstances. Finally, in 'The Pilgrim of Hate', an old man's corpse is found in a sack in the Abbey, and Cadfael must find his killer.