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Dead Man's Ransom: 9 (Cadfael Chronicles) Mass Market Paperback – 21 Mar 1985


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Mass Market Paperback, 21 Mar 1985
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere; New Ed edition (21 Mar 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751511099
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751511093
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.7 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 565,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'A more atttractive and prepossessing detective it would be hard to find.' SUNDAY TIMES

Book Description

In his ninth chronicle Brother Cadfael discovers that the death of a prisoner is far from natural, but he still faces an uphill struggle to prove how he really died.

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First Sentence
ON THAT DAY, WHICH WAS THE SEVENTH OF FEBruary of the year of Our Lord 1141, they had offered special prayers at every office, not for the victory of one party or the defeat of another in the battlefields of the north, but for better counsel, for reconciliation, for the sparing of blood-letting and the respect of life between men of the same country-all desirable consummations, as Brother Cadfael sighed to himself even as he prayed, but very unlikely to be answered in this torn and fragmented land with any but a very dusty answer. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Victor HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 4 Aug 2011
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Based on Ellis Peter's popular series of novels, this radio production tells the tale of Brother Cadfael, Soldier, sailor and sinner, now a Brother in Shrewsbury abbey at the height of the civil war between King Stephen and Empress Maud, in the mid 12th century. The location and time were well chosen by Peters, as the civil war and Shrewsbury's position close to the sensitive Welsh border provides rich territory for plotting and bloody murder. Bodies keep popping up all over the place, and it falls to the worldly Cadfael, with his knowledge of pathology gained from the battle field and his knowledge of men gained from many years in the world, to solve the crimes and see justice is served.

This tale hangs very much on the civil war and the proximity to Wales. It involves an exchange of high ranking prisoners between the Welsh and English, captured in two very different battles resulting from the politics of the day and a breakaway rebel Welsh faction. When one of the prisoners unexpectedly dies, Cadfael has to navigate his way through both wordly politics and the human heart to find the killer. It is a well told tale, quite complex in parts but so clearly laid out as to be easy to follow.

This two hour production stars Philip Madoc in a fine performance as Cadfael. With his mellifluous voice he strikes just the right note, evoking the basic humanity of the man, and the steely determination to see justice served. Also included in the cast are Michael Kitchen as the narrator, and Susannah York as Sister Magdalene. It is an excellent production. Having read the books many times, Madoc is almost exactly how I imagine Cadfael to sound.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. M Errington VINE VOICE on 23 May 2011
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a fully dramatised version of the Ellis Peters' medieval whodunit. The adaptation was originally broadcast in several episodes on BBC Radio 4. This version is on two CDs. I much prefer this version to the television adaptations with Derek Jacobi. Philip Madoc sounds absolutely right as Cadfael, and I do not understand why he was not given the role on television. He even looks right! As with much radio the pictures are better too. The production values and the soundscape are good, though the volume varies a little too much for comfortable listening in the car. As for the story, it is one of the better ones produced by Ellis Peters (real name Edith Pargeter). The books have a tendency to drift into romantic novel territory, but this one has some basis in history and the battle of Lincoln. These historical details help to anchor the story very nicely. The cast are very good, with Susannah York excellent as a rather unconventional mother superior. Michael Kitchen is also notable as the narrator, and Trevor Peacock makes a welcome appearance. Bert Coules has done a very good job in adapting the novel. I can't help but think the cast and technicians must have had a splendid time with the battle scenes. Overall this is a most enjoyable diversion, and is highly recommended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 May 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In the tenth installment of the ever-so-popular Brother Cadfael series, author Ellis Peters proves a winner once again with "Dead Man's Ransom."
Set in the year 1141, civil war runs amok in Britain between King Stephen and the Empress Maud, and it appears that the end of the twelve year old struggle is in sight. The war has taken its toll in many areas, as civil wars do, and the people are quite weary of it all. Maud's forces, however, now have captured the king himself.
The sheriff of Shropshire, too, has been taken captive. This means, in those days, that in all likelihood an exchange of prisoners will take place.
Alas, one of the captives is now dead and it is our Brother Cadfael who senses that, indeed, it is murder, and, just as naturally as Peters would have it, it is he who is given the responsibility to solve the case and to try to bring about the release of the king.
Brother Cadfael is the former crusader now a Benedictine monk, who specializes in herbal medicines, solving murders, and compassion. Peters (Edith Pargeter) has developed her Cadfael through this series of medieval whodunits into a man of the cloth easily admired and respected. He is a man of firm, and devout, principles; a man who seems to carry the weight of the shire on his own Welch-born shoulders!
Peters has made grand the area of Shropshire, and especially the town of Shrewsbury there on the Welch borders. She has also created an exciting family of literary characters to complement Cadfael: Hugh Beringar (deputy sheriff of the shire and Cadfael's closest friend) and his wife Aline, Abbot Radulfus (the venerable patriarch of the abbey, and other members of the abbey.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sentinel TOP 500 REVIEWER on 29 May 2011
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
With a running time of a little over two hours, this is a typically well-produced Radio4 serialisation of Ellis Peter's novel, featuring her monkish sleuth Cadfael. Unlike the other reviewers, I had no expectations over Cadfael's voice, so Phillip Madoc posed no problem for me.

Overall, I found this a gripping murder mystery, underpinned by some quality acting, especially the wholly convincing voice of Susannah York as the impressive Magdalen. Sound effects and the overall production values underpin the overall quality of performance, and though I found the opening fragmented and rather confusing, I discovered that this was stitched together via characters' backstory.

The main irritation was the difficulty in cuing into various points of the story, as the insert leaflet provides no help with information on the structure, giving no detail of scenes or episode breaks. Given the running time, this should be an essential tool for those unable to devote the time, energy or concentration for a full 'run through'. With that caveat, this is still worth exploring.
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