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St. Peter's Fair: The Fourth Chronicle of Brother Cadfael (Brother Cadfael Mysteries) [Mass Market Paperback]

Ellis Peters
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov 1992 Brother Cadfael Mysteries (Book 4)
Saint Peter's Fair is a grand festive event, attracting tradesmen from across England and beyond. There is a pause in the civil war racking the country in the summer of 1139, and the fair promises to bring some much needed gaiety to the town of Shrewsbury. Until, that is, the body of a wealthy trader is found in the River Severn. Was Thomas of Bristol the victim of murderous thieves? And if so, why were his valuables abandoned nearby? Brother Cadfael offers to help the merchant's lovely niece Emma. But while he is seaching for the killer, the man's wares are ransacked and two more men are murdered. Emma almost certainly knows more that she is telling, as others will soon realise. Cadfael desperately races to save the young girl, knowing that in a country at war with itself, betrayal can come from any direction, an even good intentions can kill.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Mysterious Press; Reprint edition (Nov 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446403016
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446403016
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.6 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,789,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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A more attractive and prepossessing detective it would be hard to find. (SUNDAY TIMES) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

In his fourth chronicle Brother Cadfael is summoned from his peaceful herb garden to solve the mystery of the murder of a merchant. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
It began at the normal daily chapter in the Benedictine monastery of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, of Shrewsbury, on the thirtieth day of July, in the year of Our Lord 1139. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps the Poppies Helped 29 Jun 2011
By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The fourth Cadfael chronicle, published in 1981, takes place from July into August 1139. Cadfael is now fifty-nine years old and growing poppies in the monastery garden. He's been a monk for sixteen years and - given his life before and after joining the cloister - "he was virtually out of reach of surprise." Perhaps the poppies helped!

This time in the previous year, the town of Shrewsbury was under siege by King Stephen's forces. The new abbot refuses the town's request for financial assistance in helping it rebuild its community by donating part of the profits that the abbey would accrue from its annual fair. Whilst Hugh Beringar tells Cadfael that, "The word in the town is that this may be law, but it is not justice", the stage is set for some boisterous goings-on during the fair.

Ellis Peters took a different approach to the structure of this instalment by placing the chapters within sections headed `The Eve of the Fair', `The First Day of the Fair', `The Second Day of the Fair', `The Third Day of the Fair', and `After the Fair'. This provides a good structure for the reader as he or she follows events as each day unfolds. And come the end, we can see how what appeared at first as a purely local mystery, actually had implications in the politics of the nation. As Cadfael remarks, "Where there are two warring factions in a land ... men without scruples can turn controversy to gain.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Ellis Peters Special! 22 Sep 2000
By A Customer
A change of style this time for Miss Pargeter but a great story (again) none the less! For once in a Cadfael novel, I had no idea who the murderer was but then again I feel that this murder mystery is exceptional!
The writing is first class (as usual!) and the story has the usual romantic sub-plot. It's basically about the local annual St. Peter's Fair (unsurprisingly) run by the local monastery. Each year, the stalls are hired out and the monastery gets a fee for each. The aggrieved locals feel that the monastery should make a contribution to the upkeep of the town of Shrewsbury where the previous year there was a siege and a lot of damage was done (see the previous novel, a corpse too many). The monastery (naturally) refuse since this would set a precedent and the law states they cannot do that.
This leads to bad feeling between the stallholders and the locals when after an appeal to get a contribution directly from them rather than pay the full amount to the monastery leads to a mini riot.
A Bristol merchant gets murdered and the ringleader of the mini riot is the prime suspect but not is all as it should be. If you want to know more - read it. I recommend it heartily!
Why don't I give it 5 stars I hear you ask? I feel that for a Cadfael novel, Cadfael was almost a spectator in the story. But if I didn't account for that, I'd give it a 5!
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This is the fourth book by Ellis Peters in the ever so enjoyable Cadfael medieval murder mystery series.
Once again Brother Cadfael is called in to investigate when a rich merchant is murdered during the annual St Peter's fair in Shrewsbury. Was a quarrel between the monks of the Benedictine monastery and the townsfolk to blame or is the motive for murder more sinister? Another excellent book from Ellis Peters - the great thing about these books is with them being set in the twelfth century these novels don't age at all!
I will look forward to reading the rest of the novels to keep up with the adventures of Brother Cadfael.
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