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The Leper Of Saint Giles: 5 (The Cadfael Chronicles) Mass Market Paperback – 19 May 1994


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Mass Market Paperback, 19 May 1994
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere; New edition edition (19 May 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751511056
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751511055
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 1.5 x 17.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,025,594 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Soothing, but no shortage of mayhem. (OBSERVER)

Book Description

In his fifth chronicle Brother Cadfael is called away from his herb garden to investigate a savage killing on the eve of a noble wedding.

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First Sentence
Brother Cadfael set out from the gatehouse, that Monday afternoon of October, in the year 1139, darkly convinced that something ominous would have happened before he re-entered the great court, though he had no reason to suppose that he would be absent more than an hour or so. Read the first page
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The fifth Cadfael instalment returns to standard chapters from the previous number. The contest between Stephen and Matilda is now more distant, and ‘The Leper of St Giles’ stays within the immediate neighbourhood of the abbey and concerns itself with a local high-profile wedding. (St Giles is the leper’s chapel just up the road to the east and would be the first prominent building to be seen as the traveller approached Shrewsbury from that direction.)

Young love features highly again in the story, and I’m starting to get a little annoyed by its central prevalence in so many of the series. Peters also has a tendency too, like Dickens, to place people in boxes marked ‘good’ and ‘bad’, when we all know that every one of us is a mixture of both.

But on the plus side, Peters continues with her detailed descriptions of life and mores of the time, although I am not sure that Amice of Thornbury could be so precise about her timings in an age largely devoid of clocks, especially in rural areas.

I was going to write how Peters in ‘The Leper of St Giles’ comes up with one of her usual ingenious plots. But there is more in this volume, for at the book’s end, just when you think all seems settled and obvious, the last chapter manages to produce one last plot twist that goes on to disprove my theory about the black-and-white moral characterisation of the people her imagination creates.

How can I not praise, therefore, a writer who not only dumbfounds me with the plot but also confounds my presumptions about her characters?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 Nov. 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This time, we're witnessing a wedding of the most mis-matched couple you could possibly imagine. A young lady of 16 years to an old man in his fourties (well, old in that they didn't live so long in those days!). One of the old man's squires is in love with the girl and has voiced his disapproval. This has lead to him being dismissed from service and accused of theft. He makes a daring escape and hides out nearby. The night comes and on the eve of the wedding, the grrom is murdered. Did Jocelyn Lucy murder his previous master? What do the Lepers have to do with this story? Find out, it's very much worth it!!!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Steve Benner TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 Nov. 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ellis Peters' fifth Brother Cadfael mystery is set against a backdrop of one of the less savoury aspects of life in Mediaeval Europe - the scourge of leprosy and the terrible disfigurements and consequent social stigmas that its sufferers endured. In actuality, though, this is as typical a romance from the pen of Ellis Peters as it is possible to find!
The action of the story takes place just a few months after the previous Cadfael book, in the autumn of 1139. For once, the on-going civil war between King Stephen and the Empress Maud does not feature in the tale, which is concerned only with the impending marriage of a young, orphaned heiress to an overbearing and insufferable baron, many years her senior. It is quickly obvious that this marriage is no love-match, on either side, and has been arranged purely for the advancement of the girl's guardians and the bridegroom. It is also obvious from the outset that the would-be bride is more smitten with the squire of her affianced lord than with the baron himself and that this attraction is mutual. Most readers, too, will quickly come to dislike Huon de Domville as much as do the young lovers. Nor will anyone be surprised where suspicion (from everyone except Cadfael) falls when the bridegroom is rather conveniently found murdered on the very morn of his wedding day!
But that's about all that is clear-cut and obvious in this plot, which needs someone of Cadfael's shrewd and observant nature to tease out all of the complex pieces of the puzzle and fit them together correctly. And this is one of those classic Cadfael tales in which it is, indeed, only the good Brother (apart, of course, from the reader) who knows the whole truth of events by the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 11 Sept. 2001
Format: Audio Cassette
This is a most beautiful tale and I won't spoil it by telling you the twist at the end. It is in the usual style of Ellis Peters, being a Medieval Whodunnit, but What Who did is really quite lovely when you find out! It is about dedication, persistence, devotion, self-sacrifice and triumph. Of course someone gets murdered, and of course Cadfael finds out, but love triumphs, in a surprising way. Experience it now!!
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Format: Paperback
This is the fifth book by Ellis Peters in the ever so enjoyable Cadfael medieval murder mystery series.
The year is 1139, a marriage has been arranged between an old nobleman and a young girl – an heiress to a big fortune. The marriage is to place at the Abbey in Shrewsbury, home to Brother Cadfael and his fellow monks. However, the peace of the Abbey is disrupted by a savage killing. Just outside of the walls of Shrewsbury stands St Giles, a leper house. Would the killer possibly take refuge in such a place? It is for Cadfael to try to find the killer with his usual wisdom and cleverness.
A very enjoyable read which although written over 30 years ago; Ellis Peters will always be one of the best writers of historical crime. I will look forward to reading the rest of the novels to keep up with the adventures of Brother Cadfael.
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