Ellis Peters is the pseudonym of Edith Pargeter. 1992 is the 15th anniversary of the first Brother Cadfael book, "A Morbid Taste for Murder". Other books by the author include "The Summer of the Danes" and "The Cadfael Companion".
I recommend the audio edition narrated by Stephen Thorne. The Jacobi TV adaptation isn't the same story.
This December of 1141, papal legate Henry of Blois must for the second time in a year call a legatine council - a mirror of that in THE PILGRIM OF HATE, now that King Stephen is free and the empress has been driven from Westminster. Once again Henry has turned his coat according to the fortunes of war - small wonder that Bishop Henry seeks to reinforce his own position with his abbots.
Abbot Radulfus returns from the council with a priest from Henry's staff to fill the vacancy of Holy Cross. In his wake, Father Ailnoth brings a housekeeper and her nephew, Benet, who is assigned to Cadfael as a lay helper, Ailnoth having implied that Benet might have a vocation.
Neither Benet nor Ailnoth turns out to be what was hoped for.
Benet not only has no intention of taking vows, but is inexperienced at the kind of chores Cadfael can use him for. However, he's a hard worker and has many virtues that appeal to Cadfael if not Prior Robert. Benet is, in fact, one of the many strayed young hawks of the empress' party to cross Cadfael's path over the years - a bit of a problem, deep in the heart of King Stephen's territory.Read more ›