NOTE THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE AUDIO VERSION OF THE VIRGIN IN THE ICE.
This is the 6th book in the Brother Cadfael series. Ellis Peters had hit her stride. A great central character- on who each story hangs- great setting a largely not well know period of English History The `Civil' war between King Stephen and The Empress Maud and .
The fact that the period is now much better know is largely down to Peters.
She writes well paced and interesting stories.
Now the majority of her stories are `Whodunits' but this is not really that type. Never the less it is a cracking tale and moves at a brisk pace.
Three people are- missing. One a young Lord- Ives, his sister a noted dark haired beauty and their guardian- a young Benedictine Nun.
One of them is found dead- frozen in an iced covered stream- the Virgin of the title.
We know who has done it but the book and tale twist and turns as there is a race against time to discover the remaining two of the trio.
Now to this production.
It's dramatized by the BBC- always a hall mark of excellence.
The story is in place in full and moves at a really satisfyingly brisk pace that really conveys the race against time to discover the remaining two of the trio.
Bert Coules has really done a fine job in his dramatizing of the book.
The late Phillip Madoc is simply wonderful he really is THE Brother Cadfael. His fine Welsh accent is to my ear exactly how I expected Brother Cadfael to sound.
Don't get me wrong the televised version of Cadfael with Derek Jacobi was good but I, along with many others believe that Madoc would have been the better.- We will now, of course never know but we are left with this splendid series on Audio.
Mention at this juncture should be made of the wonderful narration of Sir Michael Hordern. He is truly excellent and conveys the story and background wonderfully with his outstanding gravitas in his voice. Outstanding.
Douglas Hodge as Hugh Berringer- Stephen's Shire Sheriff is good and the cast, as with all in the Cadfael series, are excellent.
This set is in 5 shows on 2 cassettes.
You can easily get it on CD a link is here.Cadfael: The Virgin in the Ice (BBC Radio Crimes)
It's as cheap as chips at the moment but that is not reflected in the high quality of the production, the cover, inners and slim case.
This is the 6th in the series but the good news is that you do not have to have read the preceding 5 to get the full benefit of hearing this.
Nothing from the former is needed to understand and enjoy this excellent production.
All in all?
Wonderful entertainment for your aural pleasure.