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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wales win at home to England!
Ellis Peter's first Cadfael murder mystery takes as its setting the events surrounding the translation of the holy relics of Saint Winifred from the remote Welsh village of Gwytherin to the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Shrewsbury in 1138. Taking this real event as her starting point, Peters weaves an enchanting if rather overly romanticised tale...
Published on 18 Aug. 2000

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Read this first, Spoilers in other reviews
3.5 stars.
Three reasons for this review. Firstly, despite the medieval setting, this novel is basically a traditional whodunnit and, if you're thinking of buying it then may I advise extreme caution with regards reading other reviews beforehand. Some of them contain colossal spoilers without a word of warning and will ruin the story for you. Others try to be more...
Published 5 months ago by "Computer, Give Me Manual ...


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Morbid Taste for Bones, 2 Oct. 2014
By 
Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
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The Abbot of the Benedictine monastery in Shrewsbury has decided his abbey needs the relic of a saint to raise their profile. A vision by one of his monks means that his attention fixes on Saint Winifred whose remains currently lie in a small Welsh village. Permission is granted to go and remove the remains and Brother Cadfael - being the only Welsh speaker among the monks goes with them.

What follows is a PR disaster and results in the death of more than one person. But Brother Cadfael works to see justice done even if the strict letter of the law - English and Welsh - may have been flouted.

I really enjoyed this delightful story with its many touches of humour and its collection of brilliantly developed characters. The all too pious Brother Columbanus, the gullible and too humble Brother Jerome, the misfit Brother John and the good man, Father Huw amongst the Welsh villagers. Saint Winifred herself is extremely active behind the scenes as well trying to ensure her mortal remains are treated how she would wish.

This is the first volume in the Cadfael series and I would recommend it to anyone who likes their crime stories in a historical setting. It shows how crimes can still be solved even if you don't have the battery of forensic testing available to modern crime fighters.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a fair effort, 18 Mar. 2012
This review is from: A Morbid Taste For Bones: 1 (Cadfael Chronicles) (Paperback)
This is the first cadfael i have read but plan to read a lot more having bought all of them.It is a fair effort to begin with and can be a bit slow for my taste in parts, but is well thought out and give you a good account of the welsh/english relationship in medieval times.Also we are introduced to all the characters of the abbey as well as cadfael who has a certain checkered history(no saint but his heart is in the right place and he is welsh).It is inevitably a murder for him to solve but to know the plot you must read the book so just go out and buy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent beginning to a great series, 16 May 2007
By 
S. Bailey "will work for books" (London) - See all my reviews
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Brother Cadfael has left behind a rather turbulent life, and retired to the monastery of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Shrewsbury. If he thinks his life as an herbalist is going to be a quiet one, though, he's much mistaken. The Prior, ever anxious to promote the Abbey's popularity with pilgrims, decides to acquire a relic, and looks about for a likely candidate. Cadfael's ability to speak Welsh is important in the delicate negotiations to acquire Saint Winifred's bones, but soon his abilities as a detective will also be needed, as the Prior's chief opponant is found murdered.

This is the first in the Cadfael series, and I enjoyed it as much as I have the others I've read. I did figure out what had happened quite early on, though I hesitate to say "it was obvious", twists being such a stock in trade of the genre. This didn't actually matter; what is most fun about Ellis Peter's books is the characterisation. Her depiction of a love affair between two people who don't speak the same language was wonderful. And the politics of Welsh villages and English abbeys alike, though naturally no match for Cadfael, are extremely funny. Recommended for history lovers and crime lovers equally.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first Cadfael and a great mystery, 8 May 2007
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
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As with many books or stories that we get involve with, the characters and their relationships to others in the environment is an important as the mystery. Ellis Peters strikes a balance between the characters, history and the mystery. Sprinkled throughout is faith, and a chance that thy (the monks) may be correct in the explanation of saints and how the world works.

The external environment is the ongoing struggle between Empress Maude and King Stephen. We also have references to the different societies as they travel to Wales. These become more relevant as the series progresses. The inward struggle between faith and power is depicted as an individual monk is persuaded or wants to be persuaded to go on a mission to retrieve a neglected saint.

If you saw the movie you will immediately see the differences between it and he book. One main point is the fact that the monk was cured before the trip. The best difference is reviled with the detection and solution to the mystery.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The First of Many, 25 Aug. 2011
If you have never read Brother Cadfael before, you are in for a rare treat. This is the first of twenty-one murder mystery novels which are best read in order as they chronicle the life of a mediaeval monk of Shrewsbury. I read all of them this year while having an unexpectedly long stay in hospital. (I often wished that Brother Cadfael would arrive with some herbal potions to help me.)
A Morbid Taste for Bones is an important book to read as it sets the scene for many of the others. The relics of St Winifred at the Abbey in Shrewsbury play a part in many subsequent books. Ellis Peters is the pen name of a university lecturer with great expertise in mediaeval history, so the books are based on reality and researched thoroughly.

Enjoy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable easy read, 13 Mar. 2011
This review is from: A Morbid Taste For Bones: 1 (Cadfael Chronicles) (Paperback)
I hadn't read any Ellis Peters previously but I found it a surprisingly funny book as well as a whodunnit. The characters were entertaining and the story flowed quickly. I loved the Name of the Rose but this was a much more light hearted take on the life of a medieval monk - good holiday reading.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Brothers & sisters, 25 Jun. 2013
By 
GlynLuke (York UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Morbid Taste For Bones: 1 (Cadfael Chronicles) (Paperback)
This is the second book I`ve read in the Brother Cadfael series, and the first to be written. What a superb start to Ellis Peters` long and successful saga of the Welsh-born worldly middle-aged Middle Age monk of Shrewsbury Abbey.
In this near-perfect tale, the stern, arrogant Prior Robert is intent on a journey over the border to Gwytherin in NW Wales, to bring home the bones of one Saint Winifred, ostensibly for the glory of God and the abbey itself.
Several of the monks set out for Wales, and a motley group they are, including of course herbalist, general pacifier, and unofficial amateur detective Cadfael, with his apprentice gardener Brother John among others, such as the possibly epileptic Brother Columbanus and the obsequious Brother Jerome.
In Wales, they are met with the residents of the village, who are beautifully drawn by the author, from the village elder Rhysiart to the enticing sisters Sioned and Annest, both of whom cause more then one man to fall for their Celtic charms.
There is of course, eventually, a murder. Finding out who the culprit is proves a long haul for both Cadfael and the reader - and the author is good at keeping you guessing until she deigns to reveal who it is. On the way we learn, among other things, much about rural life in 12th century Britain, which is fluently and seamlessly introduced into the story by the author, without the reader feeling that they are being overloaded with masses of authorial research.
As with the other novel I`ve read in the series (The Confession of Brother Haluin) there were a few moments when I must admit the narrative could have been tightened up a little, without any sacrifice of tension. But on the whole, this is a lovely tale well told, full of the atmosphere of woodsmoke, heady mead, small rustic chapels, and the wild reaches of a relatively untamed Wales (as it happens, my own mother`s birthplace).
I shall be reading the next in the series, with great pleasure and as much interest in people and place as in `whodunnit`.
Ellis Peters was, I think, an underrated writer. Her Cadfael books are only classed as crime novels because crimes are committed in them, which (with others` help) her persistent Brother Cadfael manages to solve. But she is more a historical novelist, and a very fine one.
Recommended - despite the many printers` errors in my edition!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The first Cadfael and a great mystery, 31 July 2013
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
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As with many books or stories that we get involve with, the characters and their relationships to others in the environment is an important as the mystery. Ellis Peters (Edith Pargeter) strikes a balance between the characters, history and the mystery. Sprinkled throughout is faith, and a chance that they (the monks) may be correct in the explanation of saints and how the world works.

The external environment is the ongoing 11th century civil war between English King Stephen and his sister the Empress Maude. We also have references to the different societies as they travel to Wales. These become more relevant as the series progresses.

The inward struggle between faith and power is depicted as an individual monk is persuaded or wants to be persuaded to go on a mission to retrieve a neglected saint "St. Winifred." She lies in Wales and it happens that Brother Cadfael has a Welsh background, so he is charged with supporting the mission.

If you saw the movie you will immediately see the differences between it and he book. One main point is the fact that the monk was cured before the trip. The best difference is reviled with the detection and solution to the mystery.

One Corpse Too Many: The Second Chronicle of Brother Cadfael
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5.0 out of 5 stars The first Cadfael and a great mystery, 16 April 2009
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
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As with many books or stories that we get involve with, the characters and their relationships to others in the environment is an important as the mystery. Ellis Peters (Edith Pargeter) strikes a balance between the characters, history and the mystery. Sprinkled throughout is faith, and a chance that they (the monks) may be correct in the explanation of saints and how the world works.

The external environment is the ongoing 11th century civil war between English King Stephen and his sister the Empress Maude. We also have references to the different societies as they travel to Wales. These become more relevant as the series progresses.

The inward struggle between faith and power is depicted as an individual monk is persuaded or wants to be persuaded to go on a mission to retrieve a neglected saint "St. Winifred." She lies in Wales and it happens that Brother Cadfael has a Welsh background, so he is charged with supporting the mission.

If you saw the movie you will immediately see the differences between it and he book. One main point is the fact that the monk was cured before the trip. The best difference is reviled with the detection and solution to the mystery.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The first Cadfael and a great mystery, 20 April 2006
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
As with many books or stories that we get involve with, the characters and their relationships to others in the environment is an important as the mystery. Ellis Peters strikes a balance between the characters, history and the mystery. Sprinkled throughout is faith, and a chance that thy (the monks) may be correct in the explanation of saints and how the world works.

The external environment is the ongoing struggle between Empress Maude and King Stephen. We also have references to the different societies as they travel to Wales. These become more relevant as the series progresses. The inward struggle between faith and power is depicted as an individual monk is persuaded or wants to be persuaded to go on a mission to retrieve a neglected saint.

If you saw the movie you will immediately see the differences between it and he book. One main point is the fact that the monk was cured before the trip. The best difference is reviled with the detection and solution to the mystery.
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A Morbid Taste For Bones: 1 (Cadfael Chronicles)
A Morbid Taste For Bones: 1 (Cadfael Chronicles) by Ellis Peters (Paperback - 1 April 2010)
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