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Brother Cadfael Mysteries: Dead Man's Ransom (BBC Radio Crimes) Audio Download – Original recording

4.2 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Based on Ellis Peter's popular series of novels, this radio production tells the tale of Brother Cadfael, Soldier, sailor and sinner, now a Brother in Shrewsbury abbey at the height of the civil war between King Stephen and Empress Maud, in the mid 12th century. The location and time were well chosen by Peters, as the civil war and Shrewsbury's position close to the sensitive Welsh border provides rich territory for plotting and bloody murder. Bodies keep popping up all over the place, and it falls to the worldly Cadfael, with his knowledge of pathology gained from the battle field and his knowledge of men gained from many years in the world, to solve the crimes and see justice is served.

This tale hangs very much on the civil war and the proximity to Wales. It involves an exchange of high ranking prisoners between the Welsh and English, captured in two very different battles resulting from the politics of the day and a breakaway rebel Welsh faction. When one of the prisoners unexpectedly dies, Cadfael has to navigate his way through both wordly politics and the human heart to find the killer. It is a well told tale, quite complex in parts but so clearly laid out as to be easy to follow.

This two hour production stars Philip Madoc in a fine performance as Cadfael. With his mellifluous voice he strikes just the right note, evoking the basic humanity of the man, and the steely determination to see justice served. Also included in the cast are Michael Kitchen as the narrator, and Susannah York as Sister Magdalene. It is an excellent production. Having read the books many times, Madoc is almost exactly how I imagine Cadfael to sound.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In the tenth installment of the ever-so-popular Brother Cadfael series, author Ellis Peters proves a winner once again with "Dead Man's Ransom."
Set in the year 1141, civil war runs amok in Britain between King Stephen and the Empress Maud, and it appears that the end of the twelve year old struggle is in sight. The war has taken its toll in many areas, as civil wars do, and the people are quite weary of it all. Maud's forces, however, now have captured the king himself.
The sheriff of Shropshire, too, has been taken captive. This means, in those days, that in all likelihood an exchange of prisoners will take place.
Alas, one of the captives is now dead and it is our Brother Cadfael who senses that, indeed, it is murder, and, just as naturally as Peters would have it, it is he who is given the responsibility to solve the case and to try to bring about the release of the king.
Brother Cadfael is the former crusader now a Benedictine monk, who specializes in herbal medicines, solving murders, and compassion. Peters (Edith Pargeter) has developed her Cadfael through this series of medieval whodunits into a man of the cloth easily admired and respected. He is a man of firm, and devout, principles; a man who seems to carry the weight of the shire on his own Welch-born shoulders!
Peters has made grand the area of Shropshire, and especially the town of Shrewsbury there on the Welch borders. She has also created an exciting family of literary characters to complement Cadfael: Hugh Beringar (deputy sheriff of the shire and Cadfael's closest friend) and his wife Aline, Abbot Radulfus (the venerable patriarch of the abbey, and other members of the abbey.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A really good read rather spoiled by a surfeit of commas which makes nonsense of some sentences until you re-read them and ignore the commas. Many of the commas were obviously meant to be hyphens. Also several names were spelled several different ways making you think another character had turned up. Is it not possible to have people of a reasonable standard of education typing up these books - people who understand punctuation and the difference between hyphens and commas?
Thankfully, Ellis Peters writing is of sufficient standard that these faults are just an irritation. I have abandoned some other authors works because the bad punctuation and/or misspellings were just the last straw.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this story, as I am enjoying all of the Cadfael books in turn, and it richly deserves five stars from me. However, I wouldn't recommend anyone to buy this particular e-version, because of the very, very many typos, mainly commas, which pepper the text throughout. I felt as though I was proof-reading it all the way. It says a lot for Ellis Peters' wonderful prose that I got to the end without giving up. Amazon has another e-book of this title, slightly more expensive, but worth it if it is error-free.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is yet again another brilliant story by Ellis Peters, but ruined by the publishing. Terrible editing in places - it confuses the reader badly sometimes. I won't be buying the £1.85 editions of these books again. How on earth a publisher allows through, for example "a very, well looking young man" or a good, natured adolescent ... boy" - and the quotation marks go missing a lot of the time. And how about "a battery, ram of lances ... a long, two, tined pikel lashed to a six, foot pole, ... and scraping the ford with it and breast, height."
But as someone else said about Kindle books, you get what you pay for, I suppose.
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