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Monk's-Hood: 3 (Cadfael Chronicles) Paperback – 1 Apr 2010
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Past misdeeds find present and deadly reckonings in the third chronicle of Brother Cadfael, Ellis Peters' marvellously created medieval detective.
About the Author
Ellis Peters was the pseudonym of Edith Pargeter. She wrote twenty chronicles in the Cadfael series, which she produced annually until her death in 1995.
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Cadfael finds himself facing suspicion of murder when the man dies as well as trying to defend Richildis' son, Edwin against similar suspicions. This is a fast paces story with plenty of action and some clever reasoning from Cadfael which almost leads him into mortal peril.
This is the third book I've read in this series and it is growing on me. I love Cadfael - he is a marvellous character - wise and humorous and totally suited to his calling. He sees further through a brick wall than most. Because of his life before the cloister he is wise in the ways of the world as well as in the ways of God. I am looking forward to reading the fourth book in the series.
Monk's-hood is a poison, otherwise known as wolfsbane, which hints at the type of murder involved in this instalment. Without giving too much of the plot away, circumstances point to the murderer being a fourteen-year-old boy, but Cadfael considers that, "A hot-tempered, proud, affronted boy seemed to him a possible suspect had Bonel [the victim] been struck down with a fist or even dagger, but a very unlikely poisoner"; a poisoner's temperament is "secret, dark and bitter."
This Cadfael tale also has interesting complications arising when English and Welsh law meet over the question of inheritance.
As usual, Ellis Peters guides the narrative well in a good naturalistic style and natural justice runs its course at the end.