A Rare Benedictine by Ellis Peters

A Rare Benedictine
A Rare Benedictine by Ellis Peters, Myserious Press, 1989

Source: My bookshelves

Project: Read-from-by- Bookshelves continues since I was last able to check books out from my library on March 14. I picked up A Rare Benedictine: The Advent of Brother Cadfael, a collection of short stories that are prequels to the Brother Cadfael series, on the recommendation of someone at a library sale some time ago. I miss book browsing, and I’ve also got a stack of books to donate too from the past two months. Some day, right? Anyway, back to the book.

This mystery is one of the few historical crime novels I’ve read, and the compactness of the stories made them perfect for reading this weekend. The three stories take place in 1120 as Cadfael leaves the Crusades and joins the monastery in Shrewsbury, and in the span of just 150 pages, he solves a kidnapping, a theft of silver candlesticks, and an attempted murder in Shrewsbury. Compact stories are good for my short attention span.

Reading a new-to-me author writing about the twelfth century was a project in vocabulary, notably about the plants and herbs that Brother Cadfael grows and uses. My favorite plant name was orpine, also known as “witch’s moneybags.” I have at least two more Brother Cadfael books on my shelves, and I’m looking forward to them.


6 thoughts on “A Rare Benedictine by Ellis Peters

  1. I’ve always liked Ellis Peters’ writing, Rebecca. She really did such a skilled job of portraying the time and place, and I do like her mysteries; they’re well-crafted, in my opinion.

    • Thanks, Margot: I’m impressed so far! As I approach week 10 without a library, I’m digging into the surprises on my physical bookshelves.

  2. Brother Cadfael is a good companion. I read several of the books quite some time ago. I also enjoyed the television series. Derek Jacobi fit my image of the friar.

  3. I recently read the first book in this series, after having it on my TBR for years. I plan to continue the series. Before this I had not been interested in historical mysteries set that long ago, but my tastes have changed.

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