The Leper of Saint Giles (Brother Cadfael Series #5)

The Leper of Saint Giles (Brother Cadfael Series #5)

by Ellis Peters

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Overview

A savage murder interrupts an ill-fated marriage set to take place at Brother Cadfael's abbey, leaving the monk with a terrible mystery to solve. The key to the killing is hidden among the inhabitants of the Saint Giles leper colony, and Brother Cadfael must ferret out a sickness not of the body, but of a twisted mind.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780449205419
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/12/1985
Series: Brother Cadfael Series , #5
Pages: 208

About the Author

Although she wrote under a number of pseudonyms, Edith Mary Pargeter (1913-1995) is perhaps best known as the mystery author Ellis Peters. Pargeter wrote the Brother Cadfael series featuring a medieval Benedictine monk. She won many writing awards during her lifetime and a number of her Brother Cadfael books were made into television movies.

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Leper of Saint Giles 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Joycepa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In October, 1139, the Abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul is preparing to host and celebrate a wedding between two members of powerful, landed houses: Huon de Domville and Isveta de Massard, the granddaughter of a famous paladin of the First Crusade. Brother Cadfael and Brother Mark watch the processions of the wedding parties from the lazaretto of St. Giles, a hospice for lepers a short distance removed from Shrewsbury and the abbey; Brother Mark is spending a year there as its medical attendant and Brother Cadfael is making one of his periodic visits to replenish the salves and unguents that Brother Mark uses with such compassion and tenderness on his charges. A new guest resides at the hospice, an old man named Lazarus. This is nothing remarkable, since lepers commonly wandered between such hospices until unable to travel.It's clear, in short order, that not all are in favor of the wedding. Isveta is very young and obviously distressed at the thought of marrying a many nearing 60--one who, furthermore, has all the marks of a brutal person; he deliberately and unprovokedly strikes Lazarus with his whip as teh groom's party passes St. Giles. One of de Domville's young squires, Joscelin Lucy, is desperately in love with Isveta, who requites his feelings. Joscelin attempts one last meeting with Isveta, in Brother Cadfael's herb garden, before the wedding. The couple are discovered by Isveta's dragon aunt, Agnes Picard and Joscelin is thrown out of de Domville's entourage, reported to the baron by Isveta's equally nasty uncle, Godfrid. In addition, Joscelin faces accusations of theft of a valuable necklace, a wedding gift from the baron to Isveta.When the wedding does not take place due to the inconvenient murder of de Domville, Joscelin is the immediate suspect. Apprehended, he escapes and an intensive hunt rouses the countryside. But Brother Cadfael is less than convinced of Joscelin's guilt. Joscelin hides at St. Giles as he searches for a way to rescue Isveta from the clutches of her conniving aunt and uncle.Peters devotes a significant part of the plot to Joscelin's stay at St. Giles, which does provide some illumination of the way lepers lived in the 12th century. It's also a clever plot device to keep her hero hidden until she winds up to the climax. The plot itself is good, with the expected twist(s) at the end. Peters, by this fifth book in the series, has settled into her style of writing and the prose is both gentle and workmanlike; she does evoke a nice sense of medievality without much strain. What is welcome in this book is a map of Shrewsbury and its environs.Usually, Peters' heros are young, handsome, and naive, while the women are much more worldly, and quite strong. She reverses herself somewhat in this book. Joscelin is not quite so wide-eyed and innocent, but Isveta is simply there to provide the necessary impetus to the plot--she is the epitome of the helpless female. Granted that this series is not long on complex characterization, but Peters usually manages to do much better than this with her female characters.We do meet old favorites--Abbot Radulfus and Brother Mark, the latter being the most fleshed-out character in the book aside from Cadfael.Brother Cadfael, too, has not really developed much in 5 books, but then he doesn't need to. He still is a delightful character in this gentle, lightweight, but entertaining series.Highly recommended.
AngelaG86 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite Brother Cadfael stories. An heiress is about to be married off to a much older man (against her will, of course); when her intended is found murdered, the man she is in love with is accused, and Cadfael works to sort out the truth.
seoulful on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This fifth chronicle in the Brother Cadfael mystery series takes us into the medieval thinking and practice toward lepers. We go inside the lazarhouse of St. Giles where the monks from the nearby Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul staff the house of mercy. The plot circles around the impending forced marriage of a young innocent heiress and a powerful, malevolent man long past his prime. Once more we watch Brother Cadfael, the Abbey herbalist and resident sleuth follow the leads to solve two murders which have a curious connection to the lepers of St. Giles. A great pleasure to experience the beautiful language and characterizations of Ellis Peters.
cbl_tn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When an older man marries a woman young enough to be his granddaughter, today's cynic assumes she's married him for his money. In Cadfael's England, Huon de Domville, a baron ¿well past the prime¿, is set to marry 18-year-old heiress Iveta de Massard for her wealth and lands. Iveta is in love with one of his squires, and the young lovers haven't given up all hope of finding a way out for Iveta. However, no one was prepared for what happened next.Peters avoids the faults of some historical fiction authors whose characters seem to have modern world views. I think the difference is that other writers often emphasize attitudes and opinions, while Peters focuses on emotions and character traits like love and hatred, compassion and cruelty, fear and comfort, trust and betrayal. Even though I could see early on where the plot was heading and guessed many of the characters' secrets, there were still some surprises along the way. I haven't read many writers who are able to tell a story so well and resolve the problems so satisfactorily. Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Classic Cadfae - full of unexpected twists and turns.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago