Monk's Hood (Brother Cadfael Series #3)

Monk's Hood (Brother Cadfael Series #3)

by Ellis Peters


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Silver Dagger Award Winner: In this medieval mystery, Brother Cadfael faces suspicion when one of his herbal ingredients is used to kill a man.

Gervase Bonel is a guest of Shrewsbury Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul when he suddenly takes ill. Luckily, the abbey boasts the services of the clever and kindly Brother Cadfael, a skilled herbalist. Cadfael hurries to the man’s bedside, only to be confronted with two surprises: In Master Bonel’s wife, the good monk recognizes Richildis, whom he loved before he took his vows—and Master Bonel has been fatally poisoned by monk’s-hood oil from Cadfael’s stores.

The sheriff is convinced that the murderer is Richildis’s son, Edwin, who hated his stepfather. But Cadfael, guided in part by his concern for a woman to whom he was once betrothed, is certain of her son’s innocence. Using his knowledge of both herbs and the human heart, Cadfael deciphers a deadly recipe for murder. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781504001977
Publisher: Open Road Integrated Media LLC
Publication date: 11/25/2014
Series: Brother Cadfael Series , #3
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 286
Sales rank: 166,753
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Ellis Peters is a pseudonym of Edith Mary Pargeter (1913–1995), a British author whose Chronicles of Brother Cadfael are credited with popularizing the historical mystery. Cadfael, a Welsh Benedictine monk living at Shrewsbury Abbey in the first half of the twelfth century, has been described as combining the curious mind of a scientist with the bravery of a knight-errant. The character has been adapted for television, and the books drew international attention to Shrewsbury and its history.
Pargeter won an Edgar Award in 1963 for  Death and the Joyful Woman , and in 1993 she won the Cartier Diamond Dagger, an annual award given by the Crime Writers’ Association of Great Britain. She was appointed officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1994, and in 1999 the British Crime Writers’ Association established the Ellis Peters Historical Dagger award, later called the Ellis Peters Historical Award.

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Monk's Hood (Brother Cadfael Series #3) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
nbmars on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Monk¿s Hood is ¿The Third Chronicle of Brother Cadfael, of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, at Shrewsbury.¿ Although there is some continuity in this cozy-historical mystery series, so far, at least, it seems that any one of these books can be read without the benefit of having read those preceding it.It is close to Christmas in 1138, and a family has moved into a house on the abbey property. At that time in history, one could turn over one¿s estate to monasteries or convents in exchange for room and board until death. Thus a Master Bonel and his wife and stepson begin to occupy the house. Brother Cadfael, who is a monk come late to the cloistered life after a checkered career and stint in the Crusades, is now in charge of herbs and remedies at the Abbey. He is called to Master Bonel¿s house when the latter is taken ill. As Cadfael tries to treat Master Bonel (to no avail, since he has been poisoned by a mixture of herbs containing monk¿s-hood), he recognizes in Bonel¿s wife his fiancé of forty years ago, Richildis. Richildis married someone else when Cadfael took too long to return from the Crusades. Bonel is her second husband, and now he is dead. Her fourteen year old son Edwin is accused of the murder, and she begs Cadfael for his help.Cadfael is convinced of Edwin¿s innocence as well, and resolves to help them by finding the real murderer. He is aided by his young assistant in the herbarium, Brother Mark. Cadfael likes Edwin very much, and ponders what it would have been like to have married Richildis and had children:"Brother Cadfael heaved a deep sigh that might have been of regret, but might equally well have been of relief.¿He solves the mystery and even dispenses justice, using his talent for detective work, his knowledge of the ways of men, his generosity of spirit, and his trademark senses of humor and justice.Evaluation: This cozy-historical mystery is short and engaging, and a pleasant way to pass the time. The ¿mystery¿ is not so well-hidden that you can¿t figure it out, but the pleasure is in seeing how Brother Cadfael, a very likeable character, goes about it.
iftyzaidi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In general I'm not a big fan of detection/murder mystery novels and haven't read much in the genre, but I found this to be very well-written, with great characters and a well-realized historical setting. I will be reading more in this series.
atimco on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Monk's Hood, the third Brother Cadfael mystery, is set in the fall of 1138 when Shrewsbury is recovering from its participation in the civil war between King Stephen and the Empress Maud. Shrewsbury Abbey is experiencing some changes of its own: the gentle Abbot Heribert has been called to a Legatine Council that will likely strip him of his authority, and the ambitious Prior Robert eagerly takes his place pending the Council's ruling. Meanwhile, a wealthy landowner, Gervase Bonel, cedes his estate to the abbey in return for a comfortable place to live out his days... only, those days aren't very long. After eating a delicacy sent him by Prior Robert, Bonel dies in the agonies of poison. In the course of his investigations, Cadfael comes into contact with a variety of people in Bonel's household ¿ among them an old flame, Richildis, who is now Bonel's widow. This gives rise to various musings on what might have been and the life Cadfael has chosen instead. Peters skirts the edges of cynicism without quite brushing up against it: hard to do, to achieve that resignation that is actually quite content without casting aspersions on the reality of romantic attachment.Like several other well-known literary sleuths, Cadfael uses his own discretion when it comes to unveiling and punishing the murderer. In this case he does not expose the murderer to public justice, choosing instead to set a lifelong penance that will, he hopes, do the world more good than would justice according to the letter of the law. Cadfael is already set apart from the other characters by his uncanny wisdom in getting to the bottom of murder, but does this give him the right to administer justice as he sees fit? I'm not sure how I feel about this; despite Cadfael's brilliance, he's still a fallible human being. Only one other character, Hugh Beringar, dimly guesses at how Cadfael has disposed of the case.Peters' writing is so smoothly effortless that it would be easy to take it for granted. Most readers don't look for great literature in the murder mystery genre, but that doesn't mean that the technical brilliance of the plotting should outweigh the style of the prose. Peters writes characters who are believable in their historic setting and personal relationships, with an unfaltering narrative voice that is both lively and original. She is also noted for the historical faithfulness of her work.Peters takes two of my favorite genres, historical fiction and mystery, and marries them to produce an engaging tale of medieval murder. If you're a fan of either genre, you should give this series a try! Cadfael's a great character, the mysteries are well plotted, and the prose is excellent. I look forward to reading more of Cadfael's monkly murder adventures.
cbl_tn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My second helping of the Brother Cadfael series wasn't quite as good as the first, but it was still an enjoyable read. Ellis Peters's medieval monastery and its inhabitants are described so well that I feel like I'm right there among the brothers as I read. However, the modern world seemed to insert itself toward the end of the book.***Spoiler*** I was disappointed that Cadfael was able to rationalize allowing the murderer to escape the penalty of law. His argument for doing so sounded very much like modern arguments against the death penalty. Or, if you prefer, like the Wild West ¿he needed killing¿ justification for murder. Cadfael didn't wrestle much with his decision, or suffer regrets once the decision had been made. Instead of ambiguity, there was a ¿happily ever after¿ ending - for everyone except the dead man.
AngelaG86 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A guest of the Abbey is murdered with an arthritis treatment of Brother Cadfael's.
Joycepa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Respite from the civil war between Maud and Stephen, however temporary, has been restored to Shrewsbury as Christmas approaches. Life in the abbey proceeds as usual when suddenly Brother Cadfael is called to the bedside of Gervase Bonel, who has recently nearly completed the process of turning over his lands to the abbey in return for a guaranteed living under its care. To make matters more interesting, Bonel's wife--to Cadfael's complete surprise ins none other than Cadfael's first love, Richildis, whom Cadfael left behind when he went on the First Crusade. Bonel dies--poisoned with monk's hood. Monk's hood is valuable in relieving aches and pains when applied externally but deadly in small amounts when taken internally. Someone has stolen from Brother Cadfael's own supply and murdered Bonel.Suspicion immediately falls on Richildis' son (by her first marriage) Edwin, who has the most to lose if the Bonel lands go to the abbey and the most to gain if Bonel's original will, in which Edwin inherits, stands.This is a more or less straightforward 12th century police procedural with Brother Cadfael in the role of private detective assisting the short-sighted forces of law and order. The reader learns a great deal about Welsh land law and the operation of the court system as a crucial part of the plot.The climax is very good, although the final outcome may strain the credulity of a modern reader. In this cynical age, it's hard to understand the power of the religious beliefs of that time. Yet it certainly was real by all historical accounts.The writing, plotting, and characterization are all standard Ellis Peters, which is to say very good. We're glad to see the recurring characters, both Benedictine and secular; Brother Mark, Brother Jerome, Prior Robert, High Beringar, Abbot Heribert. while we are delighted to see jerome and robert get their noses tweaked, it's still with affectionate laughter.An entertaining read. Highly recommended.
edwin.gleaves on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The third chronicle of Brother Cadfael of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul of Shrewsbury
maita on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love the Cadfael chronicles.This is one of my fave stories. I also like the series.Cadfael meets Rischildies. They would have been married if he came back earlier from the crusades. Now, Brother Cadfael must help her find her husbands murderer and bring them to justice.
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