Monday, April 26, 2010

The Potter's Field - Ellis Peters

the potter's field
ellis peters
c. 1989
230 pages
completed 4/20/2010

read for: brother cadfael chronicles

*may contain spoilers*

Saint Peter's Fair of that year, 1143, was one week past, and they were settling down again into the ordinary routine of a dry and favorable August, with the corn harvest already being carted into the barns, when Brother Matthew the cellarer first brought into chapter the matter of business he had been discussing for some days during the fair with the prior of the Augustine priory of Saint John the Evangelist, at Haughmond, about four miles to the northeast of Shrewsbury.

As a field newly attained by the Shrewsbury Abbey is plowed, the monks make a startling discovery. Buried at the very edge of the field, with hands neatly folded around a crude wooden cross, is the remains of a woman. With only a mane of black hair to identify her, Hugh Beringar is hard pressed to give the skeleton a name. Various tales of missing dark haired women begin surfacing, such as the companion of a peddler who dodges fee collectors at the Abbey's annual fair or the former wife of a newly tonsured brother of Shrewsbury. Brother Cadfael and Hugh Beringar must first identify their victim before they can even begin to discover her murderer.

I really don't want to keep reading the Cadfael books because I know that soon they're going to end. If I quit, I'll know there will always be more. I think I only have three more to go. I'll be so sad when they're all over. :(

Once again, I find it difficult to review a book where I have seen the movie so many times (I say movie, but I guess technically it was a television series). Also, seeing as this is the seventeenth Cadfael book I've read, I'm kind of running out of things to say. I always love the characters, Hugh especially. I love that there are always different reasons for the murder to take place. And this is no exception. In fact, I always felt that this particular mystery was quite surprising. What really happened is so hard for Cadfael and Hugh (and so the reader) to make out until all is revealed that even though I knew the movie really well, there were several times I honestly thought the outcome was going to be different in the book (ps, it wasn't). So I suppose that's quite good mystery writing.

I'm sorry this review is kind of boring...the book is not!


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