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Dead Man's Ransom Mass Market Paperback


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Mysterious Press
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446405167
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446405164
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 13.4 x 19.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 145 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)


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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ellis Peters is in a class by herself. Before her death at the age of 82 in 1995, she wrote a series of 20 mysteries set in England and Wales during the 12th Century. (She also wrote many other books under her real name, Edith Pargeter.) In the Cadfael mysteries, her "detective" is a former Crusader who has decided to spend his last years as a monk in a monastery in Shrewsbury. I have found the Brother Cadfael in the books to be far more interesting than the Brother Cadfael of the television series. Many of the books in the Cadfael series are as much (or more) historical romances as they are mysteries. Don't start any book in this series unless you enjoy a strong dose of romance and medieval English history mixed with mystery. The Cadfael series (like most good series) is more enjoyable if the books are read in sequence. Dead Man's Ransom is the ninth book in the series.
In Dead Man's Ransom, Brother Cadfael is called upon to solve the murder of the Sheriff of Shropshire, Gilbert Prescote. Suspicion falls on a Welsh captive and on others who have a grudge against the stern sheriff. Cadfael's investigation is hampered by Welsh raids along the border and by continued strife within England.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In the tenth installment of the ever-so-popular Brother Cadfael series, author Ellis Peters proves a winner once again with "Dead Man's Ransom."
Set in the year 1141, civil war runs amok in Britain between King Stephen and the Empress Maud, and it appears that the end of the twelve year old struggle is in sight. The war has taken its toll in many areas, as civil wars do, and the people are quite weary of it all. Maud's forces, however, now have captured the king himself. The sheriff of Shropshire, too, has been taken captive. This means, in those days, that in all likelihood an exchange of prisoners will take place.
Alas, one of the captives is now dead and it is our Brother Cadfael who senses that, indeed, it is murder, and, just as naturally as Peters would have it, it is he who is given the responsibility to solve the case and to try to bring about the release of the king.
Brother Cadfael is the former crusader now a Benedictine monk, who specializes in herbal medicines, solving murders, and compassion. Peters (Edith Pargeter) has developed her Cadfael through this series of medieval whodunits into a man of the cloth easily admired and respected. He is a man of firm, and devout, principles; a man who seems to carry the weight of the shire on his own Welch-born shoulders!
Peters has made grand the area of Shropshire, and especially the town of Shrewsbury there on the Welch borders. She has also created an exciting family of literary characters to complement Cadfael: Hugh Beringar (deputy sheriff of the shire and Cadfael's closest friend) and his wife Aline, Abbot Radulfus (the venerable patriarch of the abbey, and other members of the abbey.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
A good mystery story that is too neatly wrapped up at the end, Peters provides a good plot, her usual superb characterizations and dialogue to make this an exceptionally good read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 24 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A Heavy Price July 9 2007
By RCM - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ellis Peters, the pseudonym for Edith Pargeter, has carved a special niche with the Brother Cadfael mysteries. She is able to bring to life twelfth-century England, mixing monastic daily life with the very real threat of murder and mayhem, which there seems to be a lot of in the town of Shrewsbury. "Dead Man's Ransom" is the ninth chronicle of Cadfael's sojourns into sleuthing and it offers readers a unique mystery.

With border clashes an ongoing problem between the English and Welsh, a young Welsh prisoner is brought to Shrewsbury. Hugh Beringar is now in charge of the town since his sheriff has been captured by the Welsh. He hopes to exchange his prisoner for his sheriff, which he manages to do, but not before complications arise. For the sheriff's daughter falls in love with the prisoner, and they know that her father's return will tear them apart. Shortly after the sheriff returns, he is found murdered in the abbey where he had been recovering from his wounds. The likeliest suspect is the young prisoner who had everything to gain if the sheriff was out of his way, and now he must try to clear his name on foreign soil.

"Dead Man's Ransom" is a quick-paced read and an interesting mystery that may keep readers guessing. At times Peters' prose is weighed down with too much effort at capturing twelfth-century English turns of phrases, but Brother Cadfael is a unique detective and one that keeps readers interested.
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Ellis Peters triumphs again! May 3 2000
By Billy J. Hobbs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In the tenth installment of the ever-so-popular Brother Cadfael series, author Ellis Peters proves a winner once again with "Dead Man's Ransom."
Set in the year 1141, civil war runs amok in Britain between King Stephen and the Empress Maud, and it appears that the end of the twelve year old struggle is in sight. The war has taken its toll in many areas, as civil wars do, and the people are quite weary of it all. Maud's forces, however, now have captured the king himself. The sheriff of Shropshire, too, has been taken captive. This means, in those days, that in all likelihood an exchange of prisoners will take place.
Alas, one of the captives is now dead and it is our Brother Cadfael who senses that, indeed, it is murder, and, just as naturally as Peters would have it, it is he who is given the responsibility to solve the case and to try to bring about the release of the king.
Brother Cadfael is the former crusader now a Benedictine monk, who specializes in herbal medicines, solving murders, and compassion. Peters (Edith Pargeter) has developed her Cadfael through this series of medieval whodunits into a man of the cloth easily admired and respected. He is a man of firm, and devout, principles; a man who seems to carry the weight of the shire on his own Welch-born shoulders!
Peters has made grand the area of Shropshire, and especially the town of Shrewsbury there on the Welch borders. She has also created an exciting family of literary characters to complement Cadfael: Hugh Beringar (deputy sheriff of the shire and Cadfael's closest friend) and his wife Aline, Abbot Radulfus (the venerable patriarch of the abbey, and other members of the abbey. It is not essential that this series be read from the start (with "A Morbid Taste for Bones"), as this book could easily be read first and it would still hold up as a book on its own; however, readers generally will want to read them in order, as the presentation of character, of historical events, of character-interaction does show development in the series' genealogy. Peters died a few years ago and apparently there are no more Cadfael episodes aside from the twenty or so published, but each of the books extant bring the reader a treasure of reading adventures.
Billyjhobbs@tyler.net
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
If you enjoy a mixture of history and mystery.... June 14 2001
By Gray - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ellis Peters is in a class by herself. Before her death at the age of 82 in 1995, she wrote a series of 20 mysteries set in England and Wales during the 12th Century. (She also wrote many other books under her real name, Edith Pargeter.) In the Cadfael mysteries, her "detective" is a former Crusader who has decided to spend his last years as a monk in a monastery in Shrewsbury. I have found the Brother Cadfael in the books to be far more interesting than the Brother Cadfael of the television series. Many of the books in the Cadfael series are as much (or more) historical romances as they are mysteries. Don't start any book in this series unless you enjoy a strong dose of romance and medieval English history mixed with mystery. The Cadfael series (like most good series) is more enjoyable if the books are read in sequence. Dead Man's Ransom is the ninth book in the series.
In Dead Man's Ransom, Brother Cadfael is called upon to solve the murder of the Sheriff of Shropshire, Gilbert Prescote. Suspicion falls on a Welsh captive and on others who have a grudge against the stern sheriff. Cadfael's investigation is hampered by Welsh raids along the border and by continued strife within England.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A great mystery but is also a great work of historical fiction Sept. 25 2012
By Kurt A. Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
With the civil war raging between King Stephen and the Empress Maud, Welsh raiders make a move towards attacking the convent at Godric's Ford, leaving one of their number in the hands of the nuns. The young man is a nobleman named Elis ap Cynan, and Hugh Beringar, decides to trade him for Gilbert Prestcote, the capture Sheriff of Shropshire. The trade goes smoothly enough, until Sheriff Prestcote is found murdered in his room. Now it is up to Brother Cadfael to find out who murdered the Sheriff and why.

This is the ninth book in veteran author Ellis Peters' twenty-one novels starring Brother Cadfael. This is a very good book, with a perplexing mystery and lots of interesting characters. As with all of the Brother Cadfael books, this one is not only a great mystery but is also a great work of historical fiction.

If you have not read any of the other Brother Cadfael books, that's quite all right, you can read this one as a stand-alone novel, and enjoy it immensely. I highly recommend this book to all lovers of mystery literature, and all fans of medieval historical fiction!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Dead Man's Ransom Feb. 18 2012
By Venita Faler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Ellis Peters has a wonderful grasp of customs, geography and human nature. In this retelling of the story of Romeo and Juliet in 13 century England and Wales border wars, the foster brothers are betrothed to women who are not their loves. How this is resolved with the help of a Benedictine monk so that each ends up with the right woman.

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