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St. Peter's Fair: The Fourth Chronicle of Brother Cadfael [Mass Market Paperback]

Ellis Peters
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Plodding pace and unclear role for Cadfael Aug. 2 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Overall, I'm a big fan of the Cadfael series. Still, it took me almost a week to work through this book when I usually inhale a Cadfael in a day or two. Much of the problem was in the pacing. The book starts out slowly and then only has energy in fits and starts throughout. The other part is that Cadfael's role is unclear. The book has nothing to do with his herbal and medical skills. He actually seems to be meddling in a very civil matter. It also would have been nice to have more of the political elements. Oh well -- I still looking forward to reading the next book in the series (The Leper of St. Giles).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Brother Cadfael with a chase scene! Dec 16 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Of the chronicles of Brother Cadfael that I have thus far read, "St. Peter's Fair" is the most "mystery-like." No cut and dried solution springs to mind as the plot unfolds. This one had me guessing for some time.
All the regular ingredients of the previous stories are here: Political wrangling, personal intrigue, a love story, and of course--a murder.
Cadfael once more is a treasure trove of wisdom. Some of his lines here are classic. Cadfael is a very noble, very humane, world-weary protagonist. Ellis Peter has truly created a detective for the ages in him.
In "St. Peter's Fair" Cadfael is up against one heck of a baffling case. He and Hugh Berengar (my favorite secondary character) team up to try and solve the murder of a visiting merchant. I have no desire to give the ending away. I will only say that "St. Peter's Fair" has the added bonus of a chase scene.
"St. Peter's Fair" is a worthy entry in this series. The more I read of Ellis Peters, the greater my respect for her becomes. I recommend this book highly.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Brother Cadfael with a chase scene! Dec 16 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Of the chronicles of Brother Cadfael that I have thus far read, "St. Peter's Fair" is the most "mystery-like." No cut and dried solution springs to mind as the plot unfolds. This one had me guessing for some time.
All the regular ingredients of the previous stories are here: Political wrangling, personal intrigue, a love story, and of course--a murder.
Cadfael once more is a treasure trove of wisdom. Some of his lines here are classic. Cadfael is a very noble, very humane, world-weary protagonist. Ellis Peter has truly created a detective for the ages in him.
In "St. Peter's Fair" Cadfael is up against one heck of a baffling case. He and Hugh Berengar (my favorite secondary character) team up to try and solve the murder of a visiting merchant. I have no desire to give the ending away. I will only say that "St. Peter's Fair" has the added bonus of a chase scene.
"St. Peter's Fair" is a worthy entry in this series. The more I read of Ellis Peters, the greater my respect for her becomes. I recommend this book highly.
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4.0 out of 5 stars More mediaeval goings-on to puzzle over Aug. 15 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Ellis Peters' fourth Brother Cadfael mystery is set in the summer of 1139, in a Shrewsbury still recovering from the siege of town and castle by the army of King Stephen the previous summer. To speed the rebuilding of its defences, the townsfolk are eager for financial help from the abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, which, being located just outside the town, came through the episode of the siege without harm. With the lucrative annual three-day St. Peter's fair fast approaching, the burghers of the town are anxious to secure a share of its profits - normally given over entirely to the abbey. The new abbot, however, is far from anxious to set a dangerous precedent by ceding away the abbey's dues.
Thus it is that merchants arriving from distant towns for the fair find themselves suddenly embroiled in a dispute between town and cloister - and embroiled rather too deeply for comfort as the town's youth escalate the situation out of hand. And so it is that Shrewsbury (and therefore Brother Cadfael, of course) suddenly finds itself with the mystery of another murder (and various other nefarious goings-on) to solve.
With her characteristic meticulous attention to period detail, Ellis Peters weaves an intricate web of deceit and intrigue into this far from obvious murder mystery. As usual, she balances the political manoeuvrings of the principal parties with the playing out of a separate romantic sub-plot. This serves to keep the reader (and, in this case, Cadfael too) guessing almost up to the very end as to the real drama running through the story and, of course, to the identity of the villain of the piece. Indeed, the reader is well into the nail-biting conclusion to the story before realising fully what has been going on.
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4.0 out of 5 stars TOWN VERSUS ABBEY! Nov. 5 1998
By Plume45
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I rarely dare to fault Peters, the master, but I found the pacing odd as we approached the climactic conflagration. Things slowed down to a few pages of detailed description, as the heroine studies her new surroundings--oblivious to the fact that she is now locked in.
But all Brother Cadfael mysteries are excellent: look for the Least-Likely Suspect to be your murderer. And as a layperson who likes her men of the cloth to be near saints, I am mollified to see that Cadfael is much less worldly than in the first 3 novels; he drinks and recalls past amours less, yet he still glories in an occasional ride on a fine horse, when a legitimate opportunity presents. And he savors the propspect of godparenthood, since at 59 he is the right age if he had a son. But beware whenever Cadfael or Hugh feels that Shakespearian pricking of the thumbs! Death is just as sudden and final in the 12th century, where murder must be solved without use of sophisticated technology and communication--just a bi-annual challenge for our supersleuth, who solves them all by using his wits, and his knowledge of herbs and human nature.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars As always this is an excellent book to read and it has some things to...
As always this is an excellent book to read and it has some things to say about the way we act and treat peope in 2014 not just back in the 1100.
Published 18 days ago by Revd Canon Richard Weber
4.0 out of 5 stars Medieval Controversy
St. Peter's Fair is another excellent Brother Cadfael chronicle by Ellis Peter's. She continues the story of a monk inside the monastery, who has already seen much of the world. Read more
Published on Aug. 4 2001 by booknblueslady
5.0 out of 5 stars A sublime historical mystery
"St. Peter's Fair" seduces you into an exceptionally credible mileau and engages your empathy with many-faceted characters. Read more
Published on April 27 2001 by SF Dawn
5.0 out of 5 stars Like always, Cadfael is great!
Brother Cadfael is one of my personal heroes, and I love both the books and the Derek Jacobi PBS series. St. Read more
Published on Feb. 8 1999 by klwelsh@simons-rock.edu
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book for PBS viewers of Brother Cadfael
St. Peters Fair. For those who like watching the Brother Cadfael series on PBS, St. Peters Fair is a must read. Read more
Published on Jan. 25 1999 by James R. Nuttall
5.0 out of 5 stars A very well woven story.
The great Saint Peter's Fair brings merchants from miles around to Shrewsbury. The fair of 1138 had been canceled by the siege of the city. Read more
Published on Sept. 6 1998 by Norm
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Cadfael- not to be ignored!!!!
St. Peter's Fair is a wonderful tale of Medieval mystery and political upheaval. Once again, the civil war between Stephen and Maud rages while a merchant's niece, a gentleman,... Read more
Published on June 16 1998
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