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The Rose Rent [Hardcover]

Ellis Peters
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 2 1986
Young widow Judith Perle bestows her house in the Monk's Foregate on the Abbey of Shrewsbury. The only rent: a single white rose, to be delivered annually. But a beautiful woman with a substantial dowry is a target for would-be suitors - and when a man is found murdered next to the rose, Brother Cadfael sets out to find the killer.

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From Publishers Weekly

In this 13th mystery in the Brother Cadfel series, a beautiful widow rents part of her estate to the brothers of Shrewsbury Abbey for the modest sum of one rose from a certain bush, per year, and all are happy with this arrangement for three years. But then Brother Eluric,the young monk whose job it is to deliver the rose on the day of St. Winifred's translation (the pre-arranged rent-paying day) asks to be excused from the task (he finds he's starting to fall in love with the widow); he is later found murdered near the recently ruined rose rent bush. The abbey is thrown into a panic; not only has an innocent young monk been killed, but with no rose to pay the rent, the contract is canceled and the widow's wealth multiplies remarkably. Soon, the widow herself disappears, and Brother Cadfel begins his search for her and for Eluric's murderer, casting his eye over a large collection of suitors, all of whom would gain greatly from a match with the widow. Peters (The Raven in the Foregate is in fine form in this 13th book, with a leisurely mystery that once again creates a 12th century world that is both comfortable and strange, and a series of delightful, interesting characters.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Cosy as a teapot. THE TIMES --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A peppercorn rent paid in roses Jan. 28 2003
Format:Audio Cassette
If you're interested in an audio edition, check that you're getting the unabridged recording narrated by Stephen Thorne. If you're interested in the Derek Jacobi video, I warn you that the BBC rewrote the backstory of both Judith and Niall to make them more melodramatic; as compensation, they came up with one additional clever ploy on the part of the murderer that's worth seeing.
This May of 1142, spring has begun late; winter's prolonged grip has been reflected in human affairs. King Stephen, freed by a prisoner exchange after _The Pilgrim of Hate_, raised the Empress' hopes by falling ill, but her move to Oxford was premature; he's now in fine fettle, picking off the empress' outposts. While these events, and the war at large, have little effect on this story, they'll be relevant in the next book, _The Hermit of Eyton Forest_. Cadfael's worries are more immediate, but easing now that the crops have finally been sown and it looks as though the roses will be out by the 22nd of June, the feast of St. Winifred's translation.
The Widow Perle - 25-year-old Judith Vestier that was - lost her husband to a terrible fever four years ago, despite everything Cadfael could do, then lost her only child in miscarriage shortly thereafter. In the depths of her grief, she couldn't bear to stay in the house where they'd been happy, so she deeded the place to the abbey in exchange for an annual rent of one white rose from her favorite rosebush, to be paid into her hand each June 22nd. (As heiress to the Vestier clothier business, Judith has ample property even without the house; she moved in 'over her shop', as it were, with her widowed aunt and her cousin Miles.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite of the Brother Cadfael Mysteries Feb. 5 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
You know how when you read a series of books the plots begin to run together ... not with Ellis Peters. Although I recommend reading each of the books in the Brother Cadfael series in order, this is my favorite.
In many ways the plot is actually quite trite, female widow needs husband who's not interested in her money. But the way Peters puts her elements together is unique to her and our hero. Her stories are just a way to convey her love of history, not only the factual information but also the mood and atmosphere. It is the latter part that she does so well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant piece of historical fiction. April 28 1999
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Ellis Peters is not only a great writer but was first a historian, and that knowledge shows through in her writing. I was enterested to see how acurate her descriptions of the early/mid part of the second century was that I did a little research of my own and she is right on. I enjoyed "The Rose Rent" so much that it is now packed in my bag that I will take to the hospital when I deliver my baby.
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