The Virgin in the Ice Paperback – Dec 14 1995
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Charming and humorously told.―SPECTATOR
About the Author
Ellis Peters is one of the pseudonyms of Edith Pargeter who wrote several books under her own name and also Peter Benedict, Jolyon Carr and John Redfern. She was the recipient of the Crime Writers Association and the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award. She died in 1995.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Whilst in Ludlow, Cadfael also finds himself embroiled in the hunt for a party of three young persons missing after the attacks on Worcester and known to be heading for Shrewsbury, at which destination they have failed to arrive. With a bitter freeze and the winter's first snows on hand, there are grave concerns for their safety and well-being. One of the three is subsequently found dead - obviously killed and dumped in a watery (now icy) grave on the very night that the good monk's patient was attacked.
Unlike many another Cadfael tale, this one moves along with a gripping sense of urgency and with a fair amount of tension and excitement building gradually as things proceed. It contains Ellis Peters' usual meticulous attention to both historical and narrative detail and constitutes as riveting - and entertaining - a story as you are likely to find. As always, Cadfael is aware of details overlooked by others and never once loses sight of the smaller issues that are wont to become subsumed into the larger, weightier ones. He (and the regular reader) is provided with an unlooked-for reward in this volume, too.
This book has to be one of the very best of the Cadfael Chronicles and is unreservedly recommended for lovers of the genre. Its story line stands somewhat apart from others in the series, making it fairly unimportant where it is read in the sequence.
Now to the review proper. If this is the first Cadfael you are reading, you might find understanding some expressions and the society he lives and works in somewhat hard to follow. Basically, the story is set in the middle of a bitter English civil war between two grandchildren of William the Conqueror. Cadfael is a Welsh soldier turned monk. His chosen specialization in herbs and gardening is combined with his knowledge about warfare (and wounds inflicted by men on each other) and the real world to make him a formidable medieval detective. Furthermore, as a monk, he is relatively protected (as far as one could be protected) from physical harm on either side. Cadfael's duties keep him mostly in one town - Shrewsbury and its immediate environs, but he has been known to travel. While most of the Cadfael mysteries are set close to Shrewsbury (a real town near the Welsh border), in this particular book Cadfael will travel closer to Ludlow, a major castle to the south of Shrewsbury. During his sojourn, he will have to solve several mysteries, such as the identity of the young woman he finds dead and encased in ice (hence the title), the name of her murderer and his motive, the whereabouts of two noble orphans whose uncle belongs to the opposing side in the war, and the whereabouts of a band of robbers terrorizing the countryside.Read more ›
Also, keep in mind that the pace of life was considerably slower in the 12th century than it is today. Nowhere will you get the urgency or the sometimes frenetic pace of a John Grisham or Robin Cook tale. This can be a blessing, though.
This particular installment is one of the better ones. It is a good light read for the general reader and is especially interesting for Brother Cadfael fans because of the extra insight into earlier events in his life. The who, what, when and where remain a puzzle until it all gets sorted out at the end.
"Virgin" propells you on a ride through twelth century England in civil war when men were men, monks were monks and women were in many ways stronger than both.
Prepare yourself for a surprise from the sometimes overly saintly Brother Cadfael when he meets a stranger from the far east who has a tale that shakes the good monk's foundations and warms the reader.
The characters in "Virgin" are drawn in vivid colors reflecting the times they find themselves in, and new readers of the Brother Cadfael chronicles will be inextricably drawn to more and more from Ms. Peters.
Most recent customer reviews
A lovely book. I, however, was not all that interested in it. I have never really cared for the history mystery genre. The ending was a nice touch though.Published on July 30 2000 by Amazon Customer
This was the first Ellis Peters novel I have read. I understand that she continues the Cadfael series, and I would be interested in checking out the other books. Read morePublished on June 30 2000 by Amanda Houston
"The Virgin in the Ice" is one in a series of books about the monk Brother Cadfael. Based in Shrewsbury, this intelligent, shrewd and often resourceful monk sets about... Read morePublished on May 29 2000 by Kali
as usual, I found ellis peters' tale of brother Cadfael and his adventures enjoyable. she gives us a glimpse into medieval life and her love for her main character has given him... Read morePublished on March 18 1999