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One Corpse Too Many Mass Market Paperback – 1994

4.3 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Mysterious Press (1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446400513
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446400510
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 1.6 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 9 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #402,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
An intelligently crafted problem, superior depiction of the historical period, and vivid, diverse characters make this a mystery that transcends the genre.
This is the only Cadfael book that I've read (so far), and so my observations are not influenced by other books in the series. From the start, I was drawn in by the convincing evocation of medieval Shrewsbury, a little universe consisting of castle, town, and monastery, and its population of knights, monks, bondsmen, ladies, and Flemish mercenaries. Cadfael, the middle-aged warrior-turned-monastic, with his spiritual outlook and worldly knowledge, is a strong and lovable protagonist. The wily, nonchalant knight Hugh Beringar makes a worthy adversary.
The mystery itself--the "one corpse too many" found among the pile of executed enemies of the king--is actually secondary to the main story of the book: whether Cadfael will succeed in helping a young fugitive, Godric, escape the wrath of the king. The skillful interweaving of these plots, along with not one but two nice little love stories, make this book a refreshing change from the standard mystery. The juxtaposition of spiritual and worldly values is well handled and gives the book a feeling of depth.
Most novels nowadays are too poorly written to be worth finishing. Not this one: Peters's prose style is vivid and clean, comparable to Mary Stewart when she was at the top of her game with her Merlin books. I give it 4 stars out of 5 only because you need somewhere further to go for the truly great works of literature. As far as mysteries go, they don't get better than this.
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By bernie TOP 50 REVIEWER on Nov. 7 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As complex as any of the Cadfael series, this one tells the story of how Master Hugh Beringar becomes sheriff. Also as Cadfael states, "By my reckoning there is one corps too many."

During the time of the civil war between King Stephen and the Empress Maud, the abbey tales a neutral stance. However Brother Cadfael is given a new assistant. The young lad is anything but; as he is a she. Naturally Cadfael being a man of the world detects this and must find out why she is hiding.

Meanwhile back to the war Shrewsbury Castle is under siege by Stephens's men for being a Maud holdout. When Stephen finally gets the castle he orders the rebel soldiers executed. Cadfael is preparing them for a Christian burial when he counts 95. It is trivial to the king but Cadfael presses that it would not bode well for a king to dismiss a murder under his very nose. Looks like it may have been the work of Hugh Beringar, a man who has appeared to have conveniently changed sides in the war. King Stephen is not unaware of this.

This time will Cadfaels tuition, forensics, and logic. Prove the case?
Is Hue a villain or will he turn out to be a friend?

Cadfael - Monk's Hood
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Set against the backdrop of civil war-torn England in 1138, "One Corpse Too Many" is the second book in The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael. Shrewsbury (the home of Cadfael's Abbey) is caught up in the conflict between Empress Maud and King Stephen. The Castle is laid siege to and seized by Stephen. Stephen then executes ninety-four of Maud's supporters in Shrewsbury. Yet, when a count is taken of the bodies, there are ninety-five corpses. Thus the mystery begins--and Cadfael, the monk/herbalist of Shrewsbury springs into action.
I cannot make heads or tales of whether I like "One Corpse Too Many" as much or more than the first book in the series (A Morbid Taste For Bones). Both books are quite good. However, with the exception that they are both mysteries featuring Brother Cadfael, they are quite different. This gives me great hope for the rest of the series. The character of Cadfael is developed successfully and Peters avoids being formulaic.
I missed some of the characters from "A Morbid Taste For Bones" (particularly the pompous presence of Prior Robert). Yet there are some great new characters in book two. My favorites are "the boy Godric" and the wily and resourceful Hugh Beringar. The dual love stories of "One Corpse Too Many" add another dimension to the book.
Cadfael's closing comments (in which the title phrase is used) are well worth the price of the book. All in all, I give "One Corpse Too Many" a heartfelt recommendation.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was a little hasty with my review of this particular Cadfael the first time I read it, and feel duty bound to give a better account this time. I still maintain that there is not enough sleuthing for my money in this book, but what I did not appreciate last time was the very skilful manner in which Cadfael pits his wits against the sinister, and extremely intelligent, Hugh Beringar. This book is far more interested in having three main plot lines as opposed to the usual whodunit mentality of the other Cadfaels that deal just with the one main line of enquiry to do with one murder.
I still believe I prefer the straight forward detective approach in Cadfael novels, but I think that Ellis Peters was concerned with writing vaguely the same story over and again and so attempted to branch out from the typical style of story one might expect for a crime novel. I think she should be applauded for this, and although it in some cases this means a weaker end product, I do think it is beneficial to the Cadfael series as a whole.
Whatever the story in a Cadfael novel, we are as always treated to the exciting and enchanting world that Peters has decided to portray. A glimpse of what life may truly have been like in the 12th century, or at least we can believe that some parts of the novel could at least be a little bit historically accurate.
The fun is in accepting that you do not which parts are and so we can allow ourselves the pretence that it is, in fact, all true.
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