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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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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: #518,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Gripping and knowledgable' - THE SPECTATOR --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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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 A Customer on June 10 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have wanted to begin the Cadfael series for sometime now. Several things have stopped me over the past few years. (1) The series is shelved in the mystery section of our Public Library. For some reason 'mystery' books have always had a lesser quality ... or so I USED to think. (2) I like 'thick', 'meaty', historical, doomsday, sciencefiction (sometimes) ... but many paged books in which characters can be developed and worlds created. And most important fiction from which I can learn as the author creates and I read ! (Jules Verne was the beginning for me as a young reader.) OK so I am wrong about MYSTERIES and I am WRONG about QUANTITY vs. QUALITY !!!! ...These Cadfael things are marvelous ! True I have just recently finished only the second of the series (about to pick up the 3rd.) so I am TAKEN by Brother Cadfael, the early English Church and the historical settings these wonderful books present.BUT ...... ..And there is always a BUT !!!! I did have a very slight problem with this second in the series "One Corpse. Too Many" ... it is very slight but I look for authenticity and when an author presents a series of this type I expect it. On the whole the author gives you just that a glimpse into the past with a monk detective who has KNOWN the WORLD and WOMEN and LIFE and BATTLE etc ... and is very good at what he now does as a sort of alchemist of the monestary in early England working the gardens and seeking justice and unmasking the killer(s) But !!!!!!! in this particular book the author talks about the 'bringing in' harvesting of the CORN crop! This really bothered me very very much since this is 1130s England (Old World) and CORN was not KNOWN to Europe until after Christopher Columbus. Corn of course is a NEW WORLD crop. ...I have to wonder how the publishers let this get by ???Read more ›
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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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
With her first Brother Cadfael novel ("A Morbid Taste for Bones"), English author Ellis Peters introduced us to perhaps, now, the most famous of the medieval "detectives"! And in her second installment, "One Corpse Too Many," we find the erstwhile Benedictine monk up to his neck in another murder mystery, this time involving way too many deaths!
In this episode, Brother Cadfael and his beloved Shrewsbury have the unpleasant task of burying the bodies of 94 soldiers, killed as a result of a battle between Stephen and the Empress Maud, both trying to claim the throne of England. In this ugly civil war, we find the countryside constantly in a flux as to which side is which, as this struggle, which lasted for 12 years, seemed to change shapes and sides all too frequently. In this instance, it is Stephen who has won the day. After the hanging of the hold-outs, Brother Cadfael, representing the church and the Abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul in Shrewsbury, goes in to arrange for the proper burial of the dead. He is told there were exactly 94 bodies. Instead, he finds an extra one--that of a young man, unidentified, who has had his throat slashed.
And Brother Cadfael, over the course of the novel, uses all his God-given talents to solve the mystery. And solve it, of course, he does. He wants not only to identify the young man, but to name the murderer. At the same time, Peters, whose real name is Edith Pargeter, lays the foundation for two of her other recurring characters, Aline and Hugh Beringer (This is a nice romantic touch!). Cadfael, himself, is the herbalist to the abbey and uses that skill to help him solve the murder. He is also able to call upon some of the knowledge he learned during his younger days as a Crusader to the Holy Lands.
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