One Corpse Too Many Mass Market Paperback – 1994
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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.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This is a well written and historically accurate series. It is set in the mid 1100s and follows Brother Cadfael, a monk with quite the knack for reading people and solving crimes.Published 7 months ago by Bootsy Bass
As complex as any of the Cadfael series, this one tells the story of how Master Hugh Beringar becomes sheriff. Read morePublished on Nov. 7 2013 by Bernie
I didn't read this book. I bought it for a friend who was very pleased to receive it. Specially as I had lost her previous copy. Read morePublished on June 5 2013 by Betty Ann Rollo
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. Read morePublished on Aug. 17 2001 by NotATameLion
Dire times for Shrewsbury
In this book the second of Ellis Peter's Brother Cadfael series we find Shrewsbury in 1138 in deep trouble. Read more
"One Corpse Too Many" appeared a couple of years after the earlier, 'pilot' book in the Brother Cadfael series. Read morePublished on Dec 26 2000 by Steve Benner
This is probably my favorite of the "chronicles." I discovered Brother Cadfael through the series on PBS and went to the books out of curiosity. Read morePublished on Jan. 25 1999 by M. Palmer
One Corpse Too Many : The Second Chronicle of Brother Cadfael by Ellis Peters After watching a number of the Brother Cadfael episodes on PBS, I was pleased to learn that the... Read morePublished on Jan. 7 1999 by James R. Nuttall