Book Review: Monk’s Hood by Ellis Peters (Four Stars)


Book Review: Monk’s Hood (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #3) by Ellis Peters

(Four Stars)

“Every time I come near you I find myself compounding a felony.”

One of the best of the twenty chronicles. I am not one to judge the merits of murder mysteries, but as historical fiction this takes the reader right into the history and culture of twelfth century England and Wales. Improves with subsequent readings.

“What seems to be an easy life in contemplation can be hard enough when it comes to reality.”

Along the way Peters treats us to multiple suspects, blind allies, false trails, officious police and even abbey politics. All peppered with homey aphorisms about life then and now. Thoroughly enjoyable reading.

“The means of comfort and healing should not be used to kill.”

Quibble: twelfth century law would not so easily release a murder suspect in hand to another, lesser-in-their-eyes authority for horse stealing. Despite a game attempt to explain it away, it blatantly served plot advancement, not realism.

“We are all the victims and the heirs of our fellow-man.”