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12 June, 2019

#BookReview :: One Corpse Too Many (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #2) by Ellis Peters




In the summer of 1138, war between King Stephen and the Empress Maud takes Brother Cadfael from the quiet world of his garden into a battlefield of passions, deceptions, and death. Not far from the safety of the abbey walls, Shrewsbury Castle falls, leaving its ninety-four defenders loyal to the empress to hang as traitors. With a heavy heart, Brother Cadfael agrees to bury the dead, only to make a grisly discovery: one extra victim that has been strangled, not hanged.



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I have wanted to read Ellis Peters for a while and thanks to Blossoms Book House, I got my hands on a couple books from ‘Chronicles of Brother Cadfael’ series. 

The war between King Stephen and Empress Maud had brought Shrewsbury to a standstill because of a siege. When King Stephen managed to take over the castle, he had his opposition hung till death. Brother Cadfael, with the permission of the King, brings the bodies of the dead in order to give them a proper burial. But there’s an extra corpse whose cause of death seems to be something other than the noose. Brother Cadfael takes it on himself to find out the fallen man’s identity and exact justice for him.

Brother Cadfael’s knack for observation is shown to the readers early on as is his sense of duty and justice. It doesn’t hurt that the author has also provided us with some hints to his past which makes him seem like a completely different person that he is now. As such, I found it pretty easy to like our protagonist. With his newfound apprentice in stow, Brother Cadfael does all he can to help those who are in need and find justice for a fallen innocent. Godric was an interesting character whose presence in the book added a lot more to the plot and provided some interesting twists. I have to say, even though it is a bit of a spoiler, I ended up liking Hugh Beringar quite a bit. He made an interesting opponent at first and then an even more interesting ally to have.

The author has managed to create a world set in early 12th century England come alive through the pages. It was interesting to see how the brothers of the Abbey managed to keep themselves separate from the war between King Stephen and Empress Maud. They welcomed anyone who needed the help and opened their gates to one and all.  The language used by the author suited the setting. I had trouble understanding a few dialogues in the first few chapters and had to reread the portion to understand. But I got into the flow quick enough and ended up enjoying both the language and the dialogue delivery.

A simple case of whodunit that seasoned mystery buffs will be able to catch on to, yet have a good time reading all about it.




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