Sunday, 14 October 2012

Benedictines, Kings and murders!

 Recently I have been reading the Brother Cadfael books, by Ellis Peters. They are about a Monk, in a Benedictine abbey near Shrewsbury. Before he became a Monk, Cadfael was a soldier in the first crusade, and acquired a great deal of knowledge from the time he spent in the Holy Land. I have read the first two books, A Morbid Taste for Bones, where the Prior of the Abbey wants the relics of a Saint for the Abbey. He then finds out about Saint Winefride and organizes an expedition. Cadfael convinces the Abbot to let him go as he was born in Wales and is fluent in Welsh.
There are a couple of hindrances to getting the Saints relics back to Shrewsbury including an obstinate landowner, a murder and a few other things.
 The other book I have read in that series is One corpse Too Many. King Stephen is besieging Shrewsbury, against the forces of Empress Maud. King Stephen wins, but he decides to kill 94 men of the garrison stationed in Shrewsbury. The Abbot of the abbey visits the King to asks him to let the Monks bury the 94 men he has hanged. The King agrees and the Abbot appoints Brother Cadfael to get them ready for burial but when Cadfael counts them, he counts 95 instead of 94. Once again Cadfael is looking for a murderer...

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