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Old 07-26-2011, 01:52 PM   #1
Japes
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Brother Cadfael Mysteries

Wondering what everyone thinks of these. I know I will be in the overwhelming minority here, but, I'm just not that impressed. I read the first book (A Morbid Taste for Bones) because I've seen rave reviews on here, and, I was left pretty underwhelmed.

I will also say that, because of the style of writing, it's not as breezy a read as you might expect.

Don't kill me, please.
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:28 PM   #2
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I have read several of them, and yes, they aren't bad.
But when you have read some of them, their plots become rather obvious and so they lack the surprise element.

But when I'm in the mood for something light and entertaining, I must admit I don't hesitated to read them.
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Old 07-26-2011, 06:28 PM   #3
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I've rather enjoyed to several that I've read, but that's as much for the background, the descriptions of life at the time and the characters, as for the mystery.
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Old 07-26-2011, 06:51 PM   #4
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I enjoyed them all when the Mystery Press paperbacks came out in the 1990s. Now I am just waiting for ebook versions to re-read them. I would also love to see Edith Pargeter's (Ellis Peters is a pen name) other books in ebook form.
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Old 07-26-2011, 06:53 PM   #5
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I read the series a while back - at its initial publication, the plot concept was quite unique. And the scholarship was quite accurate for the historical period. But like any genre series, later volumes in the series tend to get a bit "stale" and the series loses its punch.

Should these ever get picked up & published as ebooks, I'd certainly revisit & reread the first several volumes.
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:32 PM   #6
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Thoroughly enjoyed the TV series and the books are not too bad really.
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:55 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Japes View Post
Wondering what everyone thinks of these. I know I will be in the overwhelming minority here, but, I'm just not that impressed. I read the first book (A Morbid Taste for Bones) because I've seen rave reviews on here, and, I was left pretty underwhelmed.

I will also say that, because of the style of writing, it's not as breezy a read as you might expect.

Don't kill me, please.
Japes, I'm with you. I read two of them and found myself pushing to get the the end and be done with them. While I did enjoy the cultural accuracy, the plots just seemed weak.


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Old 07-26-2011, 08:02 PM   #8
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That's actually exactly how I felt. I had to push myself to continue. I probably won't be reading any others....cultural accuracy or not.
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:09 PM   #9
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Yes, I'd have to agree with most of the comments here - the idea is good, but they can get a bit twee at times and repetitive. The TV series was actually better because the plots suited TV drama and Derek Jacobi is a great actor!
There is a site:http://themedievalbookclub.blogspot.com/ which lists quite a few writers in this genre and might give you a starting point to search your local library an sample a few.
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:52 PM   #10
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I would also love to see Edith Pargeter's (Ellis Peters is a pen name) other books in ebook form.
Me too! Her other books are rather epic.
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:32 AM   #11
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I very much enjoy them, and have them all in paper. I would definitely buy the eBooks if they became available.

As a side-note, Shrewbury Abbey, where the books are set, is not very far from where I live, and has a beautiful stained-glass window dedicated to Ellis Peters, featuring scenes from the "Brother Cadfael" books. The Abbey receives a percentage of the income from the books, and it's an important source of revenue for them. They also sell a little book of "Brother Cadfael" walks, which take you around the various locations in the books (which are all real places).

Last edited by HarryT; 07-28-2011 at 05:35 AM.
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:57 AM   #12
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Hmmm ....

I found them rather "studied" and, if anything, a bit too accurate - which sounds odd, even to me , but by that I mean he was almost pushing it in front of the storylines, which I found a bit ho-hum.......
But I did give up after a couple, I must admit.

So many books, .....

[ But the TV series, well, with Derek Jacobi, they could do little else but be good.. but again, it got a little tired I thought. ]
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:59 AM   #13
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As a side-note, Shrewbury Abbey, where the books are set, is not very far from where I live, and has a beautiful stained-glass window dedicated to Ellis Peters, featuring scenes from the "Brother Cadfael" books. The Abbey receives a percentage of the income from the books, and it's an important source of revenue for them. They also sell a little book of "Brother Cadfael" walks, which take you around the various locations in the books (which are all real places).
Perhaps you might offer a 'Brother Cadfael "Literary" walk' for people. I used to do something similar but centered around the poet Robert Frost. There is a 'Robert Frost Memorial Trail' in the mountains of Vermont where he spent so many of his later years, with wooden tablets inscribed with many of his poems along the trail. The trail is close to the house where he lived and was one of his favorite walking spots. You can stand in the actual spot where he got the idea for 'The Road Not Taken,' and look down the path and see just "where it bent in the undergrowth." It really makes the writing come alive! We would walk the trail, and at each intersection read another of his works. Great fun!

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Old 07-29-2011, 01:29 PM   #14
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I have read a few and they were, as some people have commented, okay.
My mother used to read them a lot, along with other historical/religeous fiction. She seems to have gone of them since I gave her a Kindle for her 85th birthday.

Now it is all Jack Higgins, James Patterson, Elmore Leonard etc. with an occasional Margery Allingham or Rex Stout thrown in.

According to her (she lives in a very small town) she didn't know where to get the (quote) interesting books.

To think I could have been mailing her a box a month

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Old 07-29-2011, 02:11 PM   #15
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when you have read some of them, their plots become rather obvious and so they lack the surprise element.

.
I really have to agree here. I read the first five of the series, and while I really enjoyed the first two, the next three I found to be very formulaic and predictable.

I do have to admit though, that these were among the very few pbooks that I have read since I began ereading, and the format shift may have had something to do with my lack of patience.
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