Friday, October 20, 2006

An Excellent Mystery

Although I don't usually review "whodunnits" (and look away now if you don't want to know!) Ellis Peters' books are interesting as an insight into aspects of medieval life - not least into the monk/pharmacist Cadfael's extensive knowledge of herbs.

The restrictions on Cadfael's knowledge which would come of him being a medieval monk are circumvented by his earlier life as a crusader and as a sea captain.

The only drawback in this novel is that everyone is just too nice to be true - even the villains. The way Peters deals with homosexuality in the monastery is at least sensitive although there is a bit of cheating (no I really will try not to give the plot away here).

However the book passes the test: it keeps the reader guessing (and wasn't I smug that I guessed aright!) and it is written with the economy of words which makes it readable but enough detail to make me want to read more Ellis Peters books.



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