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The Quilty Reader

Lawyer, mother, avid reader. Game host extraordinaire! Partner in crime to Obsidian Black Plague! My bookish weaknesses include classics, fantasy, YA, and agreeing to read more books than is even remotely possible.

The First Chronicle of Brother Cadfael

A Morbid Taste for Bones - Ellis Peters

This is the first of Ellis Peters long-running Brother Cadfael series about the medieval monk and former Crusader. Peters is a penname for Edith Pargeter, who wrote historical fiction. An interesting tidbit about the author - she never had the chance to attend college, and was self-educated. She was born in England, but became fluent in Czech and published translations of Czech poetry and novels, and she ultimately received an honorary master's degree from Birmingham University.


I've long since meant to read the series - it was recommended to me by a colleague. The first book narrates the transfer of the bones of St. Winifred from their resting place in Wales to Shrewsbury Abbey in 1137. There is also a murder which must be solved and a pair of star-crossed lovers whose way must be smoothed.


I am looking forward to letting the character of Brother Cadfael unfold. I enjoyed this one a great deal, and expect that I will enjoy the further books of the series as much or more than this one. I really liked the way that the author used the medieval superstitions as a device by which the mystery was solved. Rather than being a wall-paper historical, this book struck me as being convincingly medieval.