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Download The Potter's Field (The Brother Cadfael Series) epub

by Ellis Peters

When the monks inherit the field of a local potter and discover the corpse of a murdered woman while plowing, Brother Cadfael is called upon to solve the mystery
Download The Potter's Field (The Brother Cadfael Series) epub
ISBN: 0816151946
ISBN13: 978-0816151943
Category: Mystery
Subcategory: Mystery
Author: Ellis Peters
Language: English
Publisher: G K Hall & Co (October 1, 1991)
Pages: 292 pages
ePUB size: 1790 kb
FB2 size: 1807 kb
Rating: 4.6
Votes: 483
Other Formats: lrf mobi lit lrf

This 12th century mystery series by Ellis Peters takes place in a fog of civil war, where the English and Welsh were raiding each other’s borders and supporting one or another claimant to the English throne: Empress Maud or King Stephen. In spite of the ongoing violence, the author suffuses her novels with a deep sense of peace and contentment in the monastic life. A monk from the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul at Shrewsbury, Brother Cadfael, the ex-Crusader-turned herbalist is her solver of murders and mysteries of the heart. Ellis weaves a rich tapestry of his daily life on the war-torn Welsh border.

I read all of the Cadfael mysteries over a decade ago and am now in the process of rereading them. I can state that this eighteenth novel in the series of 21 mysteries, "The Potter's Field," is the one that fixed itself the most firmly in my memory. There is a very strong woman, newly widowed, within its pages who refuses all pain medication even though cancer is slowly eating her alive. And yes, they did have syrup of poppies back in those days.

In late summer of 1143, the Shrewsbury Abbey acquired a new plot of land called "Potter's Field" and set out to plow the long disused meadow. After the oxen have turned over the first few furrows, work has to stop when the plow uncovers the bones and long black hair of a woman: "strangely, she had clearly been stretched out decently for burial, her hands drawn up and crossed on her breast. More strangely still they were clasped upon a crude cross, made from two trimmed sticks bound together with a strip of linen cloth."

Up until fifteen months ago, the field had been home to the potter, Ruald and his wife Generys. Then Ruald took vows with Shrewsbury's Benedictines and his wife who was basically abandoned when her husband entered into the religious life, disappeared. The monks strongly suspect that the bones belong to Ruald's wife.

Then Sulien Blount, a novice monk from Ramsey Abbey in the Fens, seeks refuge with the Shrewsbury Benedictines when his own Abbey was destroyed by the former Earl of Essex, Geoffrey de Mandeville, who has rebelled against King Stephen.

Sulien, who was a local Shrewsbury lad before he entered Ramsey Abbey learns about the mysterious woman who was unearthed in Potter's Field, and claims that it could not be Generys, as she had been seen in Peterborough within the last three weeks, when she sold her wedding ring to a silversmith.

At Longner manor, Sulien's mother, Donata is slowly dying of cancer, but refuses any remedy for pain from Brother Cadfael's stores. Her husband had died earlier that year while fighting a rearguard action to protect King Stephen, and her eldest son, Eudo Blount now rules the manor. When her youngest son, Sulien returns to Shrewsbury, she tries to persuade him to abandon the religious life.

After several false leads, Brother Cadfael and his friend, Sheriff Hugh Beringer identify the skeleton in Potter's Field, and learn how she died. There were so many separate threads of plot that had to be woven skillfully together before the reader learns the 'who,' 'how,' and 'why' of the mysterious woman's death that I didn't really get the total picture until I read "Potter's Field" a second time. It was well worth the effort.
Gold Crown
The Potter's field - a mystery that takes place in a field that was given to the monastery. The field had been formerly used by a real potter (just to clear up any misconceptions about the title). takes place in about 1143, Shrewsbury England. Brother Cadfael solves it again. I love these books. Haven't met one that I didn't like yet. They move slower than some modern mysteries, but the pace along with the prose is part of the charm and beauty of the stories. And no, King Stephen and Empress Maude (Matilda) still haven't resolved the rift in the land.
Knights from Bernin
Have read a number of these, and loved every one. Well-written, literate, intelligent. The more of them you read, the more you learn about the main character, and some other characters weave in and out of the series as well. I'm a history buff, so love learning tidbits of history (c. 1140) as I read. Probably my favorite series. (I also think Derek Jacobi was a poor choice for the TV version - the monk was a former Crusader!)
Ellis Peters does and excellent job of keeping the reader guessing as to is the guilty party in all of his twenty Cadfael stories. He is a good writer and knows eleventh century culture and history of life on the Welsh -England border. I highly recommend all of his Chronicles of Brother Cadfael books. The books are also of reasonable cost.
Swift Summer
I have been ploughing through these this last few weeks. Ploughing being an intentioned pun. I have told sometimes of the sequencing of a body, of a suspect, of a result if it was too obvious. Well here we have the body in the very first chapter. It works wondorously well. Throughout the series we have the vocabulary that Cadfael uses lend further to the depth that these stories give the times. Perhaps not what really took place, but giving the entire series a character.

We see that well fleshed out here. Cadfael and Hugh the Sheriff embark on solving the mystery and whilst doing so we have our red herrings, we have our Peters provided romance, and this time out we have a conclusion that is not so obvious, but is well within the realm of the possible that it satisfies. Certainly, given some of the faults that could have taken place and have had with the previous few novels, this was a solid novel and well worth the time.

We find that the civil war provides some background to the mystery but not as in the past books that without it, there would be no story. We also see a good mix of the perception of the church, and how the church interacts with its flock. This story provides a good return on the investment with Cadfael.

After the Abbey does a deal with another monastery that results in a local field being exchanged, Cadfael is on hand to oversee the first day's work to it when the body is uncovered. As it was previously worked by a new brother to the Abbey of Saint Peter and Paul, suspicion falls on this good man that it is the wife he left behind before taking orders. From there we have a well paced haul to the truth.
A beautiful book. Slow but steady resolving of the story of a death. With, as usual, a bit of romance among all the loves involved. And of course true to the times and places. Excellent writing.
I love the works of Ellis Peters. Brother Cadfael is one of my favorite sleuths! The people in the Brother Cadfael series are written as very real people. Not perfect, but often of noble character in spite of their flaws. Or sometimes vile individuals lurking beneath a veneer of civility and political correctness. I just finished reading all of the books in the series, and will look forward to doing it again in a few years.
I've become rather a fan of the Cadfael series. Each book is a relaxing read. But I must say that about half way through it's pretty easy to see the conclusion of each.