Medieval mystery and romance, December 30, 2001
Reviewer: "booknblueslady" (Woodland, CA United States)
The Leper of Saint Giles the fifth book in Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael series, exemplifies everything which is laudable in her series. Peters' shines in creating characters who we love, and excels in the ability to set the stage in the medieval world. Balancing mystery with romance is never an easy matter and Ellis Peters has created an entire series where this is her forte. In addition this series does not cling to the traditional sense of justice found in many other mysteries.
Brother Cadfael is at his best. He is both a spiritual being and a worldly one. He is as comfortable in the church as he is talking with a knights mistress. Cadfael has an innate ability to sense what is good in true in a person and works actively to support those with just causes. In the instance of this novel it is a young squire, Joss and a wealthy heiress Iveta. Iveta is a pawn of her aunt and uncle who plan to marry her to an aging knight and divide her land between them. Joss loves Iveta and plans on finding away to protect her. when a murder halts the marriage, Joss is the first suspect.
The setting is once again the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Shrewsbury, but this time it also includes the leper colony of Saint Giles. the reader is introduced to some of the horrors and indignities which the lepers lived through. Brother Mark works among them and recognizes the dignity of the human spirit.
I suggest this book as reading for those who love medieval mysteries.
These are well-researched and historically accurate mysteries. A classic series. Very enjoyable.
Basically what we have here is the old story of a very young girl being given away in marriage to an old man so that her uncle and aunt can benefit financially from it.
Meanwhile, she has a young man who loves her dearly and he has two friends that he trusts with his life.
On the night before the wedding, fate takes a hand in the proceedings. And Brother Cadfael is called in to solve a murder.
But who is the murderer? And how will that murder affect the plans of the evil aunt and uncle? Will young love win out? Who will profit in the end? And just who IS the leper of Saint Giles?
#5 of this wonderful Brother Cadfael 12th century Welsh Borderlands series of not necessarily monastic mysteries.
The Peters mysteries are so well done. This one was another good one, although by this time I can see more than I used to, what Peters is about to do and how. I love her ability that much that I just don't even consider interrupting.
I have been disappointed in this series. It is a youth book, but it assumes that the reader is acquainted with religious orders and their ways, which is likely not the case if they are not a church-educated Catholic. It spends too much time touting that part of the story and not enough on character building. The people in these books are symbols of societal position.
a very satisfing mystery.
Liked this series on TV and liking it even more in print.