A Morbid Taste for Bones

By Ellis Peters,

Book cover of A Morbid Taste for Bones

Book description

In the gentle Shrewsbury spring of 1140 the midnight matins at the Benedictine abbey suddenly reverberates with an unholy sound - a hunt in full cry. Pursued by a drunken mob, the quarry is running for its life. When the frantic creature bursts into the nave to claim sanctuary, Brother…

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Why read it?

5 authors picked A Morbid Taste for Bones as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Did I ever think that a nearly 50-year-old mystery series… following the trials of Welsh monk…during the war between King Stephen and Queen Maude in the mid-1100s… would become one of my favorite mystery series of all time? Obviously not. But Brother Cadfael is, of course, not your ordinary monk, and this is not your ordinary cozy series. The strictly ordained lives of cloistered brothers make a fantastic structure on which to hang brilliant murder mysteries that involve reliquaries, lepers, and more than a few gallant soldiers.

The title of A Morbid Taste for Bones sounds downright ghoulish (which may have been why I picked it up in the first place), but the Peter Ellis story introduced me to the sympathetic character of Brother Cadfael, the routines and intrigues of a Benedictine monastery, and the peasant perspective of life with zero modern conveniences and under the shadow of the political war among those who would be king (or queen) in 12th-century England. I have to admit I'm a sucker for mysteries that keep me guessing what will happen next, what each clue means, and whodunit. This book…

Medieval history becomes immediate, lively, and fascinating in this tale about Brother Cadfael, an herbalist monk and former Crusader who solves crimes. Three aspects of this book captured me and inspired me to read the entire series: the hero’s essential goodness and intelligence, the author’s understanding of the setting and the complex values with which her hero must contend, and the artful, fresh storytelling.

From Jacqueline's list on unusual and heartwarming mysteries.

One of the original reasons we love Great Britain is the Cathedrals and Castles. Stories of Knights, Kings, Queens, and important Clergy are at the heart of the early history of this land. Edith Pargeter’s The Heaven Tree trilogy fits that category, where the building of a cathedral is the main theme, and the masons who worked on it are the main characters. She also wrote as Ellis Peters The Cadfael Mysteries, set in Shrewsbury Abbey. Cadfael had fought in the Crusades and become a monk who cultivated herbs and served as the abbey’s medical man, while solving crimes through…

From Charles' list on that bring history alive.

I loved this series featuring Brother Cadfael, a herbalist and healer at Shrewsbury Abbey who solves crimes and mysteries at the time of the civil war between King Stephen and Empress Matilda mid-12th century. Both his character and that period of history inspired my Janna Chronicles. Once a warrior and crusader, Brother Cadfael is more worldly than the other Brothers, so is at home solving crimes both within the abbey and in the ‘world outside’ along with his friend, Hugh Beringar, Deputy Sheriff of Shrewsbury. In this series, I learned a lot about the medieval treatment of disease, and…

From Felicity's list on medieval murders and mysteries.

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