21 books like Monk's-Hood

By Ellis Peters,

Here are 21 books that Monk's-Hood fans have personally recommended if you like Monk's-Hood. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Dark Fire

Toni Mount Author Of The Colour of Bone

From my list on murder mysteries to challenge your brain cells.

Why am I passionate about this?

Many years ago, when I’d read my first medieval mystery, I decided I wanted to write my own. But mine would be as realistic as I could manage; I wanted the reader to smell medieval London and to be there with me. A lot had been written about Kings and Queens but not much about ordinary life so that became the center of my academic study leading eventually to my Master's Degree in medieval medicine. As well as my novels I now write popular factual books and I’m pleased to say people have taken the time to say how much they enjoy the fine details I share.

Toni's book list on murder mysteries to challenge your brain cells

Toni Mount Why did Toni love this book?

This is the second Matthew Shardlake adventure from the pen of a master craftsman, set at the time of Henry VIII.

I was embroiled in danger alongside the lawyer as he fights to save a girl accused of murder from the hangman’s noose and recover a long-lost ancient secret. I learned that the intriguing machinations going on in a Tudor court of law are as shifty and tangled as those at the royal court in Whitehall.

I visited many a seedy London tavern with side-kick Barak during that searing hot summer of 1540, smelling the sour stink of sweaty humanity as the body count increased and met Shardlake’s nemesis, Richard Rich. Brilliant stuff!    

By C.J. Sansom,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Dark Fire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When a friend's niece is charged with murder and threatened with torture for her refusal to speak, 1540 lawyer Matthew Sharklake is granted an unexpected two-week reprieve to investigate the case if he will also accept a dangerous assignment to find a legendary weapon of mass destruction. By the author of Dissolution. 25,000 first printing.


Book cover of The Merry Devils

Toni Mount Author Of The Colour of Bone

From my list on murder mysteries to challenge your brain cells.

Why am I passionate about this?

Many years ago, when I’d read my first medieval mystery, I decided I wanted to write my own. But mine would be as realistic as I could manage; I wanted the reader to smell medieval London and to be there with me. A lot had been written about Kings and Queens but not much about ordinary life so that became the center of my academic study leading eventually to my Master's Degree in medieval medicine. As well as my novels I now write popular factual books and I’m pleased to say people have taken the time to say how much they enjoy the fine details I share.

Toni's book list on murder mysteries to challenge your brain cells

Toni Mount Why did Toni love this book?

Forget Shakespeare. Nicholas Bracewell and Lord Westfield’s Men are a far more intriguing introduction to Elizabethan theatre. I was there, watching the rehearsals, hearing the applause, and enjoying the play as murder was committed, literally, behind the scenes.

With a bit of alchemy, madness, and passion thrown into the mix, if you love the Elizabethan period this is a not-to-be-missed historical mystery as Nicholas pits his wits against the devil himself. 

By Edward Marston,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Merry Devils as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

He had the power to assume a pleasing shape, but would he take to the stage . . . ?

The audience was merry indeed when a third devilish imp bounded onstage to join the two that had been written into the script. But backstage all was uproar. The third demon seemed too much like the real thing. Even Nicholas Bracewell, the company mainstay, was shaken when, next time the play was given, only one devil appeared. The second, poor fellow, was now only a little red heap backstage. Murdered.

Before the curtain rose again, Lord Westfield's Men would suffer…


Book cover of Prince Edward's Warrant

Toni Mount Author Of The Colour of Bone

From my list on murder mysteries to challenge your brain cells.

Why am I passionate about this?

Many years ago, when I’d read my first medieval mystery, I decided I wanted to write my own. But mine would be as realistic as I could manage; I wanted the reader to smell medieval London and to be there with me. A lot had been written about Kings and Queens but not much about ordinary life so that became the center of my academic study leading eventually to my Master's Degree in medieval medicine. As well as my novels I now write popular factual books and I’m pleased to say people have taken the time to say how much they enjoy the fine details I share.

Toni's book list on murder mysteries to challenge your brain cells

Toni Mount Why did Toni love this book?

Mel Starr is an American author who deserves to be better known for his Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton set in late fourteenth-century England.

Hugh is a surgeon as well as bailiff of Brampton. In this eleventh tale, Hugh is escorted to Kensington Palace, his expertise required to treat the ailing Black Prince. But I knew things had to get more serious than that and, sure enough, murder is committed.

Mel Starr’s research is impeccable and I found myself in the heart of medieval England, encountering royalty, rogues, and worse villains. But Hugh’s medical knowledge means he can tell an accident from a deliberate killing and there’s no deceiving him when he’s on a murderer’s trail.

By Mel Starr,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Prince Edward's Warrant as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Another delightful and absorbing mystery from Mel Starr, keeping the reader guessing as the corpses pile up in Prince Edward's palace. Hugh de Singleton, of the dry wit and engaging humility, is one of my favourite sleuths.' Penelope Wilcock, British author and blogger

Master Hugh won the Black Prince's favour when he helped to ease the Prince's illness.

Now, in the autumn of 1372, the prince is suffering a relapse and sends to Bampton for Master Hugh to attend him. While at dinner in Kennington Palace, Sir Giles, the knight who escorted Hugh to London, is stricken and dies. Poison!…


Book cover of The Bookseller's Tale

Toni Mount Author Of The Colour of Bone

From my list on murder mysteries to challenge your brain cells.

Why am I passionate about this?

Many years ago, when I’d read my first medieval mystery, I decided I wanted to write my own. But mine would be as realistic as I could manage; I wanted the reader to smell medieval London and to be there with me. A lot had been written about Kings and Queens but not much about ordinary life so that became the center of my academic study leading eventually to my Master's Degree in medieval medicine. As well as my novels I now write popular factual books and I’m pleased to say people have taken the time to say how much they enjoy the fine details I share.

Toni's book list on murder mysteries to challenge your brain cells

Toni Mount Why did Toni love this book?

Again, we are in the fourteenth century, in Oxford, but following the first terrible onslaught of the Black Death. The title made this a must-read for me because my own sleuth, Seb Foxley, is involved with the making and selling of books, just like Ann Swinfen’s hero, Nicholas Elyot. I wasn’t disappointed.

The characters came alive for me and I too was sad when a good student was found drowned in the river. But the bookseller is suspicious and uncovers a villainous plot, putting him, his family and friends in danger.

A beautifully-woven medieval mystery; I had to read it in one go – forget the washing up. Fortunately, this is book 1 of the Oxford Medieval Mysteries so there’s more fun to come.

By Ann Swinfen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Bookseller's Tale as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Oxford, Spring 1353. When young bookseller Nicholas Elyot discovers the body of student William Farringdon floating in the river Cherwell, it looks like a drowning. Soon, however, Nicholas finds evidence of murder. Who could have wanted to kill this promising student? As Nicholas and his scholar friend Jordain try to unravel what lies behind William’s death, they learn that he was innocently caught up in a criminal plot. When their investigations begin to involve town, university, and abbey, Nicholas takes a risky gamble – and puts his family in terrible danger.


Book cover of A Morbid Taste for Bones

Emily J. Edwards Author Of Viviana Valentine Gets Her Man

From my list on mysteries set in the perfect time and place.

Why am I passionate about this?

Of course, every mystery needs a perfect crime, but what about the perfect setting? I’m fascinated by how authors manipulate time and place to add to the heightened emotions of their murders, thefts, blackmail, and frauds. It’s the juxtaposition of truth and fantasy—what we believe times were like and how they actually were—that makes setting such an essential detail of every whodunnit. Doing research on my own novel, I wrenched apart the facts and fictions of Post-War America, and grew even more ravenous for mysteries that leveraged their settings for the utmost entertainment. 

Emily's book list on mysteries set in the perfect time and place

Emily J. Edwards Why did Emily love this book?

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.

By Ellis Peters,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked A Morbid Taste for Bones as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

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 Cadfael finds himself fighting off armed townsmen to save a terrified young man. Accused of robbery and murder is Liliwin, a wandering minstrel who performed at the wedding of the local goldsmith's son. But his supposed victim, the miserly craftsman, is still alive, although a strongbox lies empty. Brother Cadfael…


Book cover of One Corpse Too Many

Elizabeth Flynn Author Of Game, Set and Murder

From my list on unravelling knotty murder mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always enjoyed murder mysteries, with spy novels coming a very close second. I like the puzzle aspect of the story and the unravelling thereof. From early in my childhood I have written and it has never occurred to me to write in any other genre than Crime Fiction. I do like, however, both in my own output and that which I read, to gain an insight into other people’s lives and histories. I like to learn about the surroundings in which the stories are set. Also, for me a must, the characters have to be rounded and three dimensional.

Elizabeth's book list on unravelling knotty murder mysteries

Elizabeth Flynn Why did Elizabeth love this book?

This is the second in a murder series with a historical slant. Brother Cadfael, ex-crusading soldier-turned-monk is an intriguing character in himself. He runs the monastery’s herb garden in Shrewsbury in 12th Century England. When he is asked to bury 94 bodies of people who died because of the fighting between King Stephen and Empress Maud, he discovers a total of 95 corpses and realises that a very clever murder is lurking in the town.  

By Ellis Peters,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked One Corpse Too Many as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Brother Cadfael discovers a murder amid the wreckage of Shrewsbury Castle in this mystery series featuring “a colorful and authentic medieval background” (Publishers Weekly).

In the summer of 1138, war between King Stephen and the Empress Maud takes Brother Cadfael from the quiet world of his garden into a battlefield of passions, deceptions, and death. Not far from the safety of the abbey walls, Shrewsbury Castle falls, leaving its ninety-four defenders loyal to the empress to hang as traitors. With a heavy heart, Brother Cadfael agrees to bury the dead, only to make a grisly discovery: one extra victim that…


Book cover of An Excellent Mystery

Jeanne M. Dams Author Of Murder in the Park

From my list on historical mysteries that make the period come alive.

Why am I passionate about this?

I used to hate history, until I made the startling discovery that history wasn’t about dates and wars—the stuff we had to memorize in high school—but about people. And what can be more absorbing than people? When I started my first historical series, set in the very early 20th century in my hometown of South Bend, Indiana, I delved into the local newspaper and learned that the people of the time and their problems were very much like today’s. That pulled me in, and never let go. Now, researching the 1920s, I’m meeting people who might live next door. It’s so much fun!

Jeanne's book list on historical mysteries that make the period come alive

Jeanne M. Dams Why did Jeanne love this book?

I love all of Ellis Peters’ Brother Cadfael books for so many reasons.

One is the crisp excellence of writing, one is her illuminating description of her medieval setting, one is her endearing protagonist, one is her exceptional plotting. This particular title has a most intriguing plot and a thoroughly satisfying resolution.

I chose the book (which I have reread many times) with a satisfied smile. And finally, the books are set in the England I so love, even if her setting is 11 centuries ago. 

By Ellis Peters,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked An Excellent Mystery as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the year of our Lord 1141, August comes in golden as a lion, and two monks ride into the Benedictine abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul bringing with them disturbing news of war- and a mystery. The strangers tell how the strife between the Empress Maud and King Stephen has destroyed the town of Winchester and their priory. Now Brother Humilis, who is handsome, gaunt and very ill, and Brother Fidelis, youthful, comely- and mute- must seek refuge at Shrewsbury.

From the moment he meets them, Brother Cadfael senses that they are bound by something deeper than their…


Book cover of The Leper of Saint Giles

Lyn Farrell Author Of The Blind Switch

From my list on mysteries that carry us to different worlds.

Why am I passionate about this?

I taught myself to read when I was 4 and have been an omnivorous reader ever since. By the time I was in high school, I was reading the Grand Dame Agatha Christie’s wonderful mysteries. The cozy genre captured me with its deft characterization and clever solutions to “who dunnit.” I wanted to be a writer, received a B.A. and M.A. degree in Literature and later a Ph.D. Once retired from full-time work, I returned to my original desire and as Lia Farrell wrote and published The Mae December Mysteries. Since then, as Lyn Farrell, I have written The Rosedale Investigations series. Together the books have sold 30,000 copies.

Lyn's book list on mysteries that carry us to different worlds

Lyn Farrell Why did Lyn love this book?

Ellis Peters—the penname of Edith Pargeter—wrote eighteen Brother Cadfael mysteries as well as a set of Inspector Felese Mysteries and a separate Trilogy.

All her stories take place during the twelve years when two English monarchs (King Steven and his cousin the Empress Maud) are fighting each other for the throne. Brother Cadfael is a monk who lives in the Abbey of Shrewsbury. A marriage has been arranged between an aging nobleman and a young woman (Iveta, a wealthy heiress), coerced by her greedy guardians. Both parties arrive at the Abbey where the wedding is to take place.

Unbeknownst to her guardians, Iveta has fallen in love with Joscelin, a squire to the bridegroom (Picard). The night before the wedding, Picard goes to visit his long-held mistress and on his return to the Abbey, he is killed. Joscelin is immediately suspected and hunted by the sheriff and his men. He…

By Ellis Peters,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Leper of Saint Giles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Brother Cadfael sets out to visit the Saint Giles leper colony outside Shrewsbury, knowing that a grand wedding is due to take place at the Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. As he arrives at Saint Giles the nuptial party passes the colony's gates. He sees the fragile bride, looking like a prisoner between her two stern guardians, and the groom, an arrogant, fleshy aristocrat old enough to be her grandfather. With his usual astuteness he suspects that this union may be more damned than blessed. He is horrifically proved right when a savage murder disrupts the May-December marriage…


Book cover of The Virgin in the Ice

Scott Lord Author Of Come November

From my list on thrillers to make you wish you lived in another time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a longtime Los Angeles trial lawyer, as well as a writer and librettist. I graduated with honors from the University of California at Santa Cruz and from the Santa Clara University School of Law where I was a member of the Law Review. Me and my wife, Susan, are the parents of six children and live in Santa Monica, California. My previous novel, The Logic Bomb, a legal thriller, was published in 2015.

Scott's book list on thrillers to make you wish you lived in another time

Scott Lord Why did Scott love this book?

This is the fifth book in Peters’ Cadfael series.

I’m a fan of the series and the Derek Jacobi television adaptations. This is my favorite. It is filled with thrills and mystery, but, similarly, transcends its genre origins to become a stirring tale of a crucial time in English history.

It shows Cadfael both as a brilliant detective and a deeply sensitive human being.

By Ellis Peters,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Virgin in the Ice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It is winter 1139 and the tranquil life in the monastery gardens in Shrewsbury is again interrupted by violence. Raging civil war has sent refugees fleeing north from Worcester. Among them are two orphans from a noble family, a boy of thirteen and an eighteen year old girl of great beauty, with their companion, a young Benedictine nun. But the trio have disappeared somewhere in the wild countryside. Cadfael fears for these three lost lambs, but his skills are needed to tend to a wounded monk, found naked and bleeding at the roadside. Why this holy man has been attacked…


Book cover of The Pilgrim of Hate

Eleanor Kuhns Author Of Murder on Principle

From my list on historical mysteries with a dash of social commentary.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love the mysteriousness of the past. Learning dates or the importance of battles does not yield understanding. Skillfully written historical fiction can make a reader live history—in a twelfth-century abbey or nursing in WWI. The characters I find the most gripping are outsiders: a Black man always in danger of capture and slavery, and investigating the murders of the marginalized; a monk, once a crusader, who sees human frailties clearly; or a Victorian lady, restless under the constraints of her time, who marries beneath her. Why murder mysteries? Because, although murder is forbidden in almost every culture and every religion, we still kill each other. 

Eleanor's book list on historical mysteries with a dash of social commentary

Eleanor Kuhns Why did Eleanor love this book?

Several bands of pilgrims descend on the abbey where Cadfael is a monk in twelfth-century England. Among them is the widow Dame Alice Weaver with her crippled nephew Rhun and his sister. Two young men, Ciaran and Matthew, arrive with them. Ciaran is under a vow to walk to Wales, barefoot and with a heavy iron cross around his neck, in penance for an impulsive killing. Matthew has vowed to accompany Ciaran to the end. A theft implicates both Ciaran and Matthew, one of whom is a thief in disguise. I love the way Peters’ plot turns on Christianity as it was practiced then, and the way the pious, suffering from hate and jealousy as well as love, rationalize the ideals of their religion to their own advantage.

By Ellis Peters,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Pilgrim of Hate as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the year of our Lord 1141, civil war over England's throne leaves a legacy of violence- and the murder of a knight dear to Brother Cadfael. And with gentle budstrewn May, a flood of pilgrims comes to the celebration of Saint Winifred at the Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, carrying with it many strange souls and perhaps the knight's killer. Brother Cadfael's shrewd eyes see all: the prosperous merchant who rings false, and angelic lame boy, his beautiful dowess sister, and two wealthy penitents. In the name of justice, Cadfael decides to uncover the strange and twisted…


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