When Louis Stevenson is found guilty of murder, he leaves the dock loudly proclaiming his innocence. And he delivers, too, a chilling invitation to the four men responsible for his conviction: 'You four, I summon to meet me at the time appointed, at the Assize of the Dying' The meaning of the sinister words becomes clear almost immediately with two unexpected deaths. And a young couple, convinced that an innocent man has been wrongly condemned, determine to unmask the real murderer--before he strikes again... Murder is committed, too, in 'Aunt Helen', a story of blind obsession and psychological suspense that starts with what looks suspiciously like the perfect crime... Two vintage tales of murder most foul from the bestselling pen of Ellis Peters.
[Back Cover] Various singers and musicians are gathered for a folk music course that will occupy a weekend in the fantastic country mansion called Follymead. Most come only to sing or to listen, but one or two have non musical scores to settle. When brilliantly talented Liri Palmer sings: 'Black, black, black is the colour of my true-love's heart! His tongue is like a poisoned dart, The coldest eyes and the lewdest hands...' she clearly has a message for one of the audience. Passions run high; there is murder brewing at Follymead. Among the music students are Tossa Barber and her boyfriend Dominic Felse. When disaster strikes, Dominic can privately enlist the aid of his father, Detective Inspector George Felse, to unravel the tangle Of events.
To save his estranged son, Brother Cadfael risks breaking his monastic vowsFor Brother Cadfael in the autumn of his life, the mild November of our Lord's year 1145 may bring a bitter--and deadly--harvest. England is torn between supporters of the Empress Maud and those of her cousin Stephen. The civil strife is about to jeopardize not only Cadfael's life, but his hopes of Heaven. While Cadfael has sometimes bent the abbey's rules, he has never broken his monastic vows--until now. Word has come to Shrewsbury of a treacherous act that has left thirty of Maud's knights imprisoned. All have been ransomed except Cadfael's secret son, Olivier de Bretagne. Conceived in Cadfael's soldiering youth and unaware of his father's identity, Olivier will die if he is not freed. Like never before, Cadfael must boldly defy the abbot. The good brother forsakes the order to follow his heart--but what he finds will challenge his soul.
When Alan Morris disappears, his great-niece Charlotte regrets never having got to know her archaeologist great-uncle better. And, in an attempt to remedy that deficiency, she goes to visit the Roman site of Aurae Phiala, on the Welsh border, that he had spent so much time investigating. When she gets there, Charlotte finds more than just a few old stones ... First there is a charming young man, coincidentally staying in the same hotel, who is very insistent on being her guide. Then a troublesome schoolboy disappears and a corpse is found. And George Felse finds himself having to solve a mystery whose roots go back to ancient Roman times ... Once more, Ellis Peters brings to bear her passion for the complexities of history in a satisfyingly baffling whodunnit.
When a monk survives a tragic injury, he enlists Brother Cadfael to help him right the wrongs revealed in his deathbed confessionWinter arrived early in 1142, bringing with it a heavy snowfall. The safety of the guest-hall roof at the Benedictine Abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul comes into jeopardy, and the brothers are called upon to effect repairs. But the icy and treacherous conditions are to prove near fatal for Brother Haluin. He slips from the roof and crashes to the ground, sustaining terrible injuries--grave enough for him to want to make his deathbed confession. The confession is heard by the abbot and Brother Cadfael; a wicked story, of trespasses hard for God or man to forgive. But Haluin does not die. On his recovery, he determines to make a journey of expiation, with Cadfael as his sole companion. It is an arduous journey, physically and emotionally, and one that leads to some shocking discoveries.
Brother Cadfael must intervene when a prisoner exchange is interrupted by love and murderIn February of 1141, men march home from war to Shrewsbury, but the captured sheriff Gilbert Prestcote is not among them. Elis, a young Welsh prisoner, is delivered to the Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul to begin a tale that will test Brother Cadfael's sense of justice--and his heart. By good fortune, it seems, the prisoner can be exchanged as Sheriff Prestcote's ransom. What no one expects is that good-natured Elis will be struck down by cupid's arrow. The sheriff's own daughter holds him in thrall, and she, too, is blind with passion. But regaining her father means losing her lover. The sheriff, ailing and frail, is brought to the abbey's infirmary--where he is murdered. Suspicion falls on the prisoner, who has only his Welsh honor to gain Brother Cadfael's help. And Cadfael gives it, not knowing the truth will be a trial for his own soul.
A millionaire is murdered and Inspector Felse, after sifting through the few shreds of evidence, finally arrests Kitty Norris, his teenaged son Dominic's first love. A young man's infatuation soon becomes something far more dangerous, though, as Dominic takes on Kitty's cause-- in direct opposition to his father's investigation.
When archaeologist Bruce Almond is killed on a dig in Greece, his son Crispin returns to Somerset and a mother he barely knows. Convinced his father's death was no accident, Crispin believes even his mother is not free from suspicion, so he baits a clever trap to lure the murderer out of hiding.
Landlords the world over are not the most popular people, and there is little mourning when the greedy, ruthless Mahendralal Bakhle is blown up in his boat on the beautiful Periyar Lake. Suspicion falls on the boat-boy who died with him, but Dominic Felse, one of a party of young tourists accidentally involved in the fatality, is not convinced of the boy's guilt. And when they move on it seems that the terror is still pursuing them. Violence and death erupt yet again in the home of a very different landowner, where Dominic and his friends are guests, and follow them relentlessly south to the very tip of India, where Dominic and the Swami Premanathanand, a man of peace, unravel a deadly Indian rope trick of hatred and murder.
When a troubled novice is blamed for the disappearance of a priest, Brother Cadfael seeks to save his soul--and his lifeOutside the pale of the Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, in September of 1140, a priestly emissary for King Stephen has been reported missing. But inside the pale, what troubles Brother Cadfael is a proud, secretive nineteen-year-old novice. Brother Cadfael has never seen two men more estranged than the Lord of Aspley and Meriet, the son he coldly delivers to the abbey to begin a religious vocation. Meriet, meek by day, is so racked by dreams at night that his howls earn him the nickname "the Devil's Novice." Shunned and feared, Meriet is soon linked to the missing priestly emissary's dreadful fate. Only Brother Cadfael believes in Meriet's innocence, and only the good sleuth can uncover the truth before a boy's pure passion, not evil intent, leads a novice to the noose.
Two monks seeking refuge bring with them a troubling mystery that will test Brother Cadfael's beliefsIn 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 totally mute--must seek refuge at Shrewsbury. From the moment he meets them, Brother Cadfael senses something deeper than common vows binds these two good brothers. What the link is he can only guess. What it will lead to is beyond his imagining. As Brother Humilis's health fails--and nothing can stop death's lengthening shade--Brother Cadfael faces a poignant test of his discretion and his beliefs as he unravels a secret so great it can destroy a life, a future, and a holy order.
[Back Cover] All the school boys of Comerford look up to Chad Wedderburn, a classics master who was a hero of the Resistance in World War II. But they are puzzled by his unwavering stand against all violence. And when he is blamed for the brutal murder of a former German prisoner of war who settled in this remote Shropshire town, none of them believe he did it. Policeman George Felse is also deeply troubled by this killing. His son Dominic discovered the body, and now the boy is doggedly pursuing clues in the isolated countryside to clear his teacher. As young Felse digs deeper, his father feels a mounting pressure. For Inspector Felse knows all too well that Dominic is playing with fire, and that he must close the case quickly-before the killer teaches them both a lesson in murder...
[Back of Book] "There is a kind of beauty that produces wolf whistles, and another kind of beauty that creates silence all about it, taking the voices out of men's mouths and the breath out of their throats." Annet Beck's beauty is of the second order and it worries her parents so much that they guard her as closely as a prisoner. . .until the rainy Thursday in October when she disappears. Annet is last seen vanishing over the crest of Hallowmount, a hill in the remote Welsh Country believed to be the domain of witches. Five days later she mysteriously reappears, claiming that she was gone for only two hours. Detective Inspector George Felse doesn't believe in witchcraft, but he does believe in love and he never underestimates its power, especially when it may have led to murder. . .
When Figaro is killed in a plane crash, it seems nothing can save the London production. A world-class baritone arrives from Europe to take over, then he too is killed - in mid-performance. Detective Inspector Musgrave embarks on a quest to discover who is responsible.
'Listen to who's talking. I'm not the one who goes hobnobbing with gunmen and such.' Such is Bunty Felse's light-hearted reply to her husband's parting words of caution, as George is called away to London on urgent police business. But left alone in the house, Bunty begins to feel depressed: she will be forty-one tomorrow and feels that, now their son Dominic has grown up, there is nothing left for her to do except grow older. To shake off the black mood, she goes out to the local pub -- where a chance meeting with a distraught stranger proves that her farewell words to George were horribly mistaken. Caught up in a terrifying , situation, Bunty struggles desperately to hold on to the life which earlier stretched out endlessly before her...
Charges of heresy and murder are complicated by the contents of a mysterious treasure chestIn the summer of 1143, William of Lythwood arrives at the Benedictine Abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul, but it is not a joyous occasion--he's come back from his pilgrimage in a coffin. William's body is accompanied by his young attendant Elave, whose mission is to secure a burial place for his master on the abbey grounds, despite William's having once been reprimanded for heretical views. An already difficult task is complicated when Elave drunkenly expresses his own heretical opinions, and capital charges are filed. When a violent death follows, Sheriff Hugh Beringar taps his friend Brother Cadfael for help. The mystery that unfolds grows deeper thanks to a mysterious and marvelous treasure chest in Elave's care.
Brother Cadfael's pastoral life is upended by the disappearance of a young boy and the arrival of a saintly hermit The year is 1142, and England is in the grip of civil war. Within the cloisters of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, there begins a chain of events no less momentous than the upheavals of the outside world. It starts with the sad demise of Richard Ludel, Lord of Eyton, whose ten-year-old son and heir, also named Richard, is a pupil at the abbey. The boy refuses to surrender his newly inherited powers to Dionysia, his furious, formidable grandmother. A stranger to the region is the hermit Cuthred, who enjoys the protection of Lady Dionysia, and whose young companion, Hyacinth, befriends Richard. Despite his reputation for holiness, Cuthred's arrival heralds a series of mishaps for the monks. When a corpse is found in Eyton forest, Brother Cadfael must devote his knowledge of human nature to tracking down a ruthless murderer.
Two groups seek refuge from the rain at Brother Cadfael's abbey, bringing with them mystery and mayhem. In the chill, rainy autumn of 1144, two groups of visitors seek the hospitality of the Abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul, and Brother Cadfael fears trouble has come in with them. Among the first arrivals is Brother Tutilo, a young Benedictine with a guileless face and--to Brother Cadfael's shrewd eyes--a mischievous intelligence. The second group, a ribald French troubadour, his servant, and a girl with the voice of an angel, seems to Brother Cadfael a catalyst for disaster. All of Cadfael's fears become manifest as rising floodwaters endanger the abbey's most sacred relic, the remains of Saint Winifred. When the bones disappear and a dead body is found, Brother Cadfael knows carnal and spiritual intrigues are afoot. Now, in a world that believes in signs and miracles, Brother Cadfael needs his prayers answered--as well as some heavenly guidance to crucial clues--to catch a killer hell-bent on murder.
When Lucas Corinth is invited back to the Alpine town of Gries-am-See, it is as a favoured native son. Since his boyhood there during the War, he has become a world-famous conductor and composer and it is fitting that he be guest of honour at the premiere of his new work, The Horn of Roland. But over the celebrations falls the shadow of the past; Corinth's presence provokes bitter memories, memories of occupation, danger, secrecy. And from them springs an implacable threat. In revenge for an act of betrayal, Lucas Corinth's life is at risk.
Maggie Tressider, lovely and famous singer, was on her way to a concert when her car skidded on a curve and crashed. She woke up in the hospital, not too seriously hurt but disorientated--and haunted. Haunted by the terrible conviction that somewhere, somehow, in a forgotten corner of her life, she had been the cause of a man's death. Her doctor, understandably, suggested that perhaps a psychiatrist was in order. But Maggie insisted on a private detective. She wanted facts--she was sure of her guilt. This is how Francis Killian came into the picture, and in looking for Maggie's victim (real or imaginary, he wasn't at first sure), he found a great deal more than he had bargained for,
The knocker hung on a heavy oak door with an aarch, and a curse. Legend held that sinners who seized the knocker had their hands burned by the cold iron. But Gerry Bracewell didn't die of burns.
Brother Cadfael must travel to the heart of a leper colony to root out the secret to a savage murder Setting out for the Saint Giles leper colony outside Shrewsbury, Brother Cadfael has more pressing matters on his mind than the grand wedding coming to his abbey. But as fate would have it, Cadfael arrives at Saint Giles just as the nuptial party passes the colony's gates. He sees the fragile bride looking like a prisoner between her two stern guardians and the bridegroom--an arrogant, fleshy aristocrat old enough to be her grandfather. And he quickly discerns this union may be more damned than blessed. Indeed, a savage murder will interrupt the May-December marriage and leave Brother Cadfael with a dark, terrible mystery to solve. For the key to the killing--and a secret--are hid among the lepers of Saint Giles. Now Brother Cadfael's skills must ferret out a sickness, not of the body, but of a twisted soul.
This highly entertaining collection, with a Foreword by the creator of the astonishingly successful Brother Cadfael books, combines in that fascinating genre of crime fiction epitomized by The Name of the Rose. Features Peter Tremayne, Paul Harding, Edward D. Hoch, and others.
Brother Cadfael is confounded when his own potion is used to kill his former love's new husband Gervase Bonel is a guest of Shrewsbury Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul when he suddenly takes ill. Luckily, the abbey boasts the services of the clever and kindly Brother Cadfael, a skilled herbalist. Cadfael hurries to the man's bedside, only to be confronted with two surprises: In Master Bonel's wife, the good monk recognizes Richildis, whom he loved before he took his vows--and Master Bonel has been fatally poisoned by monk's-hood oil from Cadfael's stores. The sheriff is convinced that the murderer is Richildis's son, Edwin, who hated his stepfather. But Cadfael, guided in part by his concern for a woman to whom he was once betrothed, is certain of her son's innocence. Using his knowledge of both herbs and the human heart, Cadfael deciphers a deadly recipe for murder.
On an expedition to acquire a saint's remains, Brother Cadfael instead finds intrigue and murder It is 1137, and the ambitious head of Shrewsbury Abbey wishes to acquire the remains of Saint Winifred for the glory of his Benedictine order. Brother Cadfael is part of the expedition sent to the saint's final resting place in Wales, where he finds the villagers divided over the Benedictines' quest. When the leading opponent to moving the grave is shot dead with a mysterious arrow, some believe Winifred herself delivered the blow. Brother Cadfael knows that an earthly hand did the killing. But he doesn't know that his plan to root out a murderer may dig up a case of love and justice, where the waves of sin may be scandal--or his own ruin.
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