When Alf picked up the hitch-hiker, he seemed perfect as a stand-in for the horrific crime Alf was about to commit. But by luck William is saved from Alf's plan and someone else is killed in his place, this leads to a tangle of mistaken identity and an unsolved bank robbery from many years ago.
(This book was also published under the title: Who Lies Here?) (From back of book) "Shed here no tears. No Saint could die More Blessed and Comforted than I." So read the epitaph composed by Morwenna Treverra centuries ago as she followed her beloved husband, Jan, into death. The couple have been together ever since, models of pious content, in the little seaside Saxon church near the village of Maymouth. But when curious scholars arrange to open Jan Treverra's tomb, it yields not one body but two. . . and neither one of them is Jan Treverra. Detective Inspector George Felse happens to be on holiday nearby; indeed, he helped to open the crypt and reveal its all too modern contents. Now, from an ancient grave, a mystery unfolds; a trail of violence in Maymouth's history that casts shadows centuries long...
When Shrewsbury Castle falls, Brother Cadfael discovers a murder mystery amid the wreckage 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 has been strangled, not hanged. This ingenious way to dispose of a corpse tells Brother Cadfael that the killer is both clever and ruthless. But one death among so many seems unimportant to all but the good Benedictine. He vows to find the truth behind disparate clues: a girl in boy's clothing, a missing treasure, and a single broken flower . . . the tiny bit of evidence that Cadfael believes can expose a murderer's black heart.
Amid a flood of pilgrims seeking solace in a saintly celebration, Brother Cadfael seeks the killer of a dear friend. 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 bud-strewn 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, an angelic lame boy, his beautiful dowerless sister, and two wealthy penitents. In the name of justice Cadfael decides to uncover the strange and twisted tale that accompanies these travelers. Instead he unearths a quest for vengeance, witnesses a miracle, and finds himself on a razor's edge between death and the absolution of love.
When Herbert Terrell falls off a mountain during a vacation in Czechoslovakia, accidental death is the verdict. Then his step-daughter Tossa receives a note suggesting Terrell was murdered--turning Tossa's long-planned European holiday with college friends into a hunt for the killer.
The gifting of a field to the Benedictine abbey goes from generous to ghastly when plows turn up a hastily buried bodyWhen a newly plowed field recently given to the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul yields the body of a young woman, Brother Cadfael is quickly thrown into a delicate situation. The field was once owned by a local potter named Ruald, who had abandoned his beautiful wife, Generys, to take monastic vows. Generys was said to have gone away with a lover, but now it seems as if she had been murdered. With the arrival at the abbey of young Sulien Blount, a novice fleeing homeward from the civil war raging in East Anglia, the mysteries surrounding the corpse start to multiply.
[Back of book] Miss de la Pole drained her glass and rose to set a good example, drawing her black shawl round her shoulders. "He won't do, you know," she said with inexorable gentleness; and having pronounced her oracle, as gently and decidedly withdrew, leaving them room either for comment or for silence. As it turned out, no one had anything to object, or to add. In a whirlwind of activity, wealthy newcomer Arthur Rainbow extravagantly refurbishes the Manor House, joins the Golf Club, Angling Society and Arts Council-and, in a ruthless coup, dislodges the old church organist to take over the position himself. Rainbow was becoming a veritable curse on the sleepy village of Middlehope-until someone pushed him off St. Eata's church tower. The news causes very little surprise or sorrow to the villagers-but much speculation as to who the murderer could be. After all, there are so many candidates-from his young, beautiful, flirtatious wife to the usurped organist and his mutinous choir. It falls upon Superintendent George Felse, newly promoted head of the Midshire CID, to follow the twisted path to Rainbow's end.
Three vintage tales reveal how a former crusader became literature's greatest mystery-solving monk<P> Brother Cadfael sprang to life suddenly and unexpectedly when he was already approaching sixty, mature, experienced, fully armed and seventeen years tonsured." So writes Ellis Peters in her introduction to A Rare Benedictine--three vintage tales of intrigue and treachery featuring the monastic sleuth who has become the best-loved ecclesiastical detective since Father Brown. Although Cadfael has appeared in twenty novel-length chronicles, the story of his entry into the monastery at Shrewsbury has been known hitherto only to a few readers. Now his myriad fans can discover the chain of events that led him into the Benedictine Order.
When a harsh priest is drowned, Brother Cadfael discovers a long list of suspects, including a young man who isn't who he claims to be<P> In a mild December in the year of our Lord 1141, a new priest comes to the parishioners of the Foregate outside the Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. Father Ailnoth brings with him a housekeeper and her nephew--and a disposition that invites murder. Brother Cadfael quickly sees that father Ailnoth is a harsh man who, striding along in his black cassock, looks like a doomsaying raven. The housekeeper's nephew, Benet, is quite different--a smiling lad, a hard worker in Cadfael's herb garden, but, as Brother Cadfael soon discovers, an impostor. And when Ailnoth is found drowned, suspicion falls on Benet, though many in the Foregate had cause to want this priest dead. Now Brother Cadfael is gathering clues along with his medicinals to treat a case of unholy passions, tragic politics, and perhaps divine intervention.
A young widow's gain could be the abbey's loss if Brother Cadfael can't unravel a thorny case of murder. A late spring in 1142 brings dismay to the Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, for there may be no roses by June 22. On that day the young widow Perle must receive one white rose as rent for the house she has given to benefit the abbey, or the contract is void. When nature finally complies, a pious monk is sent to pay the rent--and is found murdered beside the hacked rosebush. The abbey's wise herbalist, Brother Cadfael, follows the trail of bloodied petals. He knows the lovely widow's dowry is far greater with her house included, and she will likely wed again. Before Cadfael can ponder if a greedy suitor has done this dreadful deed, another crime is committed. Now the good monk must thread his way through a tangle more tortuous than the widow's thorny bushes.
An opportunity to put aside the horrors of war is dashed when bodies begin to pile up at St. Peter's FairSt. Peter's Fair is a grand, festive event, attracting merchants from across England and beyond. There is a pause in the civil war racking the country in the summer of 1139, and the fair promises to bring some much-needed gaiety to the town of Shrewsbury--until the body of a wealthy merchant is found murdered in the river Severn. Was Thomas of Bristol the victim of murderous thieves? And, if so, why were his valuables abandoned nearby? Brother Cadfael, that shrewd but kindly monk, offers to help the merchant's lovely niece Emma. But while he is searching for the killer, Thomas of Bristol's wares are ransacked and two more men are murdered. Emma almost certainly knows more than she is telling--as others will soon realize. Cadfael desperately races to save the young girl, knowing that in a country at war with itself, betrayal can come from any direction, and even good intentions can kill.
Brother Cadfael races to save a young man he believes is falsely accused of robbery--before the protection of sanctuary expires<P> In the gentle Shrewsbury spring of 1140, the midnight matins at the Benedictine abbey suddenly reverberate 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. Liliwin, a wandering minstrel who performed at the wedding of a local goldsmith's son, has been accused of robbery and murder. The cold light of morning, however, will show his supposed victim, the miserly craftsman, still lives, although a strongbox lies empty. Brother Cadfael believes Liliwin is innocent, but finding the truth and the treasure before Liliwin's respite in sanctuary runs out may uncover a deadlier sin than thievery--a desperate love that nothing, not even the threat of hanging, can stop.
When a merchant bound for St. Peter's Fair is found with a slender dagger piercing his heart, Brother Cadfael is on the case. Two murders later, he realizes that no one--least of all the merchant's lovely niece--is safe. "Colorful, convincing details on the workings of a medieval fair". --Kirkus Reviews.
With one civil war on hold, Brother Cadfael returns home, only to stumble into another bloody conflict<P> In the summer of 1144, a strange calm has settled over England. The armies of King Stephen and the Empress Maud, the two royal cousins contending for the throne, have temporarily exhausted each other. On the whole, Brother Cadfael considers peace a blessing. Still, a little excitement never comes amiss to a former soldier, and Cadfael is delighted to accompany a friend on a mission of diplomacy to his native Wales. But shortly after their arrival, the two monks are caught up in another royal feud. The Welsh prince Owain Gwynedd has banished his brother Cadwaladr, accusing him of the treacherous murder of an ally. The reckless Cadwaladr has retaliated by landing an army of Danish mercenaries, poised to invade Wales. As the two armies teeter on the brink of bloody civil war, Cadfael is captured by the Danes and must navigate the brotherly quarrel that threatens to plunge an entire kingdom into chaos.
Brother Cadfael sets out on a dangerous quest to find a trio of missing travelers<P> The winter of 1139 will disrupt Brother Cadfael's tranquil life in Shrewsbury with the most disturbing of events. 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, and their companion, a young Benedictine nun. The trio never reaches Shrewsbury, having disappeared somewhere in the wild countryside. Cadfael is afraid for these three lost lambs, but another call for help sends him to the church of Saint Mary. A wounded monk, found naked and bleeding by the roadside, will surely die without Cadfael's healing arts. Why this holy man has been attacked and what his fevered ravings reveal soon give Brother Cadfael a clue to the fate of the missing travelers. Now Cadfael sets out on a dangerous quest to find them. The road will lead him to a chill and terrible murder and a tale of passion gone awry. And at journey's end awaits a vision of what is best, and worst, in humankind.
When legendary diva Antonia Byrne's will is read, it contains some unpleasant surprises for her nearest and dearest - none of them get quite what they were expecting. When the mourners become snowbound in the tiny mountain village, one of their number has lethally sinister intentions.
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