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One Corpse Too Many (1979)

de Ellis Peters

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

Sèrie: Brother Cadfael Mysteries (2)

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2,733645,193 (3.89)162
Fiction. Mystery. Historical Fiction. HTML: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 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.
… (més)
  1. 00
    Plague Land de S D Sykes (charlie68)
    charlie68: Same time period.
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» Mira també 162 mencions

Anglès (54)  Castellà (3)  Italià (3)  Francès (3)  Neerlandès (1)  Totes les llengües (64)
Es mostren 1-5 de 64 (següent | mostra-les totes)
'One Corpse Too Many' is a more secular book than 'A Morbid Taste For Bones'. The story is dominated by the consequences of the fall of Shrewsbury, who supported the Empress Maud, to King Henry in 1138. Cadfael's Benedictine Abbey is buffered from the secular struggle until the Abbot asks for permission to bury ninety-four defenders of the fallen city who have been executed by hanging and thrown into a ditch outside the walls. Cadfeal, who is sent to manage the gruesome task, finds one corpse too many and sets out to find the murderer. In hunting the murderer, Cadfeal finds himself involved in political intrigue and has to pitch his cunning against that of Hugh Beringar, the newly appointed Deputy Sheriff of Shropshire.

I liked the matter-of-fact way this story displayed the brutality of the times, the capriciousness of Kings and the bloody reality of trial by combat.

As in the first book, 'One Corpse Too Many' featured strong women who shaped the story, this time with some ingenious twists that made me smile.

There were some very strong scenes in the book that brought into focus life in 1138 as lived by beggars, women and nobles navigating royal politics at a time of civil war and showed the impact of a belief in God in terms of the rights of Kings and the Church.

I enjoyed the war of wits between Beringar and Cadfael but I thought it went on for too long at the end. The conclusion to the two sets of personal stories was a little too Happy Ever After for me.

I recommend the audiobook version of 'One Corpse Too Many'. Stephen Thorne's narration increased my enjoyment of the book. ( )
  MikeFinnFiction | Jan 25, 2024 |
Although this is my second time reading this apparently I've never written a review.

This is a 3.5 stars rounded up book for me this time--I can't say about the first time since it's been too long since I read it, but I remember liking it better than the first book in the series. The blurb tells you virtually nothing, which I think is a good thing overall, but I will also add that this book introduces characters who continue on in the series, including Hugh Beringar. If you are new to this series, although you don't have to read them in order, it's better that way and best if you know nothing about Beringar when you read this. In addition, there are at least two excellent female characters in this book, but why say more when you can read the book and find out for yourself? ( )
  Karin7 | Jan 4, 2024 |
Rather different having a murder case settled by a battle rather than a presentation of facts before a magistrate. ( )
  JBarringer | Dec 15, 2023 |
Summary: Burying 94 defenders of Shrewsbury loyal to Empress Maud, executed by King Stephen, Cadfael finds 95 bodies, one of which had been murdered. Could the killer be the young man seeking a daughter of a supporter of Empress Maud, hiding in the abbey under Cadfael’s protection?

The abbey at Shrewsbury is caught amid a civil war between those defending the town of Shrewsbury, loyal to Empress Maud who is in France, and the present, dominating forces under King Stephen. When the town falls, ninety-four of the defenders, loyal to Maud are executed by hanging, cut down and left in a heap outside the town. Cadfael is delegated to lead the group to provide them a decent burial or be claimed by their families. The grim task becomes grimmer when Cadfael counts, no doubt to make sure they have retrieved all, only to find that there are ninety-five. One of the corpses had been murdered, garrotted from behind and hidden among the others.

He secures King Stephen’s permission to investigate the murder. It is only one of the burdens he bears as he copes with the effects of war. A young boy has been assigned to him, provided for by a year’s gift to the abbey. Godric works hard and listens well–and refuses to strip down on a hot day–and Cadfael realizes this is no boy. He learns that she is Godith Adeney, daughter of one of Maud’s patrons, who had escaped the city. He arranges for her to stay with him rather than the other boys, and tries to protect her secret until he can arrange to get her to safety in neighboring Wales. She also identifies the murdered man–one of her father’s young servants, smuggling family wealth out of the city to aid Maud’s cause

The task is complicated by Hugh Beringar. Years ago he was betrothed to Godith. Now he has sided, or tried to, with King Stephen. He’s a skilled horseman and swordsman, but the proof of loyalty remains. Finding Godith and turning her over to the King as hostage and bait to bring her father out of hiding will confirm Beringar’s loyalties. He stays at the Abbey and attaches himself to Cadfael. Does he know, or suspect? The only thing that distracts is the recently bereaved Aline siward who lost her brother among the ninety-four. His rival for her affections is Adam Courcelle, a young soldier of the king, who apologizes that he could not save her brother.

Godith discovers a wounded young man in bushes outside the abbey, a companion assisting the man who was murdered, who had fought with his assailant in a barn. Cadfael attends to the young man, Tobold, who quickly develops a bond with Godith, and investigates the scene, finding a broken flower from the hilt of a knife–a key to finding the murderer. There is also the family treasure, which Tobold has hidden.

Peters does an effective job building the tension as it is evident that Beringer both enlists Cadfael’s help in secreting away some horses and provides bait for Cadfael to use with the two he is hiding who need to get to Wales, along with the treasure, which Cadfael suspects Beringar is also seeking. Beringar is both stealthy and clever. How much does he know? Can the former soldier and herbalist Cadfael outfox him? More than that, if the treasure is Beringar’s object, is he the murderer? For all that, a kind of admiration has arisen within Cadfael for this young man.

Peters has some surprises yet in store that both further the tension in the plot, and heighten the satisfaction with its outcome…but I will say no more! It’s masterful!

In back of all this, Peters captures the knife-edge abbeys lived on amid such civil distress. They do not take sides but provide stores and horses for the king–and refuge for those associated with his rival. All the while, they pursue a higher call, to care for souls, to heal bodies when they can and bury them with dignity when that fails. In Cadfael, the former soldier we read the tension of understanding the way of the warrior and the pursuit of his spiritual calling. He exemplifies one who lives “as wisely as a serpent and as innocently as a dove.” ( )
  BobonBooks | Aug 14, 2023 |
Eh. The first one was a nice diversion but I've discovered I'm not actually up for a whole series. Nothing against the writing, which is just as good here. ( )
  Kiramke | Jun 27, 2023 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Ellis Petersautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
BascoveAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Christensen, JanTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Gehlin, JanTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Gille, NicolasTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Gunsteren, Dirk vanTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Janssens, PieterTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Jensen, EdmondtTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Kaczorowski, JarosławTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Karve, JuhaniTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Kim, HunTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Livnat, MeiraTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Lüftner, TomaszTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Menini, María AntoniaTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Ooide, KenTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Pelitti, ElsaTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Santos, Maria LuísaTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Szántó, JuditTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Thorne, StephenNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Tull, PatrickNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Volkovskogo, Vitalii︠a︡Traductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Ward, JohannaNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Wolfová, ZoraTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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Fiction. Mystery. Historical Fiction. HTML: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 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.

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