Reviews

Monk's Hood, by Ellis Peters

catherine_t's review against another edition

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4.0

Cadfael is called to the bedside of Gervase Bonel, newly arrived to take up residence in one of the abbey's guesthouses, when that gentleman is taken suddenly ill. When Cadfael arrives, he discovers that Bonel has been poisoned, and the poison is of Cadfael's own making, a concoction of monks-hood oil used for rubbing sore joints. The sheriff's men suspect Bonel's stepson, Edwin Gurney, but Cadfael doesn't believe it, perhaps because Edwin's mother Richildis was once betrothed to Cadfael...

As a mystery, *Monks-Hood* is somewhat easily followed and solved by the reader; I had a pretty good idea of who the culprit most likely was by the three-quarter mark. But the pleasure in Cadfael's company outweighs any desire for a real puzzle.

One of the things I really like about the Cadfael series is the detail of mediaeval life in England and Wales. This mystery hinges partly on the differences in laws between the two countries, and the location of Bonel's manor allows for the laws of either country to be argued, depending upon which outcome the suitor wishes. It's a fascinating peek at life some 900 years ago.

nanaofnaia's review against another edition

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4.0

Another wonderfully moving and marvelous story of Brother Cadfael...
but the narration by Patrick Tull is so off-putting I bought a version narrated by Derek Jacobi--and that was worse.

I just listened to One Corpse Too Many narrated by Johanna Ward and loved it, but I couldn't find the Blackstone Audio versions on sale anywhere.

lilirose's review against another edition

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2.0

Terzo volume della saga, e finora il peggiore. Nel primo avevamo miracoli ed apparizioni, nel secondo addirittura una guerra civile; qui assistiamo semplicemente al ritorno di una vecchia fiamma di Cadfael, espediente che non riesce a dare lo stesso coinvolgimento e la stessa dinamicità alla narrazione. Oltretutto mancano personaggi secondari carismatici, ed il giallo è come al solito estremamente prevedibile.
Eppure nonostante i molti punti deboli è una lettura che scorre a meraviglia. La forza di questo romanzo (e dell'intera serie) è la semplicità: sono libri senza pretese, che raccontano una storia andando dritti al sodo, senza tempi morti. Per questo anche se preso singolarmente questo è un testo che tende alla mediocrità, la saga nel suo complesso ancora mi attira. Magari non lascerà il segno, ma a volte un po' di sano intrattenimento è tutto quello di cui abbiamo bisogno.

volare's review against another edition

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4.0

I won't recount the plot of the book because I see many others have done so. I just feel I have to say that I really enjoy these visits with Brother Cadfael and meeting all the people he meets and how kindly he treats and respects everyone. I agree with other commenters that the books should be read in the order in which they were written because it has become apparent to me that Ellis Peters introduces characters and then has them return in later volumes and it is beneficial to know their origin stories.

samphope's review

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lighthearted mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

awilmsen's review

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dark mysterious sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.0

writerlibrarian's review against another edition

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4.0

Another wonderful rereading. I remembered from the beginning who did the deed. Rereading Cadfael while not really being bothered by the plot enables me to enjoy the layers Peters put into the characters. Oh how I enjoyed reading and meeting Brother Mark again, reading about prior Robert getting taken dowm a peg or two. Foreshadowing also on Peters part about fatherhood and lost sons. Monk's hood is at the heart of it a story about fathers, good ones, indifferent ones, fathers of the heart, fathers by faith and sometimes chance.

depizan's review against another edition

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3.0

While I enjoyed watching the adaptations of the Cadfael books on Mystery!, I'd somehow never gotten around to actually reading any of them. One wandered by at my workplace (I work in a library) and I decided to change that. I'm glad I did.

They're basically medieval cozy mysteries, but there's something very appealing about Cadfael (and many of the other recurring characters). They may not be deep books, but they're pleasant. And rather optimistic about people, especially considering they're murder mysteries.

On reread: this is the first of the books that's actually a proper murder mystery, with the plot being focused on the question of who done it. Not that there aren't other concerns, like making sure no one is wrongfully blamed for the murder, of course.

The focus, though, is still not typical of murder mysteries. It isn't about bringing someone to legal justice, it's...about making sure no injustice happens and trying to make things better. Finding the best solution, if not necessarily the legal one.

traveling_in_books's review

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mysterious reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No

4.0

readingwithcats's review

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adventurous mysterious reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0