A Morbid Taste for Bones

Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #1

Ellis Peters

fiction crime historical mystery
dark mysterious slow-paced

197 pages | first published 1977

Ellis Peters' introduction to the murderous medieval world of Brother Cadfael...
A Morbid Taste for Bones

In the remote Welsh mountain village of Gwytherin lies the grave of Saint Winifred. Now, in 1137, the ambitious head of Shrewsbury Abbey has decided to acquire the sacred remains for his Benedictine order. Native Welshman Brother Cadfael is sent on the expedition to translate and finds the rustic villagers of Gwytherin passionately divided by the Benedictine's offer for the saint's relics. Canny, wise, and all too wordly, he isn't surprised when this taste for bones leads to bloody murder.

The leading opponent to moving the grave has been shot dead with a mysterious arrow, and some say Winifred herself held the bow. Brother Cadfael knows a carnal hand did the killing. But he doesn't know that his plan to unearth a murderer may dig up a case of love and justice...where the wages of sin may be scandal or Cadfael's own ruin.

What the community thinks

summary of 308 ratings (see reviews)


mysterious 100%
reflective 33%
adventurous 22%
relaxing 22%
dark 11%
hopeful 11%
inspiring 11%
lighthearted 11%
tense 11%


medium 55%
slow 33%
fast 11%

Strong character development?

No: 55% | Yes: 33% | It's complicated: 11%

Loveable characters?

Yes: 66% | No: 22% | It's complicated: 11%

Diverse cast of characters?

No: 88% | It's complicated: 11%

Flaws of characters centre-stage?

No: 55% | It's complicated: 33% | Yes: 11%

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