Ever since one of my high school English teachers recommended that I pick up Ellis Peter’s books, I’ve been meaning to. I think I read one once. But I always like to start a series from the very beginning. It’s just taken me 15 years or so to find the first Brother Cadfael book, A Morbid Taste for Bones: The First Chronicle of Brother Cadfael!
I found that the beginning of the book dragged a little bit, though I’m sure it was necessary – as the first book in the series, a little background on Brother Cadfael, his history, a bit about the Abbey where he lives and the garden that he tends to was all very important, but I almost gave up for lack of interesting action. “This is a murder mystery!” I said to myself as I read, “where’s the murder?”
But I have to say that I enjoyed A Morbid Taste for Bones: The First Chronicle of Brother Cadfael immensely and am eager to start on the second book of the series, One Corpse Too Many: The Second Chronicle of Brother Cadfael.
Brother Cadfael is everything that he should be: an older (I imagine slightly portly) man who has given up traveling the world to settle down for a life of quiet contemplation and gardening. However, his quick wits and worldliness are no match for the other monks and in his own way, Brother Cadfael rights all wrongs and sees what others don’t – and solves mysteries in the process, but only in a way that that continues to endear him to everyone around him. You can’t ask for much more than that in a mystery series set in 12th century England, now can you?