An Excellent Mystery

An Excellent Mystery

Book - 1985
Average Rating:
Rate this:
In 1141, England is still in the midst of the strife caused by the struggle for the throne between King Stephen and the Empress Maud. Among its victims the Abbey of Hyde Meade, totally destroyed. Two of its brothers seek refuge in Shrewsbury: Brother Humilis, who abandoned his intended and joined the cloister after crippling injuries received on the Crusade; and his devoted attendant, the mute Fidelis. All is well until Humilis' former squire decides to pay court on his own account to the girl who was his lord's affianced bride.
Publisher: New York, NY : William Morrow and Company, Inc, c1985.
ISBN: 9780688062507
Characteristics: 190p


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
sapl3 Apr 09, 2020


If you’re someone who doesn’t want to start at the beginning of a series and read each book in order, then this is the perfect book for you. It’s XI in The Cadfael Chronicles and stands very well on its own. There’s little in the past books that affects this story so you’re able to enjoy seeing how Brother Cadfael unravels this “excellent mystery” without feeling that pieces to the puzzle are missing.

In just a few short paragraphs Peters is able to transport us to a time long ago – to the summer of 1141. The tranquility of the Abbey at Shrewsbury has not yet been affected by the civil unrest between King Stephen and the Empress Maud. When the Abbey of Hyde Meade is totally destroyed by the warring forces, Brother Humilis, badly injured in the Crusades, and his attendant, the mute Fidelis, seek refuge in Shrewsbury. This pair is soon joined by Nicholas, once squire to Humilis, who seeks the Brother’s blessing to woo the lady who was once Humilis’ intended bride. And there begins the mystery – for the lady has vanished.

Brother Cadfael begins to slowly unravel the truth from the fiction but not before tragedy strikes. With the compassion that seems to come so naturally to him, Cadfael assuages the grief of the victims and shows them a way forward, while still maintaining their deepest secrets.

EuSei May 07, 2015

Most definitely, an excellent mystery. Though you will certainly be able to figure the mystery way before the book's end, Ellis Peters wrote so well, it doesn't really matter. She was able, though not using "Old English," to take you to the past. Cadfael and the other characters are quite alive in her beautiful prose. The TV series, thought not really faithful to Peters' books, is very good. And Derek Jacobi in the main character is absolutely perfect. Every time I read one of the books of the series, I can't help but visualize Jacobi as Cadfael--as well as Sean Pertwee as Hugh Beringar. Another excellent read, highly recommended.

Jul 19, 2014

Another favorite from one of the best, most knowledgeable of medieval writers. Books are for a number of reasons: story, plot, human emotions, learning, entertainment and so on. The sophistication of intelligence comes forth, in superb language skills, new words, subtle meanings and creative homilies. The danger is one might get used to being treated like a real insightful reader, and want more of the same.

hermlou Nov 09, 2010

Brother Humilis and Brother Fidelis escape the destruction of their abbey and come to Shrewsbury for refuge. Humilis is a badly wounded veteran of the Crusades, and Fidelis is devoted to his care. Humilis' former fiancee joined a convent three years ago, but the convent never heard of her. Brother Cadfael joins the search for traces of the girl. Peters always has a happy ending, and this plot is cleverly done.


Add Age Suitability
EuSei May 07, 2015

EuSei thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at CPL

To Top