Wednesday, 10 February 2016

One Corpse Too Many - Ellis Peters

One Corpse Too Many - Ellis Peters
I told you that I wouldn't be able to resist starting the next Cadfael novel before too long. I had to reserve One Corpse Too Many by Ellis Peters and have a read. As I think I mentioned before, this is the book that many people suggest you start with. Unlike the first book, the story takes place in Shrewsbury and we are introduced to a number of characters which I think appear in later novels.

The story is set around the siege of Shrewsbury by the King, Stephen, while the leaders of that town were supporters of the Empress Matilda (also known as Maud), who had a rival claim to the throne. The town soon falls and after many men are executed (which isn't dealt with in any graphic way) Cadfael is sent to tend to the bodies of the men and arrange Christian burials for them. Among the bodies, is the body of a man who clearly was not one of the executed soldiers, and is one corpse more than should have been there.

Cadfael sets out to discover the identity of the body and find out what happened. But this is not all that is going on. He finds himself with a boy to help him with his herbs and garden, but this 'boy' is in fact no boy at all, rather a girl in hiding, something which Cadfael quickly spots. Not only must he keep her safe from the Kings men in the area, he must also hide her from the man she was previously betrothed to, Hugh Beringar.

As the story progresses Cadfael admires Hugh Beringar's cunning and skill and although he is not at all sure of his motives or if he is at all trust worthy, he certainly appreciates him as an adversary.

Again the story was entertaining to follow and although I did wonder as to the idea of the killer before the end, they were only one in a cast of many that I suspected before the final review. I think that I'll be reading another one in the not too distant future, I think that the Cadfael books are a series that I'll be following this year.