Sunday, 20 March 2016

Monk's Hood - Ellis Peters

Monk's Hood by Ellis Peters
I loved the first two Cadfael books in the series, so I couldn't wait to read the third and ordered if from the library. Monk's hood didn't disappoint and I found all of the elements that I'd loved in the first two books were here too.

I'm not sure exactly what it is about Brother Cadfael that makes him so appealing, but I love his character. In this book, we learn a little more about his past and his life before becoming a monk. A family has just moved to the Abbey after signing their property over to the monks. Shortly after their arrival the husband of the family is poisoned, using a muscle rub that Cadfael has made with the plant Monk's Hood. 

Cadfael tries to discover who has committed the murder and why, particularly as he is implicated not only by having made the poison that was used, but also because he was betrothed to the man's widow in his youth, before he took holy orders.

Cadfael travels into Wales, to the property that the family were signing over to the Monks, (although, as this had not been finalised before the murder, it no longer legally stands). He meets with the prime suspect and becomes convinced that he cannot be responsible for the murder, but then who is to blame.

Yet again I fell in love with the setting and the characters that appeared in the book. We meet Hugh Berindgar again and learn much more of Cadfael and his life before taking holy orders. I didn't fully guess the murderer until near the end of the book, but as is often the case with well written mysteries, the ability to solve or not solve, seems somewhat less important than the enjoyment of the story.

I'm a little disappointed to discover that the library does not have the fourth book in the series, so I shall have to try and track it down elsewhere. It might be a little while until I can dip into the world of Cadfael again.