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The Rose Rent (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #13)

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  4,101 Ratings  ·  137 Reviews
Derek Jacobi reads this compelling whodunnit from the bestselling Brother Cadfael chronicles, now on CD for the first time.
Unknown Binding, 3 pages
Published December 1st 2006 by Not Avail (first published 1986)
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Girl with her Head in a Book
For my full review:

This book fulfills the ‘published in the year you were born’ obligation for my 2015 Reading Challenge – but really, I was long overdue for another Brother Cadfael mystery. I have mentioned before that I am easily scared and gore really does not interest me in the slightest. Increasingly, modern crime fiction seems to concentrate on progressively baroque incidents that really put the offensive into criminal offense, all of it solved usin
Apr 24, 2009 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2005, reread-books, 2010
1st Recorded Reading: February 11, 2005

One would think that Abbot Radulfus of the Abbey would have long since confined Brother Cadfael to his herbarium to keep him out of trouble; or, more accurately, to keep dead bodies from multiplying with alarming frequency. One wonders if anyone has written a parody of Brother Cadfael, in which he is insane (craftily so) and is actually the murderer of all the dead bodies that pop up near the Abbey. Having said all that, this Fourteenth Chronicle is good, a
This is the thirteenth book in the Brother Cadfael series. As such, it is much like the others in a general way. That is, the mystery isn't difficult to see through, so you'll probably have figured out "whodunit" before the solution is entirely revealed. On the other hand, the historical events are precise, the author makes a single historical detail the basis for a wonderfully imaginative tale in which the rich fabric of medieval life is beautifully unfolded. Then as always the prose is elegant ...more
Oct 11, 2015 Athena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: historical fiction, mystery readers
One of my favorites of the 20 Brother Cadfael* mystery books (The Cadfael Chronicles), this subtle tale revolves around finding the killer of a Brother of the Abbey, and solving an assault on a rosebush and a kidnapping. Unlike some of the books in the series Rose Rent has little to do with the Lordly political history surrounding 'The Anarchy' (civil war between King Stephen & the Empress Maud), instead focusing on the lives of the merchant & crafts classes of 12th Century Shrewsbury. J ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gabi Coatsworth
Jun 22, 2017 Gabi Coatsworth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this gentle mystery with its medieval setting and its emphasis on human nature rather than technology to solve the crime. It's another time and place, but people's motivations don't change much - love and money. Ellis Peters makes the characters believable because they don't act or speak like contemporary people. And yet they're living in parts of England you can still visit today. A nice escape from today, for a while.
Mar 23, 2017 Lance rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"Rather a sequence of events had set off each the following one, and called in motives and interests until then untouched, so that the affair had come about in a circle, and brought up the hapless souls involved in it where they never wanted to go."

During A Raven in the Forgate, Abbott Radulfus had to accept responsibility for his ditached scholarship in appointing a parish priest with great learning and very little compassion. Here, for his sins, he is much more attentive to the fragilities of
Jul 27, 2012 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, england, medieval
It is a few days before the 1142 festival of Saint Winifred's translation. It happens that is the same day when the Widow Perle is to be paid one white rose from her rose bush as rent for the property which she gave to the Abbey. The young brother whose job it has been to deliver the rose asks to be excused from this duty, and his request is granted. But the next day he is found dead at the base of the very rose bush that supplies the roses for the rent. Even more disturbing, the following day ...more
Mar 11, 2010 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical crime fiction fans.
I love Brother Cadfael and this is one of the better stories in the series.

It is Spring 1142. There is concern in Shrewsbury that the late spring will prevent the white rose bush in Niall the bronzesmith's garden from blooming. Judith Perle, a widow, leases the house to Cadfael's Abbey for the rent of a single white rose. If the bush fails to produce a bloom by St. Winifred's feast day, the contract is broken. The monk who has delivered the rose for the past three years is found murdered next to
As I was reading this, the thirteenth installment in the Cadfael series, I began to wonder if I'd sated my taste for medieval mystery. This one seemed to drag a bit. Then I realized that Cadfael plays a more minor role in this one and this one is more like a traditional mystery than the unique blend of "travelogue to the 12th century" and mystery that the other installments are.

I also noted that several other reviewers picked up on this as well with folks mentioning that it dragged in spots and
Sep 04, 2008 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Medieval life was hard, doubly so for a widow. And a rich widow had her own threats, some of them murderous.

Mystery did a decent job of their video of this story.

Cadfael series: excellent historical fiction. Ellis Peters draws the reader into the twelfth century with modern story telling but holds us there with a richness of detail which evokes a time and place which might as well be mythic. Though the foreground of each chronicle is a murder mystery, behind it a nation and a culture are woven
Cadfael is an always irresistible, if a mildly formulaic mystery series. This one packed a nice emotional punch at the end, despite a strangely wandering midsection dedicated to the landscape around the English town of we Shrewsbury, where it is set. But good entertainment, for sure!
May 12, 2017 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved the ending and enjoyed the fact that it involved two older and more mature characters than some of the other books. I suspected the villain's identity but I needed Cadfael to explain all the ins and outs of the events. My only complaint (and I have felt this about some of the other books in the series) is that I can't follow when the author goes into details about locations. I look at the map provided and can't figure it out which is very frustrating.
Nov 07, 2016 Marlene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's not often you find a deal like this one. Rent on a home is only one rose, paid yearly to the abbey. Even the most simple things can be bent and twisted by jealousy and desire and someone always gets hurt. I enjoyed this book. I wasn't sure who was the villain until nearly the end. An excellent read.
Mary Beth
Poignantly, the crimes in Rose are mostly panicked and opportunistic, not cold-blooded scheming, which makes for a messy but realistic-seeming mystery. An appearance from wise, worldly Sister Magdalen is always a treat, and the inevitable love story, all but obligatory in a Brother Cadfael mystery, is one of the more touching in the series.
Feb 21, 2017 Barb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
A medieval mystery of a widow who give the Abby a house with the annual payment of a white rose from the bush on the grounds. There are many suitors desiring her weaving business and some will not stop at murder.
Also a PBS series, if you want to view after reading.
Feb 13, 2017 Denise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've only read two of these, so maybe it's just a coincidence that there are so many plot points in common, but the setting is intriguing to English major me. I should really look for the first one and get some of Brother Cadfael's backstory.
Terry Southard
Decent Cadfael, which in my book means an enjoyable read.
May 26, 2017 Sienna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
O the happy ending! Terrible things will happen, families torn apart, but always Peters gives a true love ending.
The question of the position of women in 12-century England is often central to this series. Not surprising, perhaps, given that the author is a woman. Another thing that is important in the series is the date of St Winifred's 'translation' (the date when she was supposedly (but we know better, don't we?) taken to the abbey), June 22.

The position of widows in the society is particularly important in this book. The Vestier household is largely a household of widows. The head of the household, Jud
Nathan Albright
Nov 07, 2016 Nathan Albright rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The thirteenth novel in the Brother Cadfael series, which I am reading a bit out of order right now by mistake [1], this novel is one that strikes rather close to me in several ways, as has been the case with several of these excellent mysteries. The setup of the novel’s plot is as follows: a young widow distraught over being left without her handsome husband and a miscarried child gives a bequest to the local abbey for free use of a house (which is let to an honorable and decent widower with a ...more
Mar 09, 2017 May rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoy this series. I have not read them in order, but I don't think that has diminished my pleasure in any measurable way. I look forward to finding another one soon!!
Michael Brunson
Feb 20, 2017 Michael Brunson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Five stars only because there are no more

The brother Cadfael books have never left me disappointed. Ellis Peters (a pen name) writes the stories as if she had known the Good Brother himself. Also, she brings the lives of the ordinary person living through the vagaries of "The Chaos."
Mark Wilson
Feb 12, 2017 Mark Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this series!

A wealthy widow is due the "rent" of a single white rose each year for the house she has presented to the abbey - but there are people who do not want the rent paid! Death stalks the medieval town, and Brother Cadfael uses his knowledge of men and the world in a desperate attempt to save the widow and solve the crimes. The evocation of the medieval world is, as always in this series, apparently effortless, and fully convincing.
Jan 21, 2009 D.w. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
This book has a different pacing then the last several in the series. There is still a build-up to the first murder and the mystery, but in this instance we are focused on the mystery. There is detail about the part of medieval life that surrounds and embraces those involved in the mystery and that background breathes life into these stories. But in this instance the politics of the King and Empress is lacking, but not sadly so.

That the tug of war of the Civil War that was occurring and featured
Apr 21, 2012 Judy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The 13th book in the Brother Cadfael series. In 1142, spring is very late in arriving and there is concern in the town of Shrewsbury for the crops. There is also concern that the late spring will prevent the white rose bush in the garden of the house that Niall, the bronzesmith, rents from blooming by the feast day of St. Winifred Judith Perle, a widow whose husband and unborn child died within 20 days of each other, leases the house to the Abbey and asks only a single white rose each year as re ...more
Brother Cadfael solves another mystery. The story begins with an interesting, wealthy widow who lost her husband. She lives alone with no intent to marry again. In memory of the husband Judith Perle gives a small cottage to the monks. All she asks is that a white rose be delivered to her once a year. However, the young monk who has been delivering the rose asks to be released from this task because he has fallen in love with the gentle widow. Then he is found murdered and the rose bush badly dam ...more
Question: is there a Cadfael mystery that doesn’t have a love story in it somewhere, if only in the background?

In this particular case, the love story is slightly more central to the plot than in other Cadfael novels. And of course it all works out very neatly, with (view spoiler) conveniently (view spoiler), but since this results in good things happening to go
Dharia Scarab
I couldn't make it through this book, the plot was obvious and the shifting points of view painful. I skipped to the end, which played out exactly as expected.

I already have the finally book in the series, so I'll give it one more try.

Since I don't normally write reviews unless I have something specific to say, here's the break down of how I rate my books...

1 star... This book was bad, so bad I may have given up and skipped to the end. I will avoid this author like the plague in the future.

2 sta
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A pseudonym used by Edith Pargeter.

Edith Mary Pargeter, OBE, BEM was a prolific author of works in many categories, especially history and historical fiction, and was also honoured for her translations of Czech classics; she is probably best known for her murder mysteries, both historical and modern. Born in the village of Horsehay (Shropshire, England), she had Welsh ancestry, and many of her sho
More about Ellis Peters...

Other Books in the Series

Chronicles of Brother Cadfael (1 - 10 of 21 books)
  • A Rare Benedictine (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, prequel stories 0.1-0.3)
  • A Morbid Taste for Bones (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #1)
  • One Corpse Too Many (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #2)
  • Monk's Hood (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #3)
  • St. Peter's Fair (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #4)
  • The Leper of Saint Giles (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #5)
  • The Virgin in the Ice (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #6)
  • The Sanctuary Sparrow (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #7)
  • The Devil's Novice (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #8)
  • Dead Man's Ransom (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #9)

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