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The Rose Rent (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #13)

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  2,792 ratings  ·  76 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 14th 2006 by Not Avail (first published 1986)
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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
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
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...more
Feb 23, 2013 Ed rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
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...more
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...more
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!
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...more
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...more
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
What made this book five stars instead of four was the intricate mystery plot and the character of Judith Perle.

The mystery is complex - multiple murders, multiple motives, multiple perpetrators working almost in parallel - and the author handles it all with skill. The reader is privy to only a facet of the intrigue, otherwise we're following along with Cadfael and Hugh as they piece it all together. And any time Hugh is involved I'm a happy girl. Add Sister Magdalen and it approaches perfection...more
A.r. Donenfeld-vernoux
This is part of the Brother Cadfael series that I've loved for years. The stories are a bit cookie-cutter. However I am so interested by the accurate historical detail, the character of Cadfael, who never ceases to amaze, and the setting, that the bones of the story is less important. It's a fun read and a trip back in time.
Re-reading (again) this wonderful Brother Cadfael mystery. I discovered Ellis Peters too late to get many firsts. So if anyone out there has some first additions, I am interested. Ellis Peters details in these books will blow you away. I love all her books and there's not many I haven't read now.

So it's the morning after finishing the Rose Rent. And every time I read this book, I think it's one of my favorites. There's not alot of background political movement in this chronicle, unlike most of t...more
I love all of the Brother Cadfael mysteries, and this one did not disappoint. They're light, fast reads that somehow manage to convey so much about the time and place and make me just want to give Brother Cadfael a big hug.
This book has a slightly different feel to it than previous books in the series. I think this has something to do with how the events are less centred around Cadfael, and the heroine of the story proves to be one of the strongest characters. And the romance is much more subtle.
This is the kind of book that I rely on during marking season to take me away from the associated head work, that is to say praise be to the genre novel. The Cadfael series is engaging, relaxing, and with just enough of a good crime novel’s twists to remain interesting. All in all, this has an excellent balance, this time involving family tensions, romance (futile, unrequited and requited), death (intentional and unintentional), and vandalism of a rose bush. Just right for marking, travel and ot...more
Georgia Lengyel
Very good story. I really enjoy the way Peters describes the people and Shrewsbury and the surrounding area.
Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael series - set around 1000/1100, a Welsh man who had been with the Crusades, soldier/sailor, loved women etc settles down to retirement as a Benedictine monk, working as an apothecary within the abbey and the community, and assisting the sheriff with mysteries. He's a really wholesome character who understands people and life, not at all narrow and irritating. There is also a series of movies made based on these books with Derek Jacobi playing Brother Cadfael
A single rose is the rent for a valuable property, rented out to the monks of Shrewsbury by a young wealthy widow. Rose bush massacres, mistaken identity, kidnapping and romance all feature in this Brother Cadfael mystery - and for once, the culprit was a surprise - considered but dismissed! This was a bit more straightforward than some of the previous mysteries, but also at the same time, a little less predictable. Thoroughly enjoyable!
Sandra Strange
These suspenseful stories include pinches of romance, devotion, and humor, as well as truly unique characters. The mysteries use as background superb portrayals of 12th Century England. The author is a noted Medieval scholar. Positive. Caution: the series is aimed at adults, not adolescents. Many themes of these mystery novels are ADULT themes, including rape, abuse of various sorts, etc. They are all positive, ultimately.
I still love Brother Cadfael and company, but this book wasn't my favorite. I love Patrick Tull as a reader, but missed the other reader on this book. Generally I like the comfortable formula of the books, but it seemed a little stale this time. I still enjoy the characters and the lilting, peaceful style of Ellis Peters, however, and don't count it as time wasted.
This book was a bit different from the others in the series. There was a lot of misdirection, which prolonged the mystery, and the love story was nearly nonexistent. The culprit was still the one with the most to gain, but the author had some substantial red herrings and plot twists this time that obscured the guilty until near the end. Overall, an enjoyable read.
I LOVE this series. Agatha Christi enthusiasts would adore Brother Cadfael. I love the historical and cultural references that are little known outside the British Isles, if not outside Wales, or their issue elsewhere in the world. I listened to this on Audible, narrated by Patrick Tull, who had a very credible accent and mastery of the King's English of the day.
Three stars for a mystery that was...meh. The redeeming factor was the obvious research that went in to writing this book. Three stars for historical trivia as satisfying as steak and potatoes.

I grabbed this book off the free shelf at the library. I don't think I'd purposefully hunt down the rest of the series, but if another comes my way, I'll read it gladly.
Ryan Patrick
I had to remind myself that this was a murder mystery in order to fully accept the author's presentation of the plot, and after looking back at a couple of key scenes to make sure she hadn't contradicted herself. I fear that these stories are getting a little stagnant/repetitive, but this was still a fine read.
Mike (the Paladin)
I'm not generally a fan of romance or of (somewhat) sad stories. This I suppose is the exception that proves the rule. I like the Cadfael mysteries and this is one of my favorites. The lovely widow who rents property to the abbey for a rent of one white rose a year.

As I said possibly my favorite of the series.
'The Rose Rent' has a better plot than some of the previous stories in the "Brother Cadfael" series. This time, the mystery/crime was doubly victim-filled and a bit more detection was required to solve. There is more romance in it for my tastes, but, it added a nice touch overall to the story. 4 out of 5
Another nicely written book in the Cadfael series by Ellis Peters. Sister Magdalen puts in a cameo experience; red herrings are drawn across the trail, and true love blossoms along with the white rose. The twists and turns of the plot are interesting. I found the book to be quite enjoyable.
M Christopher
Possibly my favorite of the Cadfael Chronicles (at least so far). Beautifully constructed -- I'd both seen the adaptation and read this book before and didn't remember the denouement until quite late. And I dare you to read the whole thing and not tear up a little at the end! :-)
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A pseudonym used by Edith Pargeter.

Edith Mary Pargeter, OBE, BEM (September 28, 1913 in Horsehay, Shropshire, England –October 14, 1995) 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 Hor...more
More about Ellis Peters...
A Morbid Taste for Bones (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #1) One Corpse Too Many (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #2) The Leper of Saint Giles (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #5) Monk's Hood (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #3) St. Peter's Fair (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #4)

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