One Corpse Too Many (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #2)
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One Corpse Too Many (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #2)

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  5,410 ratings  ·  220 reviews
In the summer of 1138, war between King Stephen and the Empress Maud takes Brother Cadfael from the quiet world of his garden into a battlefield of passions, deceptions, and death.

Not far from the safety of the abbey walls, Shrewsbury Castle falls, leaving its ninety-four defenders, loyal to the Empress, to hang as traitors. With a heavy heart, Brother Cadfael agrees to bu...more
Hardcover, 186 pages
Published 1996 by Book-of-the-Month-Club, Inc. (first published 1979)
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Chrissie
This was wonderful. I was thinking all through it that I would be giving it four stars because I really have to save the very best books for five star class winners, but then came the end which I adored. So yep, another five star book. This is as good as The Leper of Saint Giles, and that I gave five stars. With that one I was shocked that I could love a book of a mystery series. It astounded me. Now I am beginning to expect Ellis Peters to perform as one of the best of the best, and she pulled...more
Laura
Jun 23, 2013 Laura rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Chrissie & Gundula
It's so refreshing to read a mystery series with no gore or bad language that is mixed with a cast of characters I'd like to know in real life. They're wise, honorable people. The central character is a monk, but don't let that put you off. He becomes a real person with flaws, not some pie-in-the-sky paragon of perfection. This book gives a black-and-white movie feeling, for which I'm very grateful. It's a good, comfort read. If you're afraid the historical aspect and time period will go right o...more
LJ
First Sentence: Brother Cadfael was working in the small kitchen garden by the abbot’s fishponds when the boy was first brought to him.

There is civil war in England as King Stephen and Empress Maud fight for the throne. A young man, who is not, has been brought to the abbey and placed in Cadfael’s care. Shrewsbury Castle falls to the forces of Stephen leaving 94 men to the hangman. Brother Cadfael, having been a soldier in the first crusade and seeing much worse, offers to care for and bury the...more
Ron
First story in the Main Sequence of Cadfael stories. Suggest you read "A Morbid taste for Bones" or "A Rare Benedictine" first, but you'll not be disappointed if you start here.

History, in the personage of King Stephen of England comes crashing into twelfth century Shrewsbury and Brother Cadfael's life will never be the same. But wait, there's one too many bodies. How do we know and what does it mean? And is Hugh Beringer a friend or foe? Got to read it to find out. Enjoy.

Cadfael series: excelle...more
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
I've read this before but have no memory of the plot, so I thought I'd read it again.

Later: This is, in a way, a medieval "spy vs. spy" story, and to my mind the best in the Brother Cadfael series.

I think I'd start a reader new to the Cadfael series here, actually.
Cecily Felber
Nov 11, 2010 Cecily Felber rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Everyone
This second Brother Cadfael story is set against the backdrop of the siege of Shrewsbury Castle in 1138 during a nineteen-year conflict between two royal cousins, Stephen and Maud, for the throne of England. Cadfael tries to do the right thing amid the conflicting loyalties of the time--and find out who used the executions ordered by the King as cover for their crime. This story also introduces the enduring character of Hugh Beringar, who will enable Cadfael's participation in many future invest...more
Luann
If I didn't know after reading the first Brother Cadfael, A Morbid Taste for Bones, that I wanted to read ALL of the Brother Cadfael books, I definitely know it now after reading book two! Brother Cadfael is such a smart, interesting, capable, and overall cool character! He is exactly what I look for in a mystery protagonist. And, as in book one, I loved the cast of characters surrounding Brother Cadfael as well.

Ellis Peters does a wonderful job of building the medieval world her characters liv...more
Valerie
Most books in this series start with a year and season. This one starts in late summer of 1138. Frankly, I've learned more about the Civil War between King Stephen and the Empress Maud from these books than from almost any other source. But there are bits that aren't explained. For example, it's never explained how Henry II's sons were drowned. It would be helpful if notes or glossaries were provided, along with the maps.

I should say that many of the names are taken from the Domesday Book, or so...more
Megan Larson
Oct 04, 2009 Megan Larson rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: People who like to read. :)
Recommended to Megan by: Karen Hull
Reading this book was my rebellious way of escaping from my middle ages "reading list" without wholly leaving the middle ages, and I am heartily glad for it. It really was excellent--the only complaint I had was that it was a little hard to get into, because it was so historically dense and unassuming in tone--it didn't exactly start with a "bang"--and the font was miniscule! Perhaps I was expecting this book to be as undemanding to read as many mystery novels are--even by great authors like Aga...more
Sarai
Shrewsbury Castle falls under siege during the battle between King Stephen and Empress Maud, and when Cadfael comes to help take care of the bodies he discovers one corpse too many among the dead and sets about to find the murderer. Along the way, he crosses paths with the mysterious Hugh Beringer, a man his equal in wit - but is Hugh the villain he seeks?

This is the second in the Cadfael series, which I came across after catching part of an episode on PBS, starring Sir Derek Jacobi. I was intri...more
Tara
Second book in the series, and yet another one that I remembered fairly well from the TV episode based on it. Actually, aside from giving us the marvelous Sean Pertwee as Hugh Beringar (and who will always be my personal image of Hugh, for all that the show replaced him at least twice with actors that weren't nearly as successful at capturing the sharp-witted sheriff), I wasn't terribly thrilled with this episode. It seemed to throw us too much into the middle of things, without enough time actu...more
Gale
SOLDIER, SAILOR, CRUSADER--AND NOW MONK!

This is one story which I had seen on PBS, which inspired me to read the original. What a treasure lay waiting in my bookcase!
I found that all Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael books are "Excellent Mysteries", even if I occasionally question her private brand of clerical or secular justice. But the literary gems of extreme value are those five novels which enhance our understanding of the protagonist's character. An additional bonus to the delectable mysterie...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I got this out of the library and when I started it...I realized I'd read it some time ago (I suppose that doesn't speak too well for it as I had to start it to remember, but then I'm not a mystery fan).

The Brother Cadfael books/mysteries are all reliably good reads (though at times a bit depressing). Ms. Peters (Edith Mary Pargeter) is not afraid to include a downer element to a story but she weaves a tale that will draw you in. The stories can move just a bit slowly at times but they tend to h...more
Cris
After finishing One Corpse Too Many I'm impressed by how well they captured the book in the television adaptation starring Derek Jacobi. If you've seen and enjoyed the adaptation, you'll enjoy the original book by Peters.

I didn't realize this was the second in the series until I added this title to my Goodreads page. Readers can join this series here at One Corpse Too Many and not suffer for neglecting the first book.

I liked the mixture of history and action. Peters evokes the time and place wi...more
Nikki
I love that -- so far at least -- these books aren't just historical fiction with a touch of mystery, or mystery with a touch of historical fiction, but solidly grounded in both. The political situation is inextricably linked with the mystery, too, even though the mystery is not vitally important to the political situation. It's lovely.

The characters are fun, too. Cadfael, of course, is clever and good, but I rather liked the background characters, particularly Hugh and Aline. The ending made me...more
Ellie
Wonderful series: and full of lots of interesting tidbits of information for anyone (like me) entranced by medieviality (I know that's not a word-well, it is now,I guess). I read the series with a close friend and we had a great time with it. Reading alone/together is a great way for busy adults to spend time together! I'll admit she enjoyed the prose more than I did; I had a little trouble with flow (or lack thereof) but I adored Brother Cadfael, the monks, the garden, and the murders.

Strongly...more
Scott
I don't really read mysteries but I enjoy the medieval setting and the personality of Brother Caedfel. I'm sure the pace of the story is quite a bit slower than today's mysteries and even though the story line was contrived, it was quite plausible and enjoyable. This was NOT an inexplicable shocking ending based on nothing but the author's desire to trick the reader. I'll be digging up other volumes in the Brother Caedfel series.
Dagny
Summer of 1138. In One Corpse Too Many, the Second Chronicle of Brother Cadfael of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul of Shrewsbury, the war between King Stephen and Empress Maude is raging in the vicinity of the Abbey. Brother Cadfael relucently agrees to bury ninty-four of the Empress' loyal defenders who were hanged as traitors to the crown. But Cadfael discovers an extra victim--one who was strangled.
Jeff
One Corpse Too Many is the second Brother Cadful book I’ve read. The Brother Cadful series has a lot going for it: a unique “investigator”, the medieval time setting, a close attention to period detail. The minuses include: cardboard characters, stale dialogue, and a somewhat stilted writing style. That said, I’d recommend the book for mystery/historical fiction lovers, who want something different.
Elizabeth White
I love the Brother Cadfael mysteries. I've read them all, but doing a go around. Funny, I didn't remember anything about this one - maybe I missed it the first time. I think this one might even rate 5 stars.
Laura
From BBC radio 4 Extra:
With England at civil war in 1138, the medieval monk has a murder on his hands. Ellis Peters' mystery stars Glyn Houston.
Sandra
I like this narrator better, but she took some getting used to. Anyway, it's love and murder in Medieval England, with Brother Cadfael, our lovable monk.
Katie
2010 review: As I continue to read further Brother Cadfael mysteries, this one remains my favorite and the one that hooked me. The premise of the mystery is clever and unique, and the story contains several twists and turns. Hugh Beringar is an ambiguous foe, and I really enjoyed that.

December 2011 review: This volume sets the timeline for the Brother Cadfael series, taking place during King Stephen's siege of Shrewsbury in the summer of 1138. (view spoiler)...more
Kelanth, numquam risit ubi dracones vivunt
Secondo libro della saga, mi sembra siano venti i libri che la completano, con protagonista fratello Cafael, monaco, ex crociato ed investigatore a tempo perso, personaggio semplice, simpatico, che risulta un stereotipo ormai abusato (ma la Peters scrisse questo libro negli anni ottanta) ma riesce comunque a conquistare le simpatie dei lettori.

Questa saga, così longeva e apprezzata dal pubblico, che viene continuamente ristampata è un classico dei gialli medioevali, ricordiamo anche che è stata...more
Stephen
This is the first Cadfael novel to include Hugh Barringer and the formation of the friendship interwoven with everything else makes it one of my favorites.

As always the television adaptation was first rate and they did a great job of simplifying the book's plot down to something that could be presented in an hour and still retain the feel and spirit of the original. My one complaint with the adaptation is the way that they presented King Stephen. In the book he's a much more balanced and believ...more
Graham
Murder by war: It's the time when King Stephen of England is battling for control of the country against his cousin ,rightful and legal heiress, the Empress Maud. Stephen's forces have laid seige to Shrewsbury castle and ,after defeating the occupants,have obeyed his orders to show no mercy and to hang the remaining 94 soldiers from the wall. Brother Cadfael from the nearby abbey, is allotted the sorry task of preparing the bodies for burial and counts 95 bodies..one too many. He is aided in thi...more
Kathryn
1sr recorded reading: August 2002

I have now read the second of about sixteen Brother Cadfael mysteries; and I am just about to the point where I can spell “Cadfael” correctly more often than not. This present book was a little different, in that it is based in good part on real events, but we still have a murder and young love in danger for Brother Cadfael to sort out. (It may be a little different in that it was actually the first book in the series to be written, but the second book to be publ...more
Melissa Rudder
I rarely read mysteries. I don't know why that is, because Ellis Peters' One Corpse Too Many was a delight to read. It made the actual reading process exhilarating, as I raced with our hero, Brother Cadfael, and a few friends (who will remain unnamed to protect their identities), to figure out who added a strangled corpse to be buried with the hanged corpses of ninety-four supposed "traitors".

The story's plot, with its careful splattering of clues and artful interweaving of story lines, was One...more
Joyce Lagow
England has suffered through more than one civil war. This entry in the Brother Cadfael series takes place in 1138, when the 2 year old fighting between King Stephen and the Empress Maud has spilled over into the vicinity of Shrewbury. Shrewsbury Castle is held by adherents of Maud. In a final assault, Stephen's troops take the castle along with 94 of its defenders. Two of the three main leaders of the defence, FitzAlan and Adeney, have escaped; the third is hanged along with the 93 other captiv...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Page number correction: ISBN 9780751543728 2 17 Mar 24, 2014 04:31PM  
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4046
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) 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) An Excellent Mystery (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #11)

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