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St. Peter's Fair (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #4)

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  4,181 ratings  ·  136 reviews
The great annual Fair of Saint Peter at Shrewsbury, a high point in the citys calendar, attracts merchants from far and wide to do business. But when an unseemly quarrel breaks out between the local burghers and the monks from the Benedictine monastery as to who shall benefit from the levies the fair provides, a riot ensues. Afterwards a merchant is found dead, and Brother ...more
MP3 CD, 1 page
Published December 1st 2010 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published 1981)
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Chrissie
Everybody knows about this fabulous writer of historical cozy mysteries, murders and crimes, so what can I add? Just that, don't read the first of the Brother Cadfael series and think, that isn't SO impressive, and stop there! This was better than A Morbid Taste for Bones, the very first in the series. I am no fan of mysteries, be they cozy or not, but the characters in this series draw you in. You cannot help but enjoy learning a spot of history among these good-souled people. Being in their co ...more
Stephen
Another great installment in the Cadfael series. I'm really enjoying these mysteries and the time I get to spend enjoying England of that era (without the aromas).

This book like the earlier ones is richer, more complex and more enjoyable than the television series that was based on them. This is particularly the case in this story as the screenwriter took considerable liberties with the original story, mostly for the worse.

In the book Cadfael and Berringer are fast friends, Brother Mark is her
...more
Ron
A good story, well told. Mystery got this one pretty close to right.

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 in a wondrous tapestry.
Hannah
Was wavering between a 3 and 3.5 stars, but the last 3 chapters bumped it to 4 stars. Awesome ending!

I am very taken with Peters' command of characterization. Also love the simple homilies Cadfael imparts.

Just an all around pleasure to read these short(ish) whodunnits.

Sarai
From Amazon.com customer reviewer Beverley Strong:
St.Peter's fair is held annually on the section of land outside the monastery walls in Shrewsbury, but involves the monastery itself, with its guesthouses filled with the gentry and travelling merchants. When the body of wealthy merchant, Thomas of Bristol is discovered, stabbed, stripped and robbed, his niece Emma who was accompanying him, is put into the care of Aline, the wife of the deputy sheriff, Hugh Berengar. Brother Cadfael becomes the g
...more
Cecily Felber
Nov 11, 2010 Cecily Felber rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
In this fourth Brother Cadfael story we find ourselves amid the color and chaos of a medieval fair that--no surprise!--has a dark underbelly of criminals and spies at work, so that there's no rest for Sheriff's Officer Hugh Beringar or Cadfael.

Brother Cadfael (pronounced Cad-file) has definitely entered the ranks of great fiction detectives alongside Sherlock Holmes and Lord Peter Wimsey. But these stories are more than just murder mysteries in medieval drag. Ellis Peters actually lived in Shrew
...more
Joyce Lagow
The end of July of 1139 finds the Abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul at Shrewsbury readying for the annual 3-day summer fair, which will bring to its environs traders from all over England and even the continent, and buyers eager to sample the luxury goods they sell. There is a lull in the civil war between King Stephen and the Empress Maude, with the latter in France.[return][return]Enter an important merchant, Thomas of Bristol with his lovely daughter, Emma. Thomas almost immediately becomes inv ...more
Valerie
Peters experimented with several ways of sectioning up books. This volume is divided up by days. It starts on the day before St Peter's Fair: July 31, 1139. Then there are segments for each day of the fair, and a final section entitled 'After The Fair'.

The 'prequel' section has mostly to do with adjustments, variably successful. The new Abbot, Radulfus, is feeling his way with the abbey and the townsfolk, and they with him. He's understandably worried that any concession he makes (however necess
...more
Tara
Mistakenly read this one slightly out of order, but I don't think it really matters (though I think the books are generally set in a chronology, there's nothing at least here that might have "spoiled" me for book three).

I hadn't realized before I started this series just how "sunny" these books would prove to be, but I'm consistently surprised by just how happy this series' inevitable happy endings tend to be. The bad guys are foiled, the good guys get justice, young love is requited, unsolvable
...more
Stephanie
St. Peter’s Fair is the fourth book in the popular Medieval mystery series featuring Benedictine Monk Brother Cadfael. As a child, my father was a huge fan of these books and the TV series based on the books starring Derek Jacobi as Brother Cadfael. In fact I remember (vaguely) visiting the town of Shrewsbury, where the books are set, on one of our trips to England because of his interest in the series. I sadly remember very little of Shrewsbury but I do have fond memories of the TV series and i ...more
Jillian
Self-advancement, greed and opportunism are pitted against innocence, loyalty and decency in the context of competing claims to the throne. Once again, the author demonstrates her skill in combining historical knowledge with understanding of human motivation to create a convincing and engrossing story.
H. M. Snow
St Peter's Fair is one of the earlier books in Ellis Peters' Cadfael mysteries. I have enjoyed every one of her books that I have read to date. I'll admit that the mystery was rather obvious; I guessed the villain before I had read a fourth of the book. But in these cases, the mystery aspect of the story is mainly an excuse to linger in the medieval world that Peters creates. The characters are engaging, as usual -- and this is one of the few Cadfael novels to focus strongly on a clever female p ...more
Nikki
Another lovely historical mystery, blending the two nicely, and bringing in political and religious concerns, with a light touch. I can't understand the handful of reviews I've read that think the Brother Cadfael books are too heavy, the prose too dense. It's nice light reading, as far as I'm concerned. But then, I read actual medieval texts for fun, so a modern historical novel is unlikely to faze me...

The thing that bothers me, slightly, four books in, is that every book pairs up the female ch
...more
Dagny
St. Peter's Fair, the Fourth Chronicle of Brother Cadfael of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul of Shrewsbury is set in the summer of 1139. Merchants come from all parts of England to the annual St. Peter's Fair. Even the civil war has momentarily halted. But the festivities are not destined to go unmarred, for the body of a wealthy merchant has been found in the river. Theft seemed to be the motive until the dead man's valuables were found nearby.
Daniel
I'm only through the first five of the Brother Cadfael novels, this being the fourth, but it was the one I enjoyed the most so far. Although thus far avoiding being utterly formulaic, there isn't too deep a 'mystery' in this novel as much as a story of crime with lovely prose that is fun to read. The characters are more believable and deep than in previous entries, including a strong female character that still manages not to run counter to the historical setting.
Tess
Lovely. No mystery (pun intended) why Brother Cadfael by Ellis Peters is a classic and award-winning collection. These are murder mysteries with history and not too much gore.

I'm happy to have discovered another "old" series and I'm looking forward to reading more. I only wish my online library had books 1-3 in their collection.
Chris
Medieval crime fiction. No real twists or shocks, but the point of Brother Cadfael stories is to take the idea of a monk in the 14th Century and write a decent detective knowledge. It's comfort reading, with a nice tale that goes along at a steady pace, with plenty of period details (or so I imagine, not being an expert of medieval Benedictine monasteries) and believable characters who react in ways you can understand.

In this one, the Abbey's yearly money spinning trade fair is beset by murder (
...more
Sally
The latest book in my Ellis Peters binge - I liked this one a lot. The plot was a bit more substantial than in some of the other books. I do find it hard to review mystery novels as it's hard not to give away the plot!
Alethea
It was wonderful going back to the world of Cadfael once again. This book was thoroughly enjoyable, though I didn't find myself as immersed in the world as I did the first three – perhaps as I was loaded with assignments hence stress. Either way, Peters managed to conjure 12th Century Shrewsbury vividly and weave a masterful tale with a wry touch of humour. The politics of the time are interwoven perfectly, whether those between the clashing royal cousins or between (in this case fictional indiv ...more
Vasco Ribeiro
Mais um enigma desvendado por irmão cadfael.
A feira anual de S. Pedro começa com uma divergência entre a cidade e os seus mercadores (que querem uma comparticipação dos lucros da feira para reconstruir a cidade das mazelas da guerra) e abadia que quer manter o privilégio de todos os impostos serem para si. Há uma espécie de rixa e os envolvidos, um jovem da cidade e um mercador, o primeiro desaparece e o segundo morre nessa noite, assassinado; há depois outros mortos e afinal tudo é uma espécie
...more
Hermioneginny
Quarta indagine di fratello Cadfael (anche se è stata pubblicata come quinta).
Fuori dall'abbazia si sta svolgendo la fiera si San Pietro, tre giorni in cui le strade di Shrewsbury si riempiono di mercanti e merci rare. Quando il mastro vinaio viene ritrovato morto, i sospetti ricadono sul figlio del mastro ciabattino, ma la realtà è molto più complessa, l'omicidio ha una connotazione politica e forse anche fratello Cadfael non riuscirà a fermare il male...

Molto avvincente!

* Erano persone oneste,
...more
Fabien
Revoici Cadfael, pris dans une quatrième aventure avec, cette fois-ci, la bénédiction du prieure. Il faut dire que le prieuré se doit de faire la lumière sur un meurtre qui pourrait ternir son image car c'est au cours de la foire annuelle de l'institution qu'eut lieu l'incident. C'est donc au milieu des marchands que le moine enquêteur devra suivre l’écheveau du mystère.

C'est un vrai plaisir de ce retrouver propulsé au milieu d'une foire médiévale et d'observer tout le tumultes de ces quelques j
...more
Kathryn
1st Recorded Reading: February 26, 2001
2nd Recorded Reading: August 2002

We come to the Fourth Chronicle of Brother Cadfael, in which he once again is called upon to solve murders and to let the course of true love run smooth. One does not have to read these wonderful little medieval mysteries in order, or to have read the previous ones first, as each one pretty well stands alone; but it’s fun to see how continuing characters grow and develop as time moves on. And I had fun reading this one, a ch
...more
Robin
I don't normally read mysteries, but the idea of this series is just too enticing: medieval murder mysteries with an awesome monk main character. I just love that!

This particular book was good and kept me guessing for quite a while. The writing is lovely, though perhaps simple at times. The characters are fully realized and interesting. The plot is the main driver, of course, and kept me up til 2 am so that I could finish :-)

All in all, a fun summer read.
Andrea Hickman Walker
Saint Peter's Fair is the fourth book of the Cadfael Chronicles, set in Shrewsbury during the Nineteen Year Winter in the 12th century. The book is split into five sections, which is rare in these books, the eve of the fair, the first, second and third days of the fair and after the fair. Events focus on young Emma, a wealthy merchant's niece, come to the fair from Bristol. Another focus of the novel is the unrest from the town, as it had recently been attacked by King Stephen, after declaring f ...more
Sue
St. Peter's Fair is an annual three-day event which draws great crowds to the Abbey to spend money on fine food and goods and a time to celebrate. Except for the fact that a wealthy merchant with a booth at the fair is found dead in the river. Cadfael can tell that the man didn't drown, but was murdered and the body then dumped in the river. Over the three days of the fair more violence occurs, but all of it pertaining to this one particular merchant's stall and helpers. It takes work from Cadf ...more
Lindsey Duncan
The distinct style of Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael novels may, on occasion, approach formula, but it's a formula that appeals to all my sensibilities and keeps me reading with a sense of pleasure. These are some of the few books where I simply can't care about any objective flaws. I love the immersive (albiet slightly ponderous) style of the prose, the rich historical detail, the female characters who are clever, subtle, strong-minded - and perfectly period - and Peters' frequent affirmation of ...more
Abby Tamkin
Good one. I was suspicious of the culprit throughout the book, but didn't know how or why until about when the book characters did.
This one was much longer than #3, which made it more enjoyable. We can actually find out who the characters are.
I really like how the characters build - we get to see a lot of Hugh and Ailene in this one.
Tracy
A pleasure to step into 12th Century Shrewsbury with the life so well depicted that I am left with such clear images of the abbey and town and the characters both large and small - a gift from a good author. I certainly appreciate the strong women Ellis Peters places in her stories.
mstan
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Goodreads Librari...: Wrong Page Number 2 15 Jul 07, 2014 06:38PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Isbn is taken by an existing book 3 166 Jun 08, 2013 08:49AM  
Great but obscure words in this book. 4 30 May 19, 2012 08:02AM  
  • The Servant's Tale (Sister Frevisse, #2)
  • The Lady Chapel (Owen Archer, #2)
  • The Subtle Serpent (Sister Fidelma, #4)
  • A Bone of Contention (Matthew Bartholomew, #3)
  • Historical Whodunits
  • The Devil's Door (Catherine LeVendeur, #2)
  • The Prince of Darkness (Hugh Corbett, #5)
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...

Other Books in the Series

Chronicles of Brother Cadfael (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • The Pilgrim of Hate (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #10)
  • An Excellent Mystery (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #11)
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) The Virgin in the Ice (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #6)

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