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

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,939 Ratings  ·  165 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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Jan 17, 2013 Chrissie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chrissie by: Gundula
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
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
Sep 15, 2008 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 17, 2014 Hannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, 2014-reads
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.

Feb 23, 2010 Sarai rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, historical
From 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
Cecily Felber
Nov 11, 2010 Cecily Felber rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Joyce Lagow
Apr 20, 2010 Joyce Lagow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
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
Jul 07, 2013 Tara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Oct 11, 2014 Jillian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 01, 2012 H. M. Snow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jun 28, 2015 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 20, 2012 Dagny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 14, 2013 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, mystery
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.
Nov 08, 2015 Lauri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kuidagi hakkab läbi lööma kerge ebausutavus. Ses mõttes et tegelased on varajase keskaja kohta kuidagi liiga moodsad, liiga nunnud ja käituvad veidi liiga moodsalt. Õhkõrn naisteka moment hakkab tulema, noh et pahad on ikka ilgeltpahad ja head on ikka nii nunnud ja kui armastus siis ikka selline sajandi armastuslugu. Samuti on lõpp liiga suhkrune, plusspunkte oleks saanud näiteks selline asi mida juba peaaegu lubas, et too tšikk oleks koos pahalasega majja sisse põlenud. Aga ei, saabus prints va ...more
Elis Madison
It all begins with a dispute between the abbey and the people of nearby Shrewsbury, about the proceeds from St. Peter's Fair. Which turns into a brawl between the hotheaded young sons of Shrewsbury and the merchants come for the fair. The next thing you know, one of the merchants is found murdered, and Cadfael, being privy to much of what preceded the killing, investigates.

Toss in two swains, both besotted with the same pretty girl (the murdered man's niece), and more than one merchant who is mo
Jun 04, 2013 Tess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 20, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, detective
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 (
St. Peter's Fair is another excellent Brother Cadfael chronicle by Ellis Peter's. She continues the story of a monk inside the monastery, who has already seen much of the world. St. Peter's Fair opens with a controversy between the locals and monastery. The local people of Shrewsbury feel that the monastery is reaping unjust benefit from the fair without giving the town its just due. Soon a merchant at the fair is found murdered and a local is implicated.
Cadfael uses the skills he developed outs
Feb 28, 2013 Sally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, crime
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!
Sep 26, 2014 Alethea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Phil Evans
Jan 12, 2016 Phil Evans rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I have mentioned before, I really like the Cadfael books, and this one is a particularly good one. Although my suspicions (by chance more than design) fell on the right person from an early stage (and were only confirmed towards the end - no spoilers!) there were always enough suspects, enough doubt, confusion and activity to keep one from being sure. And, as ever, the character, theology and wisdom of Brother Cadfael is beautiful.
My only criticism is that the theme of "young, unmarried beaut
This is one of the Brother Cadfael mysteries I haven't read and reread multiple times (those all involve (view spoiler)) so I had forgotten a lot of the details, including how AWESOME Emma Vernold is! She may have an innocent babyface, but that girl (view spoiler) ...more
Listening to Patrick Tull is such a delight.
Jun 18, 2014 Hermioneginny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
Aug 26, 2011 Fabien rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 25, 2010 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reread-books, 2002, 2001, 2010
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
Aug 12, 2014 Robin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own-a-copy
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.
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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 Nun's Tale (Owen Archer, #3)
  • Shroud for the Archbishop (Sister Fidelma, #2)
  • The Devil's Door (Catherine LeVendeur, #2)
  • Historical Whodunits
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 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)

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