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Monk's Hood (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #3)

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  6,588 Ratings  ·  260 Reviews
A paperback edition of a Brother Cadfael novel, in which the monk investigates a poisoning and finds a web of family intrigue where suspicion falls on someone he is certain is innocent. Publication is to coincide with the televising of a new series based on the Cadfael chronicles.
Paperback, 268 pages
Published January 1st 1995 by Little Brown and Company (first published 1980)
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Jan 16, 2013 Chrissie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chrissie by: Manybooks
I really, really liked the book, but I LOVE Cadfael. Cadfael gets ten stars. These books may be classified as stand-alones,but I believe you should read them in order, starting with the second book. Why? Because it is important to know who each one of the characters really is, their souls, what makes them tick, how they think and behave. In book two I came to understand who Beringar was. Book three has now taught me, showed me, who Cadfael is. I have seen the choices he makes, and I absolutely l ...more
Jason Koivu
This is a yeoman's work mystery with a middle ages veil draped over it. Seriously, Ellis Peters' Monk's Hood felt like a throwaway whodunnit set in the medieval period. I know these are very popular, popular enough to have a tv series made from them, but I just don't see it. The whole thing could've been done in any setting at any time.

Being that this is the only book in the Cadfael series I've read, with no plans on reading more at this point, I'd be happy to hear from any fans that are willin
Mar 03, 2015 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent! As always, Brother Cadfael's wisdom shines through in this mystery. He does not rush to conclusions or believe coincidences but muddles through what clues there are to find the truth. And being a Brother, his opinion of the culprit isn't always as harsh as those of the law, compassion playing a large part in his decision.

The author does a wonderful job of putting the reader into the 12th century and uses dialogue that might have reflected that time period as well.

These stories are a
I have a feeling that this series will be like the The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series for me. Every book is solid, they give you the warm, cozy feeling, you enjoy the atmosphere and the immersion into another time and/or place, and what more can you say?

I almost feel this series would be stronger without the murder mystery aspect. I really enjoy feeling like I'm right there in the 12th century, working with Brother Cadfael and his herbs and potions. He is a decent man, and the book is ki
Elis Madison
When Brother Cadfael is called to the bedside of a dying man, he makes some startling discoveries. First, the man was poisoned, by means of a unique blend of monkshood and other substances, which was formulated by Cadfael himself. Second, the man's wife is none other than the woman Cadfael once loved, before he went off to the Crusades. When her son is accused of the crime, she begs Cadfael for help.

I saw the whodunit coming right away, but it was still fun to see Cadfael piece the facts togethe
Webster Bull
Apr 09, 2014 Webster Bull rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the third in the series of mysteries solved by 12th-century Benedictine monk Brother Cadfael, though only my first. Pushed to the series by a friend but bogged down in an ink-and-paper copy of the first volume, I only got hooked when I began listening to the Audiobooks version of volume three. Narrator Stephen Thorne manages the English and Welsh accents and characters with great style, and makes the lead character engaging and sympathetic.

The story has many of the attractions of Sigrid
Sep 04, 2008 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(third reading: May 2016)

“Every time I come near you I find myself compounding a felony.”

One of the best of the twenty chronicles. I am not one to judge the merits of murder mysteries, but as historical fiction this takes the reader right into the history and culture of twelfth century England and Wales. Improves with subsequent readings.

“What seems to be an easy life in contemplation can be hard enough when it comes to reality.”

Along the way Pargeter treats us to multiple suspects, blind allies
The third in the Cadfael series. Once again a treat and a pleasure to read, even for someone who's familiar with the television series.

The books are more richly realized and the characters more well drawn. The plots are bit more complex with the televised version being simplified to fit in the available time-slot.

Once again the book contains characters that never made it to the TV program and this time was much funnier than the series ever was. This was mostly due to the younger age of the sus
I enjoy these books. I like Brother Cadfael, I like the setting of a Benedictine abbey, and I like the simpler times. I also like how it makes no bones of the fact that human nature is timeless (kind of hard to - since these books are murder mysteries). This book is no exception. Actually, it was an exception in the sense that I didn't really get on board with Cadfael's confidence in the end. But I'll let it slide, because I love these books anyway.

Another thing that always strikes me when I re
Sep 24, 2015 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having kind of read this series backwards (or, you know, in no particular order at all), it's fun to go back to the earliest ones and see what changed later on. Monk's-Hood might be the most standard whodunit in the whole series, with Brother Cadfael taking a pretty active "detective" role. There's no love story, no spunky girl who turns out to have the most brains and courage of anybody, and if there's maybe one more convenient coincidence than is necessary...well, that's okay. I thoroughly enj ...more
Another excellent Cadfael mystery, this finds one of Cadfael's potions used by someone else to poison Gervase Bonel, a wealthy man who is in the process of leaving his manor to the Abbey in Shrewsbury; that abbey which Cadfael calls home. Cadfael and his novice assistant, Brother Mark, must try to solve the murder. Added to the storyline, the wife of the dead man was once betrothed to Cadfael many years ago, during a time before Cadfael became a Benedictine monk. As well, the old Prior of the Sh ...more
Dec 25, 2015 Petra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the best of the series so far. I love Father Cadfael; his outlook, his thoughts....everything about him.
This mystery brought out some interesting facts of law in the medieval times of England and Wales. I enjoy how Ellis Peters brings out the history and village life-styles.
The murder in this book is interesting and the book kept me thinking about circumstances throughout.

Gervase Bonel has bequeathed his manor in Wales to Shrewsbury Abbey, cutting his stepson out of what was to be his and sends him packing to his sister and her coffin maker husband in Shrewsbury.

Meanwhile, Abbott Heribert has been called to attend the legatine council, and has been instructed that until he is confirmed as Abbott or a replacement is named, that no business can be finalised...which leaves Gervase Bonel's bequest incomplete.

Bonel with his wife and servants, still takes up residence
Nov 20, 2016 Lance rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"We are all both the victims and the heirs of our fellow men."

This instalment of Brother Cadfeal is all about the relationships between fathers and their sons, and how this relationship can be extended and poisoned. Oh, yes, and there's a murder. But the culprit is more than a man, it is the financial embitterment which deforms the paternal born between a medieval nobleman and his change.
In this novel, England and Wales are again drawn in stark contrast to each other, as alien in terms of econom
Joyce Lagow
Apr 20, 2010 Joyce Lagow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Respite from the civil war between Maud and Stephen, however temporary, has been restored to Shrewsbury as Christmas approaches. Life in the abbey proceeds as usual when suddenly Brother Cadfael is called to the bedside of Gervase Bonel, who has recently nearly completed the process of turning over his lands to the abbey in return for a guaranteed living under its care. To make matters more interesting, Bonel's wife--to Cadfael's complete surprise ins none other than Cadfael's first love, Richil ...more
Jul 04, 2008 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, historical
Now that I've finished Monk's Hood, I have found a new appreciation for Ellis Peters' work. After one death too many, I was expecting a rather static setting that would seem to change, but in truth, it would really change from book to book. I am definitely the product of watching too many American sitcoms and am glad my expectation was not met.

The story begins with Father Abbot Heribert leaving Shrewsbury to a council being held to reassess the leadership of the Church in England. He believes is
Cecily Felber
Nov 11, 2010 Cecily Felber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
This next wonderful offering in the Brother Cadfael series sees Cadfael encountering his past and also brings the culture of neighboring Wales--still a distinct country with its own laws, customs, and rulers--to the forefront.

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 Shrewsbury, England, wh
I first came across Cadfael many years ago through the ITV series starring Derek Jacobi. Normally I don’t mention the tv shows or movies that inspired me to read a book as it doesn’t seem relevant to my reviews. In this case I happened to get an audiobook version which was read by Derek and while I loved the book, the fact that the audio version brought back great memories of the show is not to be denied.

Abbot Heribert is called away to account for his management of the abbey. In his absence a r
Feb 12, 2013 Nathan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was intrigued about the idea of a murder mystery set in the 12th century. Having just listened to an audio book about the history of English crime fiction, whose author stated that crime fiction required a few things, one of which was an authority to resolve the crime. In this case, the sheriff provided that function, and I'm sure if I could recall the other criteria, Peters would also have placed them feasibly into this story.

Cadfael is a monk, contentedly providing medications to residents o
Nov 07, 2013 Arlomisty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I really enjoyed this book. Historical fiction is some of my favorite books to read. This was number three in the series and my first Cadfael book I've read, but reading the previous two wasn't necessary to figure out what was going on. I've since ordered book one and two off amazon to catch up on the story so far. This is a HUGE series... I like the character of Cadfael... a monk who once served in the crusades.. a herbalist who uses his medieval remedies to serve the local town of Shrewsbury.. ...more
Sep 15, 2016 Kenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've a feeling I slip into the same sort of review for every Cadfael book. Because the books are largely the same, and that is what makes them enjoyable, but stops them every surprising. They are consistent. So in this one, there's a murder, and the ever steady and resourceful Cadfael finds out who dunnit, and dispenses wise and kind justice to all. The wicked get comeuppance, the good receive their reward, and the pompous get taken down a peg. Yeah, as happens in every book. But the plots are i ...more
Nov 07, 2016 Gavin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a Brother Cadfael fan, I won't belabor the point of this book except to say two things and they might seem obvious, but these are deeper books than you might expect. Plus I wish I could experience at least briefly, the twelfth-century. I like a book that makes me look up archaic words.

1. Statistically it would seem that being in the environs of Shrewsbury during the reign of King Stephen might not be in your best interest.

2. As long as you keep on the straight and narrow, Brother Cadfael i
Mar 31, 2014 NancyHelen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series never fails to delight me. Cadfael is such a fabulous character, and the stories are so details and well written that even re-reading them is an enormous pleasure. In this book, Cadfael discovers a lady love from his youth is living just outside of the abbey when he is called to the bedside of her dying husband. But when it is discovered that her husband has been poisoned, and with a poison mixed in Cadfael's very own workshop, he just has to get involved. I love how human he is, and ...more
Jan 30, 2015 Margaret rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Classically wonderful mystery set at shrewsbury abbey. And performed by Derek Jacobi. What could be better?

Cadfael investigates the poisoning death of the husband of a woman he had lived as a young man. Mistaken identities. Trickery. Herbalism. And of course the mystery is solved.
Aug 24, 2011 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, mystery, historical
Sigh, Peters has such a nice feel for human nature.
Lauren Albert
Feb 15, 2016 Lauren Albert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is one of the better Cadfael books, I like the details that you learn about medieval everyday life.
Bryn (Plus Others)
Peters writes the cosiest of cosy mysteries; the prosy narrative falls over itself reassuring the reader that Cadfael is wise and good and on the side of right, and any possible ambiguity is either resolved or clearly marked as a Thorny Moral Dilemma. When things are meant to be tragic or upsetting, Peters spells it out; likewise when they are meant to be hopeful and uplifting. There is much ornamental detail (probably not too accurate, there is a very pretty pastoral world despite wars and bodi ...more
Roy Elmer
Mar 15, 2017 Roy Elmer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Cadfael books are fundamentally harmless, gentle whodunits, of the Midsomer Murders school of crime fiction, perfect for a slow Sunday afternoon and there is definitely a place for that.

Monk's Hood is the third in the series and the third that I have read and each and every time so far I have loved almost every thing about the series. Cadfael as a protagonist is, remarkably, quite deep. He could have been of the school of Father Dowling, or Miss Marple, but no, he has a whole life dull of ex
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The age of the stepson 4 28 Apr 07, 2014 09:29AM  
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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)
  • 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)
  • The Pilgrim of Hate (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #10)

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