Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “One Corpse Too Many (Cadfael, #2)” as Want to Read:
One Corpse Too Many (Cadfael, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

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

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  6,778 ratings  ·  245 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, 192 pages
Published December 31st 1980 by William Morrow & Company (first published 1979)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about One Corpse Too Many, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about One Corpse Too Many

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
Jon
Jul 15, 2013 Jon added it
Recommended to Jon by: Ron Andrea
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
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
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.
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
Writerlibrarian
This is the 'real' start of Cadfael's journey. The reader meets Hugh and Aline and what an entrance they make. Peters also sets up a trend of Young couples and Cadfael's hand in spreading happiness when he can.

I enjoyed this novel the first time I read it long ago for the plot and the atmosphere. I enjoyed it this time around for the characters. How they started and how as a reader I saw them grow until the series end.

A really good mystery and a cast of characters worth knowing.
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
aPriL eVoLvEs (ex-Groot)
The year is 1138 and it's war! King Stephen and Empress Maud fight each other for the right to rule England. Back and forth, the lords, their Knights and men-at-arms fight for their chosen liege. Unfortunately for the town of Shrewsbury the castle is in the hands of supporters of Maud while Stephen's men are surrounding the town and preparing to attack. The people wisely lock their doors and windows and stay out of it. The Benedictines behind their abbey walls pray for peace, and Cadfael prepare ...more
Hermioneginny
Seconda indagine di fratello Cadfael.
Estate 1138. Shrewsbury è assediata dall'esercito di re Stefano ( http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stefano_... )e quando viene espugnata il re fa uccidere 94 ribelli. Ma quando Cadfael è incaricato di dare degna sepoltura ai cadaveri, scopre che ce n'è uno in più, che però è stato strangolato, non impiccato. Cadfael cerca di dare un nome sia al cadavere che al suo assassino, assistito da un nuovo novizio e da Hugh Beringar, cavaliere che si è appena messo al serv
...more
Mark Robertson
This book, the second in the series, is the book in which Peters introduces Hugh Beringar, Cadfael's ally in bringing justice to murderous malefactors in their corner of England. And what an introduction it is; the two men engage in a wonderful battle of wits centered around fugitives and treasure. You can almost imagine either one of them saying to himself at some point in this story, "the game's afoot!"

There are so many story lines in this novel that it's hard to say what the central story is
...more
William
Attempted this in my preemptive quest to find Christie's equal before I run out of her novels. Welp, a true whodunnit this is not. The actual "casework" amounts to maybe 40% of the book. The rest is devoted to subplots, none of which are terribly interesting and might well have benefited from editing down- we don't need to know exactly what happened from everyone's perspective when much could, instead, be intuited rather easily.

Had the perp nailed early on, anyway- even in the absence of real cl
...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.
The Crime Scene Scene
One Corpse Too Many is the second novel in the Brother Cadfael series by author Ellis Peters. England in 1138 and King Stephen takes Shrewsbury Castle which is held by rebel supporters of Empress Matilda. After capturing the castle the King is furious to discover to key supporters have managed to escape and in his fury orders the execution of 94 prisoners. However, on the day of execution 95 bodies are discovered by Cadfael who believes the extra man has been murdered and his body dumped with th ...more
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.
Susanne Mccarthy
I have chosen this book to represent the whole series. It was the first I read, and it introduces many of the recurring themes. Rough-hewn Brother Cadfael, with his wisdom and his compassion, especially for lovers. His clashes with rigid authority in the shape of Prior Robert. And a satisfying mystery - often not so much a whodunnit as "how-will-he-prove-it" with no recourse to modern science. All this set in a vividly-painted world of the early medieval period.

Also, I used to live near Shrewsbu
...more
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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Page number correction: ISBN 9780751543728 2 17 Mar 24, 2014 04:31PM  
  • A Gift of Sanctuary (Owen Archer, #6)
  • Suffer Little Children (Sister Fidelma, #3)
  • The Iron Hand of Mars (Marcus Didius Falco, #4)
  • The Novice's Tale (Sister Frevisse, #1)
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)

Share This Book

“All the things of the wild have their proper uses. Only misuse makes them evil.” 8 likes
“The trouble with me, he thought unhappily, is that I have been about the world long enough to know that God's plans for us, however infallibly good, may not take the form we expect and demand.” 4 likes
More quotes…