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The Rose Rent (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #13)

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  3,844 Ratings  ·  123 Reviews
In honor of her husband, young, beautiful, and wealthy widow Judith Perle donates a house to the Abbey at Shrewsbury--for the annual rent of one white rose. Judith has no shortage of suitors, and if she remarries, her dowry would be all the greater if the house were returned due to non-payment of rent. So when a priest charged with delivering the rose is found murdered, ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published November 1st 1997 by Mysterious Press (first published 1986)
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Girl with her Head in a Book
For my full review:

This book fulfills the ‘published in the year you were born’ obligation for my 2015 Reading Challenge – but really, I was long overdue for another Brother Cadfael mystery. I have mentioned before that I am easily scared and gore really does not interest me in the slightest. Increasingly, modern crime fiction seems to concentrate on progressively baroque incidents that really put the offensive into criminal offense, all of it solved usin
Jun 18, 2010 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2005, reread-books, 2010
1st Recorded Reading: February 11, 2005

One would think that Abbot Radulfus of the Abbey would have long since confined Brother Cadfael to his herbarium to keep him out of trouble; or, more accurately, to keep dead bodies from multiplying with alarming frequency. One wonders if anyone has written a parody of Brother Cadfael, in which he is insane (craftily so) and is actually the murderer of all the dead bodies that pop up near the Abbey. Having said all that, this Fourteenth Chronicle is good, a
This is the thirteenth book in the Brother Cadfael series. As such, it is much like the others in a general way. That is, the mystery isn't difficult to see through, so you'll probably have figured out "whodunit" before the solution is entirely revealed. On the other hand, the historical events are precise, the author makes a single historical detail the basis for a wonderfully imaginative tale in which the rich fabric of medieval life is beautifully unfolded. Then as always the prose is ...more
Oct 15, 2015 Athena rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: historical fiction, mystery readers
One of my favorites of the 20 Brother Cadfael* mystery books (The Cadfael Chronicles), this subtle tale revolves around finding the killer of a Brother of the Abbey, and solving an assault on a rosebush and a kidnapping. Unlike some of the books in the series Rose Rent has little to do with the Lordly political history surrounding 'The Anarchy' (civil war between King Stephen & the Empress Maud), instead focusing on the lives of the merchant & crafts classes of 12th Century Shrewsbury. J ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 27, 2013 Sue rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, england, medieval
It is a few days before the 1142 festival of Saint Winifred's translation. It happens that is the same day when the Widow Perle is to be paid one white rose from her rose bush as rent for the property which she gave to the Abbey. The young brother whose job it has been to deliver the rose asks to be excused from this duty, and his request is granted. But the next day he is found dead at the base of the very rose bush that supplies the roses for the rent. Even more disturbing, the following day ...more
Feb 23, 2013 Ed rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Historical crime fiction fans.
I love Brother Cadfael and this is one of the better stories in the series.

It is Spring 1142. There is concern in Shrewsbury that the late spring will prevent the white rose bush in Niall the bronzesmith's garden from blooming. Judith Perle, a widow, leases the house to Cadfael's Abbey for the rent of a single white rose. If the bush fails to produce a bloom by St. Winifred's feast day, the contract is broken. The monk who has delivered the rose for the past three years is found murdered next to
Dec 07, 2011 Stephen rated it liked it
As I was reading this, the thirteenth installment in the Cadfael series, I began to wonder if I'd sated my taste for medieval mystery. This one seemed to drag a bit. Then I realized that Cadfael plays a more minor role in this one and this one is more like a traditional mystery than the unique blend of "travelogue to the 12th century" and mystery that the other installments are.

I also noted that several other reviewers picked up on this as well with folks mentioning that it dragged in spots and
Mar 15, 2011 Ron rated it really liked it
Medieval life was hard, doubly so for a widow. And a rich widow had her own threats, some of them murderous.

Mystery did a decent job of their video of this story.

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
Mike (the Paladin)
Feb 18, 2010 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it
I'm not generally a fan of romance or of (somewhat) sad stories. This I suppose is the exception that proves the rule. I like the Cadfael mysteries and this is one of my favorites. The lovely widow who rents property to the abbey for a rent of one white rose a year.

As I said possibly my favorite of the series.
Nov 07, 2013 Adam rated it really liked it
Cadfael is an always irresistible, if a mildly formulaic mystery series. This one packed a nice emotional punch at the end, despite a strangely wandering midsection dedicated to the landscape around the English town of we Shrewsbury, where it is set. But good entertainment, for sure!
Nathan Albright
Nov 07, 2016 Nathan Albright rated it it was amazing
The thirteenth novel in the Brother Cadfael series, which I am reading a bit out of order right now by mistake [1], this novel is one that strikes rather close to me in several ways, as has been the case with several of these excellent mysteries. The setup of the novel’s plot is as follows: a young widow distraught over being left without her handsome husband and a miscarried child gives a bequest to the local abbey for free use of a house (which is let to an honorable and decent widower with a ...more
Nov 07, 2016 Marlene rated it really liked it
It's not often you find a deal like this one. Rent on a home is only one rose, paid yearly to the abbey. Even the most simple things can be bent and twisted by jealousy and desire and someone always gets hurt. I enjoyed this book. I wasn't sure who was the villain until nearly the end. An excellent read.
Nov 03, 2016 Dianne rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
I used to listen to the series many years ago and really enjoyed the stories. Settings of Middle Ages in Europe fascinate me, but I may have had my fill. This book did not entertain like the others. Cadfael was not the same interesting character I remembered.
The question of the position of women in 12-century England is often central to this series. Not surprising, perhaps, given that the author is a woman. Another thing that is important in the series is the date of St Winifred's 'translation' (the date when she was supposedly (but we know better, don't we?) taken to the abbey), June 22.

The position of widows in the society is particularly important in this book. The Vestier household is largely a household of widows. The head of the household, Jud
Oct 04, 2016 Doug rated it really liked it
The Shrewsbury gang are still in top form.
Sep 25, 2016 Qube rated it liked it
Not one of the better Cadfael books.
Dec 12, 2009 D.w. rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This book has a different pacing then the last several in the series. There is still a build-up to the first murder and the mystery, but in this instance we are focused on the mystery. There is detail about the part of medieval life that surrounds and embraces those involved in the mystery and that background breathes life into these stories. But in this instance the politics of the King and Empress is lacking, but not sadly so.

That the tug of war of the Civil War that was occurring and featured
Apr 21, 2012 Judy rated it liked it
The 13th book in the Brother Cadfael series. In 1142, spring is very late in arriving and there is concern in the town of Shrewsbury for the crops. There is also concern that the late spring will prevent the white rose bush in the garden of the house that Niall, the bronzesmith, rents from blooming by the feast day of St. Winifred Judith Perle, a widow whose husband and unborn child died within 20 days of each other, leases the house to the Abbey and asks only a single white rose each year as ...more
Brother Cadfael solves another mystery. The story begins with an interesting, wealthy widow who lost her husband. She lives alone with no intent to marry again. In memory of the husband Judith Perle gives a small cottage to the monks. All she asks is that a white rose be delivered to her once a year. However, the young monk who has been delivering the rose asks to be released from this task because he has fallen in love with the gentle widow. Then he is found murdered and the rose bush badly ...more
Question: is there a Cadfael mystery that doesn’t have a love story in it somewhere, if only in the background?

In this particular case, the love story is slightly more central to the plot than in other Cadfael novels. And of course it all works out very neatly, with (view spoiler) conveniently (view spoiler), but since this results in good things happening to go
Dharia Scarab
I couldn't make it through this book, the plot was obvious and the shifting points of view painful. I skipped to the end, which played out exactly as expected.

I already have the finally book in the series, so I'll give it one more try.

Since I don't normally write reviews unless I have something specific to say, here's the break down of how I rate my books...

1 star... This book was bad, so bad I may have given up and skipped to the end. I will avoid this author like the plague in the future.

2 sta
Jan 16, 2016 Yibbie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I love a mystery set in ancient times or exotic places. This a wonderful mystery that combines a bit of both, though mostly the time is the most unusual part. Peters uses just the right amount of archaic language to set a good medieval tone. Another good point, there were very few questionable words in the whole book.
The story was very clean and the plot quite plausible. She sets up a tangle of motives and opportunities for Cadfael to sort through. There is a strange bequest of a valuable ren
Jun 25, 2012 Nancy rated it it was amazing
What made this book five stars instead of four was the intricate mystery plot and the character of Judith Perle.

The mystery is complex - multiple murders, multiple motives, multiple perpetrators working almost in parallel - and the author handles it all with skill. The reader is privy to only a facet of the intrigue, otherwise we're following along with Cadfael and Hugh as they piece it all together. And any time Hugh is involved I'm a happy girl. Add Sister Magdalen and it approaches perfection
The Hobbit
A young widow gives to Shrewsbury Abbey the house in which she and her husband spent so many happy hours of their short marriage. She lost her young husband to illness and miscarried their child shortly after. Never again did she feel she could be happy in that place and so she gave the house to the Abbey for the rent of one white rose a year. It was the rose bush from which the rose came that caused all the trouble: two dead, murdered; another abducted, and a third murder attempted. The young ...more
Feb 12, 2009 Mary rated it it was amazing
Re-reading (again) this wonderful Brother Cadfael mystery. I discovered Ellis Peters too late to get many firsts. So if anyone out there has some first additions, I am interested. Ellis Peters details in these books will blow you away. I love all her books and there's not many I haven't read now.

So it's the morning after finishing the Rose Rent. And every time I read this book, I think it's one of my favorites. There's not alot of background political movement in this chronicle, unlike most of t
Jan 24, 2015 Sharon rated it really liked it
The abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul has been given the use of a manor house and land for the rent of one rose each year. Judith Perle, widow and heiress of bother her husband's property and her father's spinning and weaving business, is most likely one of the richest people in the community and as a result has numerous suitors, none of which she is the least likely to marry. Her business is well managed by her cousin but she keeps her hand in as well and is a very independent woman.

However, just
Oct 27, 2014 Angie rated it it was amazing
The Cadfael series continues to be the ultimate source of comfort for me; Peters' prose is enthralling and textured and visual, and reading her novels always feels like coming back to a warm house where a hot cuppa and friendly cat waits. Is it any wonder that I'm yearly driven to do a series reread once the colder weather sets in?

This outing is a particular fave largely because the central characters -- the capable and grieving young widow Judith Perle and the older, quieter bronzesmith Niall -
This is the kind of book that I rely on during marking season to take me away from the associated head work, that is to say praise be to the genre novel. The Cadfael series is engaging, relaxing, and with just enough of a good crime novel’s twists to remain interesting. All in all, this has an excellent balance, this time involving family tensions, romance (futile, unrequited and requited), death (intentional and unintentional), and vandalism of a rose bush. Just right for marking, travel and ...more
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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 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)
  • 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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