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The Confession of Brother Haluin (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #15)
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The Confession of Brother Haluin (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #15)

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  1,993 ratings  ·  74 reviews
Brother Cadfael is witness to a shocking near-death confession and accompanies a fellow Benedictine on a dangerous quest for redemption.
Paperback, 205 pages
Published April 5th 2001 by Warner Books (NY) (first published January 1st 1988)
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Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth PetersThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan BradleyThe Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. KingMaisie Dobbs by Jacqueline WinspearMistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
Favorite Historical Mystery Series
102nd out of 647 books — 650 voters
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Though I read this back in 2005, I recently re-read it so as to continue my pilgrimage through the Cadfael novels in order. I enjoyed it even more this time around.

This time Cadfael leaves Wales behind and heads East toward Hales and Elford in the company of a lame Benedictine Brother Haluin. Together they hobble (literally as well as figuratively) through a decades old mystery only to encounter the book's only murder well toward the end. While the exact identity of that killer is never unmaske...more
It is the winter of 1142 in The Confession of Brother Haluin, the Fifteenth Chronicle of Brother Cadfael. A heavy snowfall has threatened the roof at the guest hall. While the Brothers are working on repairs, Brother Haluin falls. His injury is so serious that Abbot Radulfus and Brother Cadfael hear his confession. He had an evil story to tell and when he doesn't die, but recovers, Brother Haluin decides to make a journey of expiation. Cadfael accompanies him on this treacherous trip.
M Christopher
Clearly, it was a mistake to try to read all of the Cadfael Chronicles in relatively short order. I was less than a quarter through this entry when I realized that I'd already figured out exactly how the rest of the book was going to go. By the time I was a third of the way through, I was annoyed at the leisurely pace. At the halfway point, I'd had enough. I read the last sentence of the four or five remaining chapters and called it quits -- I'd been exactly right.

I don't know if the author was...more
This was, so far, my favorite of the Brother Cadfael Chronicles ... If a murder myster could possibly be described as "sweet", this is what comes to my mind when I try to review this book. The brother who is highlighted in this book came to the Shrewsbury monastery of St. Peter and St. Paul at age 18 and lived an impeccable life of reverent service to God. It wasn't until he was helping clean the snow off the rectory during a particularly hard winter that he falls, comes near to death, and unbu...more
I began the Brother Cadfael chronicles years ago in paperback form and enjoy them even more with Stephen Thorne reading them to me! These are genteel adventures that transport you back to the 12th century, very well researched. The literary quality of this series is always top notch and I could listen to this narrator all day every day. I would recommend beginning with the first 2 from this series in order, A Morbid Taste for Bones followed by One Corpse Too Many. They set up the rest of the ser...more
A re-read of this fifteenth book in the classic medieval mystery series featuring the herbalist/monk, Brother Cadfael. Cadfael accompanies much younger monk Brother Haluin, recently crippled in a near-fatal accident involving an ice dam on the roof collaspsing on him, to a manor home several days' journey from Shrewsbury as Haluin vows to make peace with a woman whom he believes he has wronged. Traveling through perilous weather on crutches, the going is slow, and the response is not what is exp...more
The Confession of Brother Haluin reminds me of the only other mediocre Cadfael book I've read, An Excellent Mystery, in that is slow-paced, does not have particularly engaging characters, and is not really much of a mystery at all. It also reminds me of the last Cadfael book, Brother Cadfael's Penance, in that it's not much of a historical mystery but is still pretty solid historical fiction. True, Confession is not as good as Penance, but I advised readers to skip An Excellent Mystery and I wil...more
When you can see some of what is coming at you for pages in a mystery, then it is not doing what it should be doing. This is the problem I found with The Confession of Brother Haluin. Previously when Peters has sent Hugh Beringar to court then we have court intrigue find its way to Shrewbury.

This time, we do not. We find very little in the way of additional detail about Saint Peter and St. Paul's though we do hear about the brothers who work in the scriptorium as that is where Haluin has found h...more
As usual in this series, this book begins with a date (December 1142), and with a summary of faraway events in the ongoing civil war between Empress Maud and King Stephen. "All to do over again" is the essence of it. But there's a hint of a possible solution, with the arrival of the 10-year-old Henry Plantagenet.

The accident that makes Brother Haluin fear his death is at hand occurs only after Hugh Beringar leaves. And it's the accident that begins the shocking part, which I must warn those of...more
While helping with roof repairs at the Abbey, Brother Haluin was trying to clear snow from another part of the roof when he slips and falls the 40 feet from roof to ground with snow and ice coming down with him. He is so seriously injured that no one expects him to recover. Even Brother Haluin expects it's the end and makes his final confession. But recover he does and determines to make a pilgrimage in response to his confession. It will be a struggle because of the injuries he sustained. Cadf...more
Brother Cadfael is a 12th century Benedictine monk who retired to the monastery of St Peter and St Paul at Shrewsbury in England after having been a Crusader and a sailor. He now tends the abbey's herb garden to make healing remedies and spices for cooking. Using his knowledge of human nature and the human body, he often solves murder mysteries. He is an honest enough soul.

This fifteenth chronicle of Brother Cadfael opens in December, 1142, with the fulfillment of ominous predictions from the we...more
In the particularly bad winter of 1142, the guest hall at the Abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul had lost part of its roof, and Brother Haluin sustained grave injuries in a fall from the roof while trying to repair it. In what Haluin thought was a deathbed confession, he told a priest and Brother Cadfael of a long-ago love affair with Bertrade deClary. The girl had become pregnant and died during an attempted abortion. But Haluin recovered, and learned to walk with crutches on his misshapen feet....more
1st Recorded Reading: June 19, 2006.

I am coming along nicely in my quest to read all the Brother Cadfael mysteries; this book that I finished last night is #15 of the series, and there are #20 novels (plus one book of three short stories) altogether. I found this particular book to be of a slightly different order than usual; the obligatory dead body does not show up until late in the book, and the mystery mainly has to do with events that happened some eighteen years ago. (And for those not wis...more

A cold, cold case, The Confession of Brother Haluin, set in the 1100's deals with a mysterious death of 18 years earlier. Brothers Gadfael and Haluin return to the scene of the crime intending a pilgrimige of atonement.

I would have rated this novel much higher, if there was more... what do I call it?... stress, pressure, conflict - The Confession of Brother Haluin is a medievil cozy murder mystery. [Definition of Cozy mystery: "Cozy mysteries, also referred to simply as "cozies," are a subgenre

This is the first dud of the series so far, but for a Cadfael book a dud is still a comfortable three stars.

I didn't particularly like the titular Brother Haluin. He's so unbending, so intent in exacting every ounce of penance he believes is his due for whatever his faults. He's reminds me of both Brother Columbanus (A Morbid Taste for Bones) and Brother Eluric (The Rose Rent). Haluin has Columanus's pride but lacks his nearly naked ambition. Eluric also (figuratively) flogged himself for his si...more
The Confession of Brother Haluin is a very pleasant, light weight mystery that can make for a pleasant afternoon read. Unfortunately, Peters gives away the inevitable ending less than half-way through the book, leaving the reader only the pleasant, descriptive writing style to sustain the final chapters. The mystery is also presented quite late in the book compared to her other works, and practically solves itself on the same page. Good, but not great.
Although I solved the mystery pretty early on in this book this is one of my favourites of the series. Once again Peters' descriptions of peoples' personalities draws you in. Her descriptions are absolutely poetic, and sometimes I read them several times simply to enjoy the words. All her characters have such depth and humanity. This wasn't much of a mystery but it was a well-written, enjoyable story and good addition to the Brother Cadfael series.
I thought this was another reread, but I didn't remember any of it as I was reading the story. Luminous prose, a more than satisfactory end, even if all the little lines weren't completely tied off, and definitely another reason to like Brother Cadfael.
I enjoyed this - but at times the plot seemed contrived. If only people would tell the truth - and others seek out the truth - years of wrong doing and agony could be avoided. But then, there would be no mystery stories to read.
This book starts a multi-volume set within the greater corpus of Cadfael mysteries. The usual twists and turns.

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.

BTW: I read these out of orde...more
May 04, 2012 Ed rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical Crime Fiction fans
Not one of Peters' better eforts. The story concerns a dying monk's belief that he had sinned greviously. When he survives, he decides to make a pilgrimage on crippled legs to atone for his sin. Cadfael is assigned to accompany him. The story unfolds from there as in the end Cadfael figures things out and brings all to a satisfactory conclusion.

Thankfully, it is a short book because it is very boring in spots. The dialogue is not up to previous volumes' standards. Very little action and/or suspe...more
Like a plate of digestives and sharp cheddar cheese, Cadfael is always a most satisfying repast.
By the very nature of these stories there is bound to be a religious aspect to them. Brother Cadfael is eminently practical by nature and as such he ascribes this same practicality to God. This I like. There are other views by other characters but the overwhelming one is Cadfael's.
In this book, another, more pious view is much more evident due to Brother Haluin, which somewhat dampened my enjoyment of the story. Not enough to seriously affect my love for the book or story, just enough to roll m...more
Having just returned from a trip to Normandy and to England and heard multiple interpretations of events from the Battle of Hastings and the impact of the Norman Conquest, I was in a mood to revisit Ellis Peters. The Brother Cadfael mystery stories are set in England during the time of King Stephen in the early 1100s. While the mysteries themselves are short and not too complicated, the portrayal of life in early Norman England is delightful as are Peters' language and the character of Brother C...more
More of my guilty-pleasure summer mystery reading from a favorite author. This one in the Cadfael series really excelled though - it had an especially compelling set up, and clever twists and turns throughout. I appreciate that even though, like the best of mysteries, I could guess the outcome, I was driven to find out *how* it unfolded. Yes, it's a tad formulaic (wry observations on life from the older protagonist, young love, glimpses of medieval landscape and life), but so much fun!
Wayyy too predictable. Figured out the solution long before Cadfael and it felt like it took forever for the rest of the book to get there.
This is absolutely one of my favourite in the Cadfael series. There's a slow but steady burn to the true climax of the story, and it doesn't have the typical set-up of some of the other novels. Also: it's nigh impossible to predict all of the corkscrew twists in the plot. The side characters are compelling, the tragedy poignant, and the resolution all the more satisfying because it isn't picture perfect with every complication made better. Truly one of Peters' best plotted and executed outings.
Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael series - set around 1000/1100, a Welsh man who had been with the Crusades, soldier/sailor, loved women etc settles down to retirement as a Benedictine monk, working as an apothecary within the abbey and the community, and assisting the sheriff with mysteries. He's a really wholesome character who understands people and life, not at all narrow and irritating. There is also a series of movies made based on these books with Derek Jacobi playing Brother Cadfael
Sandra Strange
These suspenseful stories include pinches of romance, devotion, and humor, as well as truly unique characters. The mysteries use as background superb portrayals of 12th Century England. The author is a noted Medieval scholar. Positive. Caution: the series is aimed at adults, not adolescents. Many themes of these mystery novels are ADULT themes, including rape, abuse of various sorts, etc. They are all positive, ultimately.
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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) 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) St. Peter's Fair (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #4)

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