Kathryn's Reviews > Monk's Hood

Monk's Hood by Ellis Peters
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Mar 10, 10

bookshelves: 2002, 2010, reread-books
Read in March, 2010

1st recorded reading: August 1, 2002

I finished reading this Third Chronicle of Brother Cadfael’s adventures this afternoon as we drove toward Monroe, Louisiana from Vicksburg, Mississippi, on our eventual way home. And another good adventure it was; even with having read the tale before some years ago, I had forgotten much.

The book begins in December 1138; one Gervase Bonel has given over – or will give over, once the paperwork is finished – his manor to the Abbey, in exchange for one of the Abbey’s outside houses, and daily food and drink from the Abbey. This exchange will disinherit his wife’s son Edwin (his own son Meurig is a bastard, and cannot inherit the property under English law).

Disaster strikes when a special dish is sent from the Abbey to Bonel himself; he dies horribly, the dish having been poisoned by the monk’s hood oil that Brother Cadfael uses for back rubs on aged monks. The stepson is suspected of the poisoning; and when Cadfael comes to render what aid he can to the stricken man, he realizes that Gervase Bonel’s wife is Richildis Bonel, who forty years ago was Cadfael’s secret fiance before he went off to the Crusades and forgot about her. He pledges her to find out who has poisoned Gervase Bonel, and to clear her son Edwin of the charge of murder.

I loved this book; while Cadfael (as always) solves the mystery, there is almost no young love to deal with in this Third Chronicle. Perhaps we will have young love blooming in the next Chronicle.
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