Ed's Reviews > The Virgin in the Ice

The Virgin in the Ice by Ellis Peters
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's review
Mar 06, 10

bookshelves: historical-fiction, crime-fiction-mystery-thriller, reviewed
Recommended for: Both Crime Fiction and Historical Fiction fans
Read in March, 2010

The opportunity to read a murder mystery and a historical novel simultaneously is a joy. This is especially true of the Cadfael mysteries, a series authored by Ellis Peters, a pseudonym for Edith Pargeter.

I had seen the BBC production of this title years ago and yet I was no less caught up in the suspense to say nothing of being transported to another time. The plot is simple, Cadfael discovers a young girl frozen in a creek. He refuses to jump to obvious conclusions and the result is that the true killer is uncovered via a very clever ruse.

His good friend, Shropshire Sheriff, Hugh Beringar is here plus a mystery character who pops up again later in the series. To identify him here would spoil it for those who have yet to read this book. Many of the other characters are a slightly stereotypical but interesting and well drawn, nevertheless.

Peters does a masterful job of transporting the reader into the story's time frame, AD 1139, a period of Civil War in England between King Stephen and the pretender Empress Maude. She uses language and historical data to cleverly set the scene and keep us there.

I'm glad I chose to keep this title around for the last few years until I was ready to pick it up and be transported to another reality.
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