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

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  9,987 Ratings  ·  451 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
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Published January 28th 1999 by Acorn Media Publishing (first published 1979)
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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
Carol♔Type, Oh Queen!♕

A real disappointment, especially since I enjoyed the first Brother Cadfael A Morbid Taste for Bones (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #1) by Ellis Peters book so much. & such an intriguing premise! A corpse mixed in with the victims of a massacre -awesome idea!

This was a muddled mess and I'm not interested enough to go back to try to figure out where I became
confused. Having (view spoiler) didn't help. This is exactly how I felt reading other books in this series many years ago.

Reading more of this series on hold for now.

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.

Brother Cadfael, that former military man in a monk’s robe, knows his onions….and his murder victims and fugitives! When a murderer dumps his victim amongst the bodies of those hung for treason, Cadfael is not willing to let the perpetrator get away scot-free. Dragged away from his garden and his herbal pot
Feb 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  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
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.
Dec 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
1138 England. King Stephen is in conflict with Empress Maude for the throne. During the siege of Shrewsbury, executions are ordered and Father Cadfael finds one body too many in with the dead....murder!
I like the medieval setting and the descriptions of the customs, lifestyles and places. Father Cadfael is a wonderful character. Solving mysteries using only clues and logic without the help of fingerprints or forensics is interesting.
I enjoy this series so far and plan on continuing in future.
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
Apr 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, adult, 2011
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
Feb 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good old fashioned murder mystery. A marked improvement on Cadfael #1 in my opinion, but the ingredients were the same - good plot, several suspects and of course a love brewing in the background.
Sep 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

(Third Reading: 2016)

Cecily Felber
Nov 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Aug 03, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Cadfael series has two strong positives and one serious negative. I find the setting (a monastary in medieval England) very intriguing. I also enjoy Peters's plot lines, which are intricately developed. On the other hand, her character development is hasty and too-easy. She would rather just posit character elements (writing something along the line of "and just then the two recognized they were in love", or "Cadfael summed him up as too good a person to be involved in the crime") in an effo ...more
Excellent story, great narration. It doesn't get much better than this. Cadfael meets Beringar; Beringar meets Aline; Shrewsbury survives siege and would-be King Stephen.

I always think this is the better first-read of the Cadfael books, more so than *A Morbid Taste for Bones*.
Megan Larson
Sep 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
May 06, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.

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.
Maria Altiki
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
Πρώτα απο όλα να πω ότι είχε ενδιαφέρον σαν μυθιστόρημα εποχής αλλά ήταν πολύ πιο αδύναμο απο το πρώτο της σειράς. Διαδραματίζεται στις αρχές του 12ου αιώνα, για την ακρίβεια το 1138. Στην Αγγλία μαίνεται ο εμφύλιος, ο βασιλιάς Στέφανος διεκδικεί το στέμμα απο την αυτοκράτειρα Μοντ. Μετά την μάχη στο Σρούσμπερι μια αρχοντοπούλα δεν προλαβαίνει να φυγαδευτεί και για να γλυτώσει, απο Γοδίθη μεταλλάσεται σε Γοδερίκος και εισβάλλει στο μοναστήρι των Βεννεδικτίνων της περιοχής. Εκεί την κάνουν βοηθό ...more
Apr 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brother Cadfael has acquired an unexpected apprentice in this entertaining crime story set in 1138 at the height of Stephen's battle against Matilda for the throne of England. Shrewsbury has fallen to Stephen and many have been executed.

Cadfael is asked to lay out the bodies and organise the claiming of the bodies by relatives. But there is one more body than he was told and he realises that this extra body has been murdered rather than being a judicial killing.

I am getting to like Cadfael as a
Apr 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After Shrewsbury Castle fell in 1138 during the civil war in England between King Stephen and Empress Maud, the ninety-four defenders of the Castle who were loyal to Maud were sentenced to be hanged as traitors to the crown. Brother Cadfael agreed to bury the ninety-four executed men but quickly discovered that were ninety-five bodies awaiting burial and the extra corpse was strangled not hanged. Horrified, Brother Cadfael vowed to identify the murder victim and unmask the killer. An intriguing ...more
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
Bill Rogers
Dec 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The civil war between the supporters of England's two rival monarchs, King Stephen and Empress Maud, has worked its meandering way to Shrewsbury to trouble the townspeople and the Benedictine Brothers of the Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. Besieged by King Stephen, the defenders of Shresbury Castle know they're doomed. There are fugitives from so-called justice, divided loyalties aplenty as the people from nobles on down choose their sides, there's a treasure to be saved or stolen, and in t ...more
Feb 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, historical
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
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
Cynthia Egbert
I do love the effort that Ellis Peters puts in to making certain that these Brother Cadfael stories are historically accurate. I also love the character of Brother Cadfael, most of the other characters leave me wanting but he is delightful. Cool stories for someone, like me, who is nuts about medieval Britain. My favourite quote from the book that keeps running through my head, "And so it always is, to relieve another, you must burden yourself."
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.
Feb 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this Brother Cadfael story, more so than the previous entry. I think the author really gave a wonderful sense of place and time and her characters felt real to me.

The mystery was an interesting one and the way Cadfael goes about solving it made me appreciate all the small details the author incorporated in the descriptions and procedures he used.

I look forward to reading the next one in the series.
Joanne Dobson
May 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm just now rereading the Brother Cadfael mysteries, and enjoying them even more than I did the first time around. This one is so well grounded in history, both of the great and the lowly, and so craftily plotted, that , as soon as I finished, i turned immediately to the next book in the series. It's been a long time, I think, since I've read such a well-made mystery novel.
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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 21 books)
  • A Rare Benedictine (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, prequel stories 0.1-0.3)
  • A Morbid Taste for Bones (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #1)
  • 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)
“All the things of the wild have their proper uses. Only misuse makes them evil.” 13 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.” 7 likes
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