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Saint Peter's Fair (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #4)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  6,197 Ratings  ·  253 Reviews
The great annual Fair of Saint Peter at Shrewsbury, a high point in the citys calendar, attracts merchants from far and wide to do business. But when an unseemly quarrel breaks out between the local burghers and the monks from the Benedictine monastery as to who shall benefit from the levies the fair provides, a riot ensues. Afterwards a merchant is found dead, and Brother ...more
Paperback, 268 pages
Published 1993 by Warner Futura (first published 1981)
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Chrissie
Nov 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chrissie by: Manybooks
Everybody knows about this fabulous writer of historical cozy mysteries, murders and crimes, so what can I add? Just that, don't read the first of the Brother Cadfael series and think, that isn't SO impressive, and stop there! This was better than A Morbid Taste for Bones, the very first in the series. I am no fan of mysteries, be they cozy or not, but the characters in this series draw you in. You cannot help but enjoy learning a spot of history among these good-souled people. Being in their co ...more
Tijana
Možda bi trebalo da napravim Gudrids policu pod nazivom "za kišne dane uz ćebence i keks" i na nju poređam sve romane o bratu Kadfaelu kao 100% pouzdan lek protiv jesenjeg neraspoloženja. Dobro, i predvidljiv, ali u tome i jeste deo draži.
Marijan
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dašak srednjovjekovne političke intrige, dašak romantike i rješenje niza ubojstava. sasvim dobro!
Kim
Jan 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-star
It's always a treat to spend time with Brother Cadfael and the monks of Shrewsbury Abbey. I have the entire series now and plan to go through it... slowly.
Moonlight Reader
I liked this one a lot.
Ron
Sep 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Upon my third reading, May 25, 2016)

“The manifold gifts of God are those to be delighted in, to fall short of joy would be ingratitude.”

Better with each reading. I discovered Cadfael twenty years ago. I have read each book at least twice since as well as watched all thirteen ITV episodes. Though they have some merit, the latter turned the originals inside out.

“It’s no blame to men if they try to put into their own artifacts all the colors and shapes God put into his.”

Saint Peter's Fair is a mur
...more
Stephen
Another great installment in the Cadfael series. I'm really enjoying these mysteries and the time I get to spend enjoying England of that era (without the aromas).

This book like the earlier ones is richer, more complex and more enjoyable than the television series that was based on them. This is particularly the case in this story as the screenwriter took considerable liberties with the original story, mostly for the worse.

In the book Cadfael and Berringer are fast friends, Brother Mark is her
...more
Hannah
Jan 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, 2014-reads
Was wavering between a 3 and 3.5 stars, but the last 3 chapters bumped it to 4 stars. Awesome ending!

I am very taken with Peters' command of characterization. Also love the simple homilies Cadfael imparts.

Just an all around pleasure to read these short(ish) whodunnits.

Lemar
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Irony takes a holiday. Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael novels successfully bring us into the 12th century in part by shedding our prevalent irony, retaining so many other human traits that we slip through time and hardly notice it. This makes for a refreshing and interesting journey.
This is not to say that she creates "a more innocent time", such a time never existed. Her magic is to render a time in full that, through her choice of words and her well researched details, feels entirely different
...more
Damaskcat
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Abbey and town of Shrewsbury are looking forward to the annual St Peter's Fair as a respite from the battles of the civil war. Then a wealthy merchant - come to sell his goods at the fair - is found dead and it looks as though violence hasn't gone from the town at all. Brother Cadfael witnessed a violent incident which may have led to the murder but as ever things are not as they seem and it will take all Cadfael's intelligence and ingenuity to discover the truth.

I like Cadfael and I always
...more
Joyce Lagow
Apr 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
The end of July of 1139 finds the Abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul at Shrewsbury readying for the annual 3-day summer fair, which will bring to its environs traders from all over England and even the continent, and buyers eager to sample the luxury goods they sell. There is a lull in the civil war between King Stephen and the Empress Maude, with the latter in France.[return][return]Enter an important merchant, Thomas of Bristol with his lovely daughter, Emma. Thomas almost immediately becomes inv ...more
Cecily Felber
Nov 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
In this fourth Brother Cadfael story we find ourselves amid the color and chaos of a medieval fair that--no surprise!--has a dark underbelly of criminals and spies at work, so that there's no rest for Sheriff's Officer Hugh Beringar or Cadfael.

Brother Cadfael (pronounced Cad-file) has definitely entered the ranks of great fiction detectives alongside Sherlock Holmes and Lord Peter Wimsey. But these stories are more than just murder mysteries in medieval drag. Ellis Peters actually lived in Shrew
...more
Sarai
Feb 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, historical
From Amazon.com customer reviewer Beverley Strong:
St.Peter's fair is held annually on the section of land outside the monastery walls in Shrewsbury, but involves the monastery itself, with its guesthouses filled with the gentry and travelling merchants. When the body of wealthy merchant, Thomas of Bristol is discovered, stabbed, stripped and robbed, his niece Emma who was accompanying him, is put into the care of Aline, the wife of the deputy sheriff, Hugh Berengar. Brother Cadfael becomes the g
...more
siriusedward
i liked this ..not for mystery per se, but the setting and the characters and the period beautifully done
Sandie
After reading one of Ellis Peters Brother Cadfael mysteries, I wanted another. This one has to do with St. Peter's Fair, which is put on every year by the Abbey, and enriches the Abbey as well. Merchants from all over come to sell goods from all over, and the townspeople come to buy and make merry. One of the merchants is found stabbed, leaving his young beautiful niece, and Brother Cadfael and Hugh Beringer work to solve the murder and keep the beautiful maiden safe. More deaths ensue, but the ...more
Laura Anderson
I loved this one. So many vibrant characters to choose from, acting with their own purposes in a way I don't think has quite been explored until this book. I actually blooming cried at this one too!

I think this is the last Cadfael in Kindle Unlimited so I may be forced to take a break until I order them from the library...
Heather McCloud
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All the books in this series are lovely--but I especially loved this one!! There were some really beautiful passages about religion, prayer, and the consequences of choices--when it is hard to determine right and wrong, and which is the better good.
Connie
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful.
Valerie
Peters experimented with several ways of sectioning up books. This volume is divided up by days. It starts on the day before St Peter's Fair: July 31, 1139. Then there are segments for each day of the fair, and a final section entitled 'After The Fair'.

The 'prequel' section has mostly to do with adjustments, variably successful. The new Abbot, Radulfus, is feeling his way with the abbey and the townsfolk, and they with him. He's understandably worried that any concession he makes (however necess
...more
Stephanie
St. Peter’s Fair is the fourth book in the popular Medieval mystery series featuring Benedictine Monk Brother Cadfael. As a child, my father was a huge fan of these books and the TV series based on the books starring Derek Jacobi as Brother Cadfael. In fact I remember (vaguely) visiting the town of Shrewsbury, where the books are set, on one of our trips to England because of his interest in the series. I sadly remember very little of Shrewsbury but I do have fond memories of the TV series and i ...more
Tara
Jul 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mistakenly read this one slightly out of order, but I don't think it really matters (though I think the books are generally set in a chronology, there's nothing at least here that might have "spoiled" me for book three).

I hadn't realized before I started this series just how "sunny" these books would prove to be, but I'm consistently surprised by just how happy this series' inevitable happy endings tend to be. The bad guys are foiled, the good guys get justice, young love is requited, unsolvable
...more
Kevin
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
I think the series really starts to hit it stride with this book.

Character List
(view spoiler)
...more
Webster Bull
Aug 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faith
My second journey with Brother Cadfael and even a more pleasant one, now that I’ve discovered the Patrick Tull-narrated audio version of the series. Tull’s narration of Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin series is to fight for. No one chews on a verb or breathes into an adverb the way Tull can. Sure, his Cadfael sounds a bit like Stephen Maturin’s gruff older brother, but then I love Stephen Maturin, another good Catholic, by the way. And I’m sure I will continue listening to Brother Cadfael as we ...more
Kathleen
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great read as I hopscotch around the Brother Cadfael books. I must confess that I may have read this one years ago, along with a few others but rereading is always a joy also!

What I possibly like the best is that the series is superimposed on a pivotal era in English history, and one that I love to read. The Civil Wars between the Empress Matilda and her cousin Stephen of Blois eventually gave birth to the Plantagenet Kings my very favorite group.

In this tale a murderer does his crimes
...more
Nikki
Another lovely historical mystery, blending the two nicely, and bringing in political and religious concerns, with a light touch. I can't understand the handful of reviews I've read that think the Brother Cadfael books are too heavy, the prose too dense. It's nice light reading, as far as I'm concerned. But then, I read actual medieval texts for fun, so a modern historical novel is unlikely to faze me...

The thing that bothers me, slightly, four books in, is that every book pairs up the female ch
...more
H. M. Snow
May 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
St Peter's Fair is one of the earlier books in Ellis Peters' Cadfael mysteries. I have enjoyed every one of her books that I have read to date. I'll admit that the mystery was rather obvious; I guessed the villain before I had read a fourth of the book. But in these cases, the mystery aspect of the story is mainly an excuse to linger in the medieval world that Peters creates. The characters are engaging, as usual -- and this is one of the few Cadfael novels to focus strongly on a clever female p ...more
Gavin
Nov 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Are you going to Scarborough Fair
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Remember me to one who lives there
She once was a true love of mine."

Well this is St. Peter's Fair and a sore spot between Shrewsbury and Abbey of St Peter and St Paul, regarding how the tolls are allocated during the fair. The argument appears to create a small riot as the vendors arrive, which then leads to a body discovery.

How we get there and how is pure fun. I had a hint of a solution with one event and it bore fruit, but usu
...more
Kathy
Feb 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was able to purchase the four books of Brother Cadfael series I had not yet read when offered as Kindle Daily Deals the other day. I enter a sanctuary when I read these books, a world where murders may occur, but then there is the Benedictine Abbey and Brother Cadfael and one knows all will be well. Edith Pargeter knew her history and stayed true to relevant details, but she also showed respect for nature and ancient faith. In his musings, Brother Cadfael reminds us of truths most of us have l ...more
Daniel
May 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, mystery
I'm only through the first five of the Brother Cadfael novels, this being the fourth, but it was the one I enjoyed the most so far. Although thus far avoiding being utterly formulaic, there isn't too deep a 'mystery' in this novel as much as a story of crime with lovely prose that is fun to read. The characters are more believable and deep than in previous entries, including a strong female character that still manages not to run counter to the historical setting.
Dagny
Jul 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: peters-ellis
St. Peter's Fair, the Fourth Chronicle of Brother Cadfael of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul of Shrewsbury is set in the summer of 1139. Merchants come from all parts of England to the annual St. Peter's Fair. Even the civil war has momentarily halted. But the festivities are not destined to go unmarred, for the body of a wealthy merchant has been found in the river. Theft seemed to be the motive until the dead man's valuables were found nearby.
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Goodreads Librari...: Wrong Page Number 2 15 Jul 07, 2014 06:38PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Isbn is taken by an existing book 3 168 Jun 08, 2013 08:49AM  
Great but obscure words in this book. 4 37 May 19, 2012 08:02AM  
  • The Servant's Tale (Sister Frevisse, #2)
  • The Lady Chapel (Owen Archer, #2)
  • The Difficult Saint (Catherine LeVendeur, #6)
  • The Subtle Serpent (Sister Fidelma, #4)
  • Time to Depart (Marcus Didius Falco, #7)
  • A Bone of Contention (Matthew Bartholomew, #3)
4046
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
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)
  • One Corpse Too Many (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #2)
  • Monk's Hood (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #3)
  • 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)
“Child, [death] is with us always,” said Cadfael, patient beside him. “Last summer ninety-five men died here in the town, none of whom had done murder. For choosing the wrong side, they died. It falls upon blameless women in war, even in peace at the hands of evil men. It falls upon children who never did harm to any, upon old men, who in their lives have done good to many, and yet are brutally and senselessly slain. Never let it shake your faith that there is a balance hereafter. What you see is only a broken piece from a perfect whole.”

“Such justice as we see is also but a broken shred. But it is our duty to preserve what we may, and fit together such fragments as we find, and take the rest on trust.”
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“There is the matter of the girl, niece and heiress to the dead man. She is of great beauty,” said Cadfael plainly, asserting his right to recognise and celebrate even the beauty of women, though their enjoyment he had now voluntarily forsworn,” 0 likes
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