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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)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  3,535 Ratings  ·  148 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 1988)
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Lyn Elliott
Aug 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
This is a rare Brother Cadfael mystery that I haven't read before or seen on television, with the wonderful Derek Jacobi as Cadfael. It stood out as a new story, which held an element of surprise and though I did guess the central deadly deed (not the murder itself) well before it was revealed, I thoroughly enjoyed the unfolding of the story.
As always, Cadfael is dealing with moral and ethical dilemmas along with solving crimes and Ellis Peters uses her great knowledge of the period to create p
...more
Stephen
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
Ioana Johansson
What am I going to do when the series ends? I have immensely enjoyed every single volume and this one is no exception. I will truly feel bereft when I will no longer be able to return to Shrewsbury :(
Emilia Barnes
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As usual Ellis Peters is able to effortlessly transport you to medieval Britain. This is less of a murder mystery and more of a romance and drama, but it is no less effective for that. I love Brother Cadfael - he is so compassionate and inquisitive, the sort of man you'd want to be your father or uncle, to turn to in your time of need. It's a very comforting read, as all Cadfaels have been so far, for me.
I also loved the premise: Brother Haluin, a mysteriously hard-working and penitent monk, ha
...more
Nancy Ellis
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It is always a great pleasure to escape to 12th Century England to revisit Brother Cadfael and his fellow residents of Shrewsbury's Abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul and its environs. Ellis Peters had the most beautiful way with words and was able to paint a picture of the time and events which allows the reader to be transported back in time. This is at least my third time journeying through the whole series, if not the fourth, and it is never any less of a joy to read each book. I only wish she ...more
Dagny
Jul 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: peters-ellis
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.
Yvonne
Jun 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like the Brother Cadfael books, with their fascinating peek into medieval times, herbal knowledge, and the awareness that people don't change, only time and circumstances do. This one is the story about utter selfishness and its power to create havoc in more than one life. Brother Cadfael is his usual sensible compassionate self.
Lance
"'Confession ...' said the whisper from the threshold of life and death"

The fifteenth installment in the Brother Cadfael series was one of the best yet, combining elegant history, beautiful scenery, with Peters' gift for exceptionally well-crafted characters. The opening is a bleak 12th-century winter: "The December snows, did more than disrupt the lives of country people, starve some isolated hamlets; they over turned the fortunes of war and made sport pf the preoccupations of princes." In a de
...more
Cricket Muse
Mar 05, 2018 rated it liked it
The familiar storyline of forbidden love, lies, deceit, and murder is made over when told through Benedictine Brother Cadfael. The year is 1142 and it is a winter of harsh weather, one that leads to an accident and a deathbed confession. This confession will lead Cadfael on a journey to solve a mystery that only one or two knew of, but a secret that had caused a rippling wave of harm in its dormancy.

The pace is almost maddeningly slow as the foundation of exposition is laid in order to develop c
...more
David Drent
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Oh brother Cadfael, always stumbling into something or other. I guessed the outcome of the book around ch 2, but it was good to read how it all played out. Ellis Peters writes in such a way that even when you have figured out what will happen you still want to read on. It's all about the journey.
I highly recommend these books to anyone suffering from too much anxiety and stress from the modern world.
M Christopher
Mar 23, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
Lori
Dec 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Ann
Sep 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Carol
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This Cadfael mystery is a bit of a departure from the rest of the series in that the central mystery does not revolve around a murder and most of the action tgakes place at some distance from the abbey and Shrewsbury. During the winter, one of the brothers suffers a serious fall while taking part in the repair of an ice damaged roof at the abbey. Although he recovers, Brother Haluin's brush with death sets him off on a pilgrimage of penitence to pray at the tomb of the long-lost lover whose deat ...more
Spuddie
Jan 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: keepers
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
Malcolm
Dec 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
For his 15th outing Brother Cadfael finds himself on a mission of atonement with his fellow monk, Brother Haluin, whose recovery from his death-bed confession results in a need to act, to put right a youthful but major moral breach. His decisiveness leads to murder and exposes family duplicity and mistrust and results in an unexpected but thoroughly plausible form of settlement.

This has a different tone from many of the other Cadfael mysteries, where the crime at the outset, at least, appears t
...more
Gwyn
Jul 03, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Anne
Jan 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
This one was slightly more predictable than An Excellent Mystery--I managed to guess the conclusion, though once again it wasn't an actual whodunit. Peters really does that slow build-up thing so well. The titular confession happens in the first twenty pages and I sat there thinking, what is this all about? I appreciated that Brother Cadfael was more involved in figuring everything out, but also that he's not a detective in the sense that he gives the final revelation. He served as witness, and ...more
Katya
Sep 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw one of the twists coming from a long ways off, but it was enjoyable to watch it unfold, and I wasn't sure how certain interpersonal things would resolve until they did...although in retrospect it probably should've been a no-brainer, considering the facts.

Audiobook note: Patrick Tull isn't a bad narrator, but he's not my favorite, either.
Doug
Oct 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
A nice change of pace from the typical murder-at-the-beginning formula. Enjoyed this one a lot!
Sandi
One of my favorite series. As always, well plotted with interesting characters and situations. Listened to the audio version read by Patrick Tull who is perfect for these books.
Stef Rozitis
The Brother Cadfael series are the cosiest of cosy mysteries for all that they are set in the violent and uncomfortable 12th century England. Peters sanitises the setting into a picturesque and benevolent world where hierarchies are mostly functional, battles have to do with honour and prowess more than abuses of power and servants are valued and happy living under the kind patronage of "born to lead" lords.

I adored these books and the romance in them as a teenager and I still recapture some of
...more
Mary Beth
There’s a lot of messiness buried underneath the tidy resolution of Confession. One has to wonder whether the big revelation of a long-buried family secret would really go down so easily as it does here and whether the people so wronged would really be so blithe about accepting their fate. The careless disregard for seeking justice for the murder committed is actually more plausible under the circumstances, but no less unsatisfying for that.
Susan
I always enjoy the mysteries in this series. This one was a bit different, in that it didn't start out with a murder for Brother Cadfael to solve. Instead, the mystery unfolded in the course of a pilgrimage undertaken by another monk from the Abbey, with Cadfael by his side, to right a wrong from his past. And, of course, they discover there is much more to the story than they knew.
Susan
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this one of the best of the Brother Cadfael series. From the opening with its beautiful description of a snowstorm to the conclusion, I was totally involved. I was able to figure out much of the plot on my own but I felt it was so well written that I fully enjoyed the unfolding. It also left me with a satisfied feeling of hope and joy.
Marlene
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
When Brother Haluin is fatally injured, he makes a most shocking last confession. But when he lives, crippled though he is, his desire to amend for his sin is all consuming. In typical Cadfael fashion, things are not as clear cut as they should be and a mystery is uncovered. Was it God's will for the truth to come out or just to release Haluin from his guilt?
Linley
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: whodunnit
I am a devoted fan of the beautifully crafted Cadfael stories by Ellis Peters. This one did not disappoint and I stayed up way too late reading to the end!

For fans of history, murder and gentle monk stories.
Don
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
As much as I have enjoyed the other chronicles of Brother Cadfael, this one seemed more Harlequin romance than mystery. It was obvious from the beginning that the confession was based on a lie. The rest of the story was just details. Overall, a great disappointment.
Eric
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Like most of the Cadfael books, it's slower-moving and drier than a more modern reader will tend to appreciate, but still very good.

This one was a bit too coincidence-driven for me, though.
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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
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More about Ellis Peters

Other books in the series

Chronicles of Brother Cadfael (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • 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)
  • 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)

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“But there are some born to do penance by nature. Maybe they lift the load for some of us who take it quite comfortably that we're humankind, and not angels.” 0 likes
“Did you ever feel, Hugh, that it might be better to let even ill alone," wondered Cadfael ruefully, "rather than let loose worse?” 0 likes
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