Brian Gill's Reviews > St. Peter's Fair

St. Peter's Fair by Ellis Peters
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really liked it
bookshelves: mysteries
Recommended for: Those who like well-researched historical novels and/or mysteries

If you've seen the 1997 Derek Jacobi Central Independent Television/ITV screen adaptation of this Ellis Peters novel, you know the setting and general plot.

The mystery is set in England's Shrewsbury region, during what folks started calling The Anarchy in Victorian times.

Before that, chroniclers called it an era when "Christ and his saints were asleep." Post-Victorian academic fashions being what they've been, some scholars say the names aren't accurate, and records of what happened aren't what really happened. Maybe so, but I don't mind living on the other side of the Atlantic, nearly a millennium after that succession brouhaha.

The mystery's puzzle is figuring out who killed three people, including two merchants at St. Peter's Fair, and why the executions/assassinations/collateral damage happened.

The usual cliches about greed, politics, and business as usual apply. Or, looking at it from another angle, E. P. gives a very human face - several of them - to what otherwise might be a dusty fictionalization of English politics during King(?) Stephen's reign.

About Stephen and all: he died, a whole mess of other folks died, and someone called Henry II ended up being king of England. Henry II's reign wasn't entirely uneventful, but he may be best-known for (unintentionally?) ordering the assassination of Thomas Becket. And that's another topic. ("Epiphany: Still Shining," Archbishops and Kings, "...This Turbulent Priest?")

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Reading Progress

March 20, 2019 – Started Reading
March 20, 2019 – Shelved
April 8, 2019 – Shelved as: mysteries
April 8, 2019 – Finished Reading

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