Reading the Detectives discussion

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Favourite authors > Ellis Peters/Edith Pargeter

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message 1: by Terri (last edited Aug 26, 2018 10:52AM) (new)

Terri Barnes | 12 comments My college roommate, a fellow mystery lover, recommended Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael mysteries to me years ago. I have read and enjoyed the whole series (and also the PBS series with Derek Jacobi, except their version of the Pilgrim of Hate -- Hate it! -- but I digress...)
I have only read one or two of her other books, in fact only recently discovered how prolific she was.
Any other Ellis Peters fans out there?


message 2: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 3004 comments Mod
I loved the tv series and have started, slowly, listening to the books. I always picture Jacoby as Cadfael. Never read any other books by Peters and there are so many Cadfael's I doubt I will get to them.


message 3: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 897 comments I loved the Cadfael series when it first came out (I believe those who like it would also like Louise Penny's Chief Inspector Gamache series, though it's not historical--the detectives feel like kinsmen to me). I read one of her books published under the name Edith Pargeter but didn't like it as much; it seemed grimmer, with less humanity.


Jay-me (Janet)  | 164 comments I read the Cadfael series quite a while ago - in fact I was waiting for books to be written so I could continue reading the series.
I have all the books in paperback and they have been read and re-read many times. I had read a lot of them before the television series was filmed and although I enjoyed watching it Derek Jacobi was not my idea of Cadfael as he was too well spoken, and not Welsh enough.
Apart from them changing character names in a couple of episodes the series was well adapted until the one where the only thing from the book was the title - which was as Terri said The Pilgrim of Hate
I also read the ones about Inspector and Dominic Felse and the other standalone mysteries, (all re-read from my paperback collection) and the series about building the cathedral (which I haven't re-read) and I did start to read The Brothers of Gwynedd but did not finish it.


message 5: by Terri (new)

Terri Barnes | 12 comments I can give an "amen" to many of these comments: I always picture Cadfael as looking like Derek Jacobi (though I read several books before seeing the series) Yes, Janet, I can see he's a bit polished for Cadfael's history -- and no Welsh accent. For me, he captured the character in other ways.
I also have all the Cadfael books in paperback and have read them many times. I read them out of order first, just reading them as I found them. (Pre-Amazon days!) Then, I went back and read them all in order, mostly to get the history straight.
I agree with you, Abigail, about Peters' other books (written under her own name). I've read a couple and was not as taken with them.


message 6: by Sue (new)

Sue (mrskipling) | 251 comments I love the Cadfael books. I've read many of them but not all. I've seen a lot of the Derek Jacobi TV versions and enjoyed them. I particularly liked the way they portrayed his relationship with Hugh Beringar. I've listened to several audio versions, some better than others! Derek Jacob has done some of course, and Stephen Thorne is good (lovely voice although still definitely English rather than Welsh) but one was a female narrator which was dreadful with what sounded like a comedy accent (unrealistic and ever so gruff) when she was doing the male dialogue.

I've read many of them several times and continue to enjoy them because I like the characters and in particular, her ability to describe the surroundings and weather so realistically that I feel I'm really there in Shrewsbury!


Jay-me (Janet)  | 164 comments I have kept meaning to visit Shrewsbury and finally had a day visit earlier this year.

A holiday many years ago was chosen because we could visit several places mentioned in another Ellis Peters book - Death to the Landlords


message 8: by Terri (new)

Terri Barnes | 12 comments I'm American but our family lived in Europe for a few years. One year we took a vacation to the UK and stayed in a B&B in Shropshire exactly because of the Cadfael books. Our hosts took us to St. Melangell's Church. It was all very reminiscent of the bones of St. Winifred! (Story and pictures here https://www.stripes.com/travel/pistyl... )


message 9: by Sue (new)

Sue (mrskipling) | 251 comments Jay-me (Janet) wrote: "I have kept meaning to visit Shrewsbury and finally had a day visit earlier this year. ..."

I keep meaning to do the same Janet! Is the Cadfael connection heavily promoted in the area? I live in Hardy country and not far from Jane Austen country but it's all quite subtle. I know some places really milk any literary/celebrity connections, which can be a bit off-putting!


message 10: by Sue (new)

Sue (mrskipling) | 251 comments Terri wrote: "I'm American but our family lived in Europe for a few years. One year we took a vacation to the UK and stayed in a B&B in Shropshire exactly because of the Cadfael books. Our hosts took us to St. M..."

Interesting article Terri! I like the fact that they have brought her indoors after years of being out in the weather. And yes it does sound a bit like the St Winifred story doesn't it. A Morbid Taste for Bones


message 11: by Tara (new)

Tara  | 831 comments Like others, I've read books here and there as available from the library, listened to some audiobooks, and watched the Derek Jacobi TV series (I am so sad that it doesn't seem to be available for purchase as an entire series on DVD at a reasonable price, but I will keep searching).
Inspired by the Poirot, Miss Marple, and Ngaio Marsh challenges, I have acquired all of the paperbacks from eBay (but only the covers with the stained glass pictures, those have always been what drew me in to the series). I am reading one book a month in order, and I am currently on book 3, Monk's Hood Monk's Hood (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #03) by Ellis Peters . I can't say that I know much about either monasteries or 12th century England, but the books have always read as being knowledgeable and authentic, which is part of why I keep coming back to them. Glad to hear there are other fans out there!


message 12: by Gary (last edited Oct 16, 2018 09:41AM) (new)

Gary Sundell | 271 comments I now have all the Cadfael and Felse books on my Nook. I have read the first Cadfaeland really enjoyed it. I will be working my way through the series next year, along with Nero Wolfe, The 87th Precinct, Ellery Queen, t\The Saint, and some other series.
A pity Richard Burton isn't around to do audios of Cadfael.


message 13: by Sue (new)

Sue (mrskipling) | 251 comments Gary wrote: "A pity Richard Burton isn't around to do audios of Cadfael. ..."

Gary, yes he would have been perfect for that! Have you heard his narration for War of The Worlds? Brilliant!


message 14: by Gary (new)

Gary Sundell | 271 comments Sue wrote: "Gary wrote: "A pity Richard Burton isn't around to do audios of Cadfael. ..."

Gary, yes he would have been perfect for that! Have you heard his narration for War of The Worlds? Brilliant!"


It was said he could read a phone book and make it interesting. If I recall correctly the Today Show's Gene Shallit had him do just thst, it was amazingly good and fun.


message 15: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 9408 comments Mod
Just resurrecting this thread because we have a buddy read of the first Cadfael book coming up in August - a few months away as yet! Do we have more fans of Ellis Peters/Edith Pargeter in the group?


message 16: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1441 comments I have a number of her books - haven't read any in the Cadfael series but have read at least one in the Felse Investigations series.


message 17: by Sue (new)

Sue (mrskipling) | 251 comments I’m a big fan of the Cadfael series. I have read several and enjoyed them all. Jan I don’t know the Felse series at all. I’ll have to take a look at those.


message 18: by Tara (new)

Tara  | 831 comments I had been reading a Cadfael book each month on my own, but fell behind when other bookclub reads took priority. I am happy to jump back into the fray with a buddy read, although I probably won't reread this one as I've read it recently enough that I should be able to join in the discussion. I own the first book in the Felse series, but haven't read it yet.


message 19: by Diane (new)

Diane Lending (dianefromvirginia) | 22 comments I read all the Felse books and enjoyed them. I have also read most her stand-alones (try Never Pick Up Hitchhikers for a funny light read). However, I could never get into the Cadfael books. I have always tried the first one - is there another book in the series which might be a good one to start with?


message 20: by Tara (new)

Tara  | 831 comments Diane wrote: "I read all the Felse books and enjoyed them. I have also read most her stand-alones (try Never Pick Up Hitchhikers for a funny light read). However, I could never get into the Cadfael books. I have..."

I enjoyed Monk's Hood, but its been years since I've read most of them. Personally I prefer to read book series in order, but they work as stand alone reads as well.


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