Monday, February 1, 2010

MEME: Crime Fiction Alphabet

Mysteries in Paradise hosts a weekly meme on mystery authors and books, highlighting a different letter each week. Beginning February 1, 2010, posts with the letter P, for author first or last name or book title are being collected here.

Lots of options for the letter P. I thought I would use Anne Perry, but then I remembered how I found Perry in the first place: beside Ellis Peters on the library shelf as I hunted for some Brother Cadfael mysteries. So this week, P is for Ellis Peters.

Ellis Peters is the pseudonym for Edith Mary Pargeter, the British author who died in 1995. Her most famous books are the Brother Cadfael mysteries set in Shrewsbury, near Wales in the 12th century. Cadfael was on the crusades before he joined the Benedictine monastery, so he is a man of the world, with more experience than your average monk. A mixture of murder, politics - within and without the monastery, history, and great characters make this a wonderful, gentle mystery series.

In 1993 Peters won the Cartier Diamond Dagger, an annual award given by the Crime Writers' Association of Great Britain to authors who have made an outstanding lifetime's contribution to the field of crime and mystery writing. (from wikipedia) I am mostly focusing on her Cadfael books, but Peters wrote over 50 books, mostly historical fictions.

The setting and fame of the Cadfael books have made Shrewsbury a local tourist spot, with mystery fans coming to see the church and the castle. The BBC has made adaptations of the books into radio and television series, which I haven't seen any of yet. There are many books in the series, which, personally, is something I love to find in a new mystery series - you know there will be another book at the library to take out for quite a while.
list of books copied from wikipedia:
A Morbid Taste for Bones ·
One Corpse Too Many
Monk's Hood
Saint Peter's Fair
The Leper of Saint Giles ·
The Virgin in the Ice ·
The Sanctuary Sparrow
The Devil's Novice
Dead Man's Ransom ·
The Pilgrim of Hate
An Excellent Mystery
The Raven in the Foregate
The Rose Rent ·
The Hermit of Eyton Forrest
The Confession of Brother Haluin
The Heretic's Apprentice
The Potters Field
The Summer of the Danes
The Holy Thief
Brother Cadfael's Penance

I've still remembered a line from one of the books from many years ago when I read these:
On making a decision, Cadfael says "Ten of one, half a score of another." Well done, Ellis Peters.


  1. Just a thought - I think the name was Pargeter.
    I really enjoy the Ellis Peters books, even visited Shrewsbury a few years back.
    Thanks for your contribution to the Crime Fiction Alphabet

  2. oops, well that's embarrassing. All fixed up.
    Wow, you visited Shrewsbury? That would be great.


Thanks for commenting, so nice of you to visit.

(I'll try without the letters for a while - so please dont be a spammer! Let's try no anonymous users)