Twelfth century Shrewsbury, and in the Benedictine monastery, the prior has the idea to take a party to a remote Welsh village to acquire the bones of Saint Winifrid – basically as they clearer belong in a monastery rather than an unmarked grave in a village. Naturally, the villagers aren’t best pleased, especially given Prior Robert’s lack of tact when trying to claim the bones. But when the village leader ends up dead with an arrow sticking out of his chest, it’s up to Brother Cadfael, ex-crusader, current-herbalist and would-be sleuth to stick his nose to see if the murderer is someone from the village or someone from the monastery.
Given my predilection for the historical mystery, you may have considered it quite an oversight that I’ve yet to review anything from the Brother Cadfael series – after all, it was the first historical mystery series to be commercially successful (correct me if that’s wrong) and has been filmed with Derek Jacobi as Cadfael. See, that’s him on the cover over there.
But once upon a time, I read a couple of these and wasn’t impressed. But was it my callow youth and short attention span that dismissed these out of hand?
Nope. It’s rather dreadful.
… sorry, dozed off there for a bit. Happened all the time when I was reading this book, as the prose style is so dull. Just remembering it sent me to the Land of Nod for a while. The plot isn’t much better. It takes an age to get going and when it finally does, the explanation for whodunnit is rather stupid. There may have been some minutiae that explained one particular piece of nonsense but, if I’m absolutely honest, I was speed-reading at this point.
People always say, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
See you next post!