Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, Book # 1
Grand Central Publishing
November 6, 2021 November 8, 2021
Beat the Backlist, Cloak and Dagger, The Backlist Reader, Virtual Mount TBR
In the remote Welsh mountain village of Gwytherin lies the grave of Saint Winifred. Now, in 1137, the ambitious head of Shrewsbury Abbey has decided to acquire the sacred remains for his Benedictine order. Native Welshman Brother Cadfael is sent on the expedition to translate and finds the rustic villagers of Gwytherin passionately divided by the Benedictine's offer for the saint's relics. Canny, wise, and all too wordly, he isn't surprised when this taste for bones leads to bloody murder.
The leading opponent to moving the grave has been shot dead with a mysterious arrow, and some say Winifred herself held the bow. Brother Cadfael knows a carnal hand did the killing. But he doesn't know that his plan to unearth a murderer may dig up a case of love and justice...where the wages of sin may be scandal or Cadfael's own ruin.
About the book
Shrewsbury. During a session between monks, one of them gets sick. When he comes to, the monk who cured him believes he has seen Santa Winnifred telling him to take the sick man to a spring. Columbanus, the sick man, recovers and says that the Saint wants to be transported to the abbey. Six of them leave to unearth the saint, but not everyone in the small town where Winnifred is buried wants the translation. And then, he dies. Father Cadfael investigates.
What I think
The book starts very slowly, but then becomes interesting when the corpse of the man who opposes the translation is found. I read this book because I own the second (and eighth) so to read the second I had to read the first (or that’s how my mind works and that’s how I read books, in order). And also because I like that there is a monk who investigates. The book reads quickly there is a little too much religion, but it is obvious since the protagonist is a monk. It doesn’t bother me because I chose to read it and I like it when the bad apples of a religion are brought to light even if it is my religion. We know that in the past there were many more “criminal” clergymen than now, seeing who became priest or nun and their various motives to be one. Not that there aren’t any now eh! Anyway, I’ll keep reading the series, at least the second one, I don’t know if I’ll read all 20 books.
I liked Cadfad as well as John, too bad we won’t see him again. I find the characters well described, what they do, how they present themselves, are all different and interesting. I also like the setting of both the abbey and the small town where the saint is buried.
The conclusion is so funny (what happens two years later)! Now do I recommend it? Yes, it’s not a bad story even if it starts a little slow. The mystery is well structured and is a pleasant read without thinking too much about it.