Shrewsbury, 1139. The bloody civil war between King Stephen and Empress Maud has swept through the country towards the rural security of Brother Cadfael's monastery. The citizens of Worcester have fled, among them two orphaned children of noble stock, together with their tutor, a young nun. A Benedictine monk in whose care Lady Ermina and her brother Ives were left, comes to the Abbey to ask if the children have been seen. Although it would be hard to miss Ermina, a young girl of striking beauty, no one has seen the missing pair or their companion. Cadfael sets off to lead the search for the missing trio, through the rugged wastes of snowbound Shropshire, following an elusive trail across a lawless land - until the discovery of the body of a young woman, frozen beneath the ice, adds a chilling new dimension to their journey. Starring Philip Madoc, Sir Michael Hordern and Douglas Hodge and dramatised by Bert Coules. 2 CDs. 2 hrs 15 mins.
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Ellis Peters is the nom de plume used by author Edith Pargeter to write her bestselling 'Brother Cadfael' historical mysteries. Inspired by her interest in Shropshire history, she penned the first novel, A Morbid Taste for Bones, in 1977. This was followed by seventeen more novels and one book of short stories starring the crusader turned monk with a talent for detection. In 1993, she was awarded the Crime Writers' Association Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement, and in 1999 the CWA established the Ellis Peters Historical Dagger Award (for the best historical crime novel of the year) in her honour. She was awarded an OBE in 1994 for services to literature. Ellis Peters died in 1995, aged 82.From AudioFile:
Brother Cadfael solves the murder of a nun and is delighted to learn more about his own past. This chronicle ranks as a favorite in the series. Vanessa Benjamin carries forth Blackstone's tradition of matching the gender of the narrator to the author, rather than to the main character. When the genders of hero and narrator don't match, one gets a more old-fashioned sense of being read to, rather than hearing a performance. Benjamin relies strictly on the drama inherent in the text, subtly underscoring it with pacing and emphasis. Her minimalistic vocal shifts when reading dialogue are initially distracting, but they quickly fade into the background, as she means them to do. S.F. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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