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Yes! My mother once read "The Knocker at Death's Door" all the way (with me) on the train from London, through the Channel Tunnel, to Avignon. Barely a conversational peep out of her the whole journey. When we arrived she gave me the book, and I could quite see why! Quite old-fashioned, a police procedural (ie, not Cadfael) but clever and enjoyable.

Mary Chat

I read many of them about 10 years ago and greatly enjoyed them. Now that you've jogged my memory, I look forward to rereading them. For lagniappe: I believe Peters educated us well on the the tumultuous history of the period.
Mary Chatfield


no i have about introducing us to one in cornflower bookclub?


I read all the Cadfael books as they were published & loved them. She chose an unfamiliar period of English history - the civil war between Stephen & Matilda - & combined it with a fascinating monastic background & interesting plots. She really was the one of the first historical mystery writers. I've also read some of the George Felse police procedurals but I think they're all out of print. I wish some of those were reprinted. She also wrote historical novels under her real name, Edith Pargeter.

Marina McIntire

I learned so much reading these! Among other things, I learned about how mystery novels are fashioned. They were (and are, I imagine) quite wonderful. This may have been the first series that I committed myself to. What pleasure! And the television series did it justice.


I've neither read the books nor seen the TV version. Love the covers on the reissues.

I don't usually like historical fiction (get so madly irritated by errors) but I'm enjoying another medieval mystery series: The Gil Cunningham books by Pat McIntosh. Geranium Cat put me on to them.

Bloomsbury Bell

I haven't read any Cadfael mysteries but I love the tv series - I own all the episodes on DVD!!


What an excellent idea, Efi!


Geranium Cat is a very good source of recommendations!


I read all the Cadfael books years ago and absolutely loved them.
I didn't know much about that period of history before reading them but they encouraged me to read a lot more about the period which is now one of my favourites.
I did try to read some of the historical novels that she wrote as Edith Pargeter but I'm afraid that I found them hard going and never got past the first in the Brothers of Gwynnedd series (hope I've spelled that correctly!)


I've not read any Ellis Peters and I think about the fatc that I haven't quite a lot. One day, one day ...


Yes, I think I've read all the Cadfael stories and thoroughly enjoyed them. They are all detective stories, though not all murder and in some of them the detective story is not as prominent as other themes.


I have't read the Cadfael series, although did watch a few when they were shown on television. I've also read a few of Ellis Peters other historical books, written under the name Edith Pargeter, the Heaven Tree series and some of The Brothers of Gwynedd series.

Susan in TX

Oo, I like the idea of trying Peters out as a book group choice. ;) I have never read Peters, but I have on my TBR shelf the Heaven Tree Trilogy that she wrote as Edith Pargeter. It was a thrift shop find that caught my eye after reading about it years ago in "Honey for a Woman's Heart" by Gladys Hunt (I cannot resist books about books!). Anytime someone says they couldn't put something down/it kept them up all night reading to finish, my curiosity is piqued :) The fact that I haven't gotten to it yet is a sad commentary on how loaded that TBR shelf is!


Have read most of the Cadfael books and started to read them on 'bed rest' when expecting my daughter. She is 27 now and I still enjoying Cadfael.

Ruth M.

Oh my yes. In fact, I've just finished No. 7 of the Cadfael chronicles on this particular re-read (one of many). I never tire of them. They restore hope, some how, and are a balm to the weary soul. Her other books are also good, but Cadfael is by far my favorite.


Not a favorite of mine except for one book written under her own name, Edith Pargeter. This is "She Goes to War" and is a novel written about a woman's service in the WRNS in WW II, relying heavily on her own experience.
The Cadfael books are infuriating--so unconvincing. No feel for the period at all.


I read the Cadfael books many years ago and enjoyed them all. The television series infuriated me slightly (although I did watch it) as Cadfael was played by Derek Jacobi as an Englishman, whereas in the books he is a Welshman - and was played by Philip Madoc in the Radio 4 plays. I did try to read one of the books recently but didn't get very far. I must try again, or could it just have been that it was right at the time for me?


I started to read one or two many years ago but never got into them greatly. However I would be willing to try one again.


I have just come across your site, Cornflower, and have been enjoying browsing around.
I have never read any of the Cadfael books, but have recently been reading the 'Mistress of the Art of Death' series by Ariana Franklin. They are set in the 12th century. The first book has the same title as the series:
"In medieval Cambridge, England, Adelia, a female forensics expert, is summoned by King Henry II to investigate a series of gruesome murders that has wrongly implicated the Jewish population, yielding even more tragic results. As Adelia's investigation takes her behind the closed doors of the country's churches, the killer prepares to strike again."
I have read the first three in the series (I read the second one first, but it would be better to read them in the right order as the characters develop throughout). The books convey a good sense of the period.
I hope to get a copy of 'South Riding' and join you for the February discussion.

Dark Puss

I have read two (I think, could be three) of them. They are OK, quite "readable" but not up there with the best crime fiction. I watched, with some enjoyment a few of the programmes with Jacobi that you refer to, but I wasn't motivated to see more than a couple.

Of course you probably expected me to be the dissenting voice, so don't pay much attention to my opinion given the clear support from the majority of Cornflower readers.


Welcome, Momo, and thankyou very much for that recommendation - I see that Ariana Franklin (Diana Norman) sadly died a few days ago.
Do join us for South Riding.


I'm with you, Dark Puss. Vaguely remember reading one years ago but had no urge to read another. I'm afraid I always think of them as 'old ladies' library books' (although that's probably because I have an almost 90-year-old friend who loves them!)
Now, are the two of us going to set prejudice aside and try again? I'm afraid last time round I didn't think Cadfael came within a whisker of Name of the Rose.

Dark Puss

Dear "m" Eco was certainly one of the people in my mind when I made my comment! If it is a CBG book and I can borrow it then it will be read by me.

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