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Dead Man’s Ransom

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Dead Man’s Ransom (1984) Ellis Peters

Set in England in 1141.

The war between Stephen and Maud still flares across the countryside, and in one of the battles Gilbert Prestcote, the sheriff of Shrewsbury, is wounded and taken prisoner by the Welsh. Meanwhile, a band of Welsh raiders have been attacking the countryside, and one of the raiders falls prisoner in an attack on an outlying area.

That was more than enough. “A parcel of women,” said Cadfael in loud and indignant Welsh, “who pulled you out of the flood and squeezed your lordship dry, and pummelled the breath back into you. And if you cannot find a civil word of thanks to them, in a language they’ll understand, you are the most ungrateful brat who ever disgraced Wales. And that you may know it, my fine paladin, there’s nothing older nor uglier than ingratitude. Nor sillier, either, seeing I’m minded to rip that dressing off you and let you burn for the graceless limb you are.”

The young man was bolt upright on his stone bench by this time, his mouth fallen open, his half-formed, comely face stricken into childishness. He stared and swallowed, and slowly flushed from breast to brow.

Oops!

Hugh hopes that a trade can be made for the two prisoners, and Cadfael, as Welsh born, is sent north to talk to Owan Gwynedd.

They mystery is interesting, the murderer unexpected, romance blooms, and at the heart of everything is Cadfael.

“Mortal man should be able and willing to delegate at any moment,” said Cadfael soberly, “since mortal he is.

And his observations.

The other two burned like candles, eating their own substance and giving an angry and vulnerable light.

One that would always fall on his feet. Two that probably made a practice of falling over theirs, from too intense peering ahead, and too little watching where they trod.

I do enjoy this series very much, and I like that the culprit is never quite what or who you expect.

Publisher: MysteriousPress
Rating: 8/10

Categories: 8/10, British, Historical, Mystery, Re-Read     Comments (0)    



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