Friday has spun around again! Today I am featuring the first novel in a series of Medieval Detective stories which has become famous around the world, thanks to the TV adaptations starring Derek Jacobi which were first broadcast in the 1990s.
A Morbid Taste for Bones was the first book in the Cadfael Chronicles, a series of historical mystery novels which featured a rather unusual sleuth: a 12th century Benedictine Monk by the name of Brother Cadfael.
Cadfael is a Welsh came, which is fitting, because the stories are set in and around the city of Shrewsbury, which is on the Welsh borders in the modern county of Shropshire during a period known as 'The Anarchy'. This was a civil war between two rival claimants to the English throne in the first half of the twelfth century, Matilda and her Cousin Stephen of Blois, both grandchildren of William the Conqueror.
Ellis Peters was in fact the pen name of a female author Edith Parteger, and those familiar with the TV series might be surprised to discover that the book featured was in fact the first book Chronologically, because the TV adaptation co-starring Stephen Moyer and Anna Friel was the final episode of season two.
My grandmother used to own the complete collection of the novels, and Amazon recently had the first three titles on offer on Kindle, so I purchased them.
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.
The first line is rather on the long side, so I might not bother to use it when commenting on other member's blogs this week.
On the fine, bright morning in early May when the whole sensational affair of the Gwytherin relics may properly be considered to have begun, Brother Cadfael had been up long before Prime, pricking out cabbage seedlings before the day was aired, and his thoughts were all on birth, growth and fertility, not at all on graves and reliquaries and violent deaths, whether of saints, sinners or ordinary decent, fallible men like himself.
So that's my contribution for this week. Be sure to click the meme to check out what the other members of the First Line Fridays Group are reading, or just post the first line of your current book.
Happy Reading and have a great weekend.