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The Raven in the Foregate by Ellis Peters

The Raven in the Foregate (1986)

by Ellis Peters

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Brother Cadfael (12)

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1,370208,643 (3.83)44



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English (16)  Spanish (1)  Finnish (1)  French (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (20)
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
In the twelfth chronicle of Brother Cadfael, the war between the Empress Maud and King Stephen is still raging but Shrewsbury is relatively quiet. Father Adam, pastor of the Foregate Church has died and a replacement is need. Abbot Radulfus, returning from a church council, brings with him Father Ailnoth along with his housekeeper and her nephew to the Foregate as priest and housekeeper. Of course, trouble follows as the new priest is arrogant with his flock. Soon Ailnoth is found dead and the nephew along with a score of parishioners could be the culprit. But with Hugh Beringar and Brother Cadfael, all is sorted out. A good medieval mystery! ( )
  fdholt | Jun 17, 2019 |
I always enjoy Brother Cadfael mysteries. When a disliked priest, Father Ailnoch is found dead, no one is particularly troubled and yet Hugh Beringar must seek out the murderer. At the same time, a young man is trapped behind enemy lines and wishes to rejoin Empress Maude if only he can get out of Shrewsbury. ( )
  phoenixcomet | Jan 11, 2019 |
This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Booklikes & Librarything and linked at Goodreads by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Raven in the Foregate
Series: Brother Cadfael #12
Author: Ellis Peters
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 244
Format: Digital Edition


A new priest is installed in the town [as opposed to being at the abbey] when the old priest, Father Adam, dies. Where Father Adam was an easy going, accepting man who loved his flock even when they strayed and was friends with all, Father Ailnoth is a whole nother matter.

Moving boundary stones, calling into question whether a man is a freeman or surf, refusing to interrupt his prayers to give last rights to a dying baby and then not allowing it to be buried in the church grounds because it had not been shriven, excommunicating a young woman for her wandering ways, beating the boys who he was supposed to be teaching, Ailnoth has turned the town against him. So when Ailnoth turns up dead, there are more suspects than you can shake Father Ailnoths ebony staff at.

The war between Empress Maude and King Stephen is still going on and their vassals fortunes rise and fall according to how things are going. One young man is on Maude's side and of course gets involved in the death of Father Ailnoth while falling in love with a local girl.

Cadfael solves the mystery. The End.

My Thoughts:

This is book 12 in the series. If you've stuck around this long, this book will not dissuade you from continuing.

I am finding that I am liking the historic aspects of the novel more than the mystery, as it gets boring with somebody “dying” and then solving who/why, etc. I am not a big mystery fan, so it helps keep my interest by showing other things.

I am getting a bit tired of “young man comes to Shrewsbury, gets involved in a murder in some way and escapes with the help of a local lovely and they go off to X to get married”. This young man, Benet, showed some real promise as a Class A Donkey's Head. He was an idiot and I was hoping something terrible would happen to him. Oh well, he wasn't the one responsible for Ailnoth's death and since he's leaving, I'm hoping I won't have to read about him again.

Other than that, this is a Cadfael mystery. He does things in his little herbarium, pokes around the scene of the crime, and solves things.

★★★☆☆ ( )
1 vote BookstoogeLT | Apr 4, 2017 |
The new priest of the nearby parish of Holy Cross is a most inflexible and unforgiving man. When he turns up dead, few are surprised but Brother Cadfael is determined to keep the innocent from being charged. This one keeps you guessing and ends with a touch of humor. ( )
  Oodles | Feb 16, 2016 |
The final joke was a little bit belabored, but overall I liked this one very much. Some mystery series become more unlikely the longer they go on - how many murders can there *be* in a small place? But I never get that feeling from this series, because every incident is so different from the next. ( )
  jen.e.moore | Feb 7, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ellis Petersprimary authorall editionscalculated
BascoveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Benjamin, VanessaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chwat, SergeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fredriksson, Karl G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fredriksson, LilianTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Janssens, PieterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Langowski, JürgenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Menini, María AntoniaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Michowski, MarekTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oka, TatsukoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pelitti, ElsaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pošustová-Menš… StanislavaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Son, Sŏng-gyŏngTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thorne, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tull, PatrickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Abbot Radulfus came to chapter, on this first day of December, with a preoccupied and frowning face, and made short work of the various trivialities brought up by his obedientiaries.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446405345, Mass Market Paperback)

It is Christmas, A.D. 1141, Abbot Radulfus returns from London, bringing with him a priest for the vacant living of Holy Cross, also known as the Foregate. The new priest is a man of presence, learning, and discipline, but he lacks humility and the common touch. When he is found drowned in the millpond, suspicion is cast upon a young man who arrived with the priest's train and was sent to work in Brother Cadfael's garden. Indeed, he is soon discovered to be an impostor. To Brother Cadfael, now falls the familiar task of sorting out the complicated strands of innocence and guilt.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:32 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

After refusing to baptize the illegitimate baby of a local prostitute, the new parish priest is found dead in the river.

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