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The Potter's Field by Ellis Peters
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The Potter's Field (original 1989; edition 1989)

by Ellis Peters

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1,384208,591 (3.84)103
Member:konallis
Title:The Potter's Field
Authors:Ellis Peters
Info:London : Futura, 1991, c1989.
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:crime fiction, historical fiction, read 2014

Work details

The Potter's Field by Ellis Peters (1989)

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English (18)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All languages (20)
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
A potter's field is generally thought of as a graveyard for the unknown or the indigent. Not so in this novel - the field is one that had belonged to a potter. When the Abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul in Shrewsbury obtained the field, they decided to use it for planting crops. What they discovered were the bones of a young woman. The potter has come to the Abbey as a novitiate and his abandoned wife was believed to have gone off with a lover. So who is this woman? We are introduced to another young monk fleeing from the terrible war between Empress Maud and King Stephen and his mother as well as various other characters. A mystery to savor. ( )
  fdholt | Jun 24, 2019 |
Cleverly done mystery where a field is granted to the abbey of Shrewsbury and as the monks work the field, they discover a dead body. Who is this woman? Brother Cadfael and Hugh Beringar set out to figure out who this person is and how she died. ( )
  phoenixcomet | Mar 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 & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: The Potter's Field
Series: Brother Cadfael #17
Author: Ellis Peters
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 248
Format: Digital Edition

Synopsis:


Cadfael's Abbey trades a field with another Abbey and in the process of plowing it, turn up the remains of a woman.

A newly minted monk at Shrewsbury took the vows against his wife's wishes and she disappeared, thought to have run off to Wales with a lover. Now the suspicion is on him. Until a novitiate turns up with a story about seeing the woman just a couple of weeks ago, with her ring to prove it. Then another woman is shown to have disappeared and her lover is arrested. The same novitiate proves that the woman is alive and sets the scoundrel free.

It all turns out that the woman was the monk's wife but she died due to the novitiates father and mother. It wasn't murder and there was no foul play. It was complicated enough that even Hugh Beringar says that God will sort out everyone's motives.

My Thoughts:

I found this to be one of the more complicated mysteries, mainly because of the various motivations and lack of malice aforethought. And yet I certainly can't agree with the author's thoughts, presented through Cadfael, Hugh and the Father Abbot, that everything was ok in the end. There was no justice. The mother of the novitiate did cause the death of the wife of the monk, even if hatred wasn't involved.

These last couple of Cadfael books I have found myself disagreeing with the author more and more about how justice gets carried out and just what is the law. If you cause someone else's death, even if they agree to it, that is still killing someone. The price of a life is the life of the one who took it or, if there was no forethought and hatred, banishment for life. Someone who pre-meditates and then carries out a killing is not someone who deserves to live. That is a cancer that must be cut out, not a cold that gets treated with soft tissues and extra fluids.

Mercy misplaced or misapplied is as bad as no mercy at all.

★★★☆☆ ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Feb 10, 2018 |
Another excellent "Brother Cadfael" mystery. Highly recommend. ( )
  MrsRK | Nov 21, 2016 |
The seventeenth chronicle of Brother Cadfael
Peters, Ellis, 1913-1995. Cadfael chronicles ; 17.

Cadfael, Brother (Fictitious character)
Monks -- England -- Shrewsbury -- Fiction.
Detective and mystery stories.
Historical fiction.
Herbalists
Great Britain -- History -- Stephen, 1135-1154 -- Fiction.

(Library summary)

A plowed field yields a woman's skeletal remains...
Who is she?... An unusual place for a dignified burial..... ( )
  pennsylady | Jan 31, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ellis Petersprimary authorall editionscalculated
BascoveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chwat, SergeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Janssens, PieterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maass, Hans-JoachimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Menini, María AntoniaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Michowski, MarekTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ooide, KenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pelitti, ElsaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pošustová-Menš… StanislavaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thorne, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tull, PatrickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Saint Peter's Fair of that year, 1143, was one week past, and they were settling down again into the ordinary routine of a dry and favorable August, with the corn harvest already being carted into the barns, when Brother Matthew the cellarer first brought into chapter the matter of business he had been discussing for some days during the fair with the prior of the Augustine priory of Saint John the Evangelist, at Haughmond, about four miles to the northeast of Shrewsbury.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446400580, Mass Market Paperback)

In October of 1142, a local landlord gives the Potter's Field to the local clergy. The monks begin to plow it, and the blades turn up the long tresses of a young woman, dead over a year. Then the arrival of a novice who fled from an abbey ravaged by civil war in East Anglia complicates life even further for Brother Cadfael.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:47 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

When a woman's skeleton is discovered in a local potter's field, Cadfael must find the culprit before he himself is found lynch by an angry mob.

» see all 5 descriptions

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