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Author photo. Ellis Peters (Edith Pargeter), 1913-1995

Ellis Peters (Edith Pargeter), 1913-1995

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Ellis Peters is the pseudonym for Edith Pargeter, who was born in Horsehay, Shropshire. She was a chemist's assistant from 1933 to 1940 and participated during World War II in the Women's Royal Navy Service. The name "Ellis Peters" was adopted by Edith Pargeter to clearly mark a division between her mystery stories and her other work. Her brother was Ellis and Petra was a friend from Czechoslovakia, thus the name. She came to writing mysteries, she says, "after half a lifetime of novel-writing." Her detective fiction features well-rounded, knowledgeable characters with whom the reader can empathize. Her most famous literary creation is the medieval monk Brother Cadfael. The blend of history and the formula of the detective story gives Peters's works their popular appeal. As detective hero, Brother Cadfael remains faithful to the requirements of the formula, yet the historical milieu in which he operates is both fully realized and well textured. Peters received the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award in 1963 and the Crime Writers Association's Silver Dagger Award in 1981. (Bowker Author Biography) — biography from A Morbid Taste for Bones… (more)
A Morbid Taste for Bones 3,750 copies, 96 reviews
One Corpse Too Many 2,621 copies, 58 reviews
Monk's Hood 2,223 copies, 46 reviews
The Virgin in the Ice 1,981 copies, 45 reviews
Saint Peter's Fair 1,967 copies, 43 reviews
The Leper of Saint Giles 1,880 copies, 43 reviews
The Sanctuary Sparrow 1,830 copies, 32 reviews
The Rose Rent 1,720 copies, 23 reviews
A Rare Benedictine 1,706 copies, 32 reviews
Brother Cadfael's Penance 1,691 copies, 27 reviews
The Devil's Novice 1,664 copies, 34 reviews
The Potter's Field 1,653 copies, 21 reviews
The Holy Thief 1,649 copies, 24 reviews
The Summer of the Danes 1,649 copies, 27 reviews
The Hermit of Eyton Forest 1,639 copies, 25 reviews
Dead Man's Ransom 1,633 copies, 32 reviews
An Excellent Mystery 1,628 copies, 32 reviews
The Raven in the Foregate 1,610 copies, 23 reviews
The Pilgrim of Hate 1,571 copies, 28 reviews
The Confession of Brother Haluin 1,560 copies, 24 reviews
The Heretic's Apprentice 1,543 copies, 25 reviews
The Brothers of Gwynedd Quartet 530 copies, 7 reviews
A Nice Derangement of Epitaphs 487 copies, 7 reviews
Fallen into the Pit 486 copies, 16 reviews
The Knocker on Death's Door 471 copies, 5 reviews
Flight of a Witch 461 copies, 7 reviews
Death and the Joyful Woman 401 copies, 8 reviews
A Bloody Field by Shrewsbury 391 copies, 7 reviews
The Piper on the Mountain 365 copies, 8 reviews
Rainbow's End 339 copies, 4 reviews
City of Gold and Shadows 299 copies, 6 reviews
The Heaven Tree 296 copies, 7 reviews
Mourning Raga 274 copies, 4 reviews
The House of Green Turf 268 copies, 3 reviews
The Grass Widow's Tale 249 copies, 3 reviews
Death to the Landlords! 233 copies, 4 reviews
The Green Branch 219 copies, 4 reviews
The Scarlet Seed 211 copies, 5 reviews
Death Mask 179 copies, 1 review
The Will and the Deed 164 copies, 3 reviews
Sunrise in the West 163 copies, 4 reviews
The Fourth Cadfael Omnibus 146 copies, 1 review
Never Pick Up Hitch-hikers! 133 copies, 3 reviews
Funeral of Figaro 130 copies, 1 review
The Marriage of Meggotta 125 copies, 3 reviews
The Dragon at Noonday 122 copies, 2 reviews
Holiday with Violence 120 copies, 2 reviews
The Assize of the Dying 115 copies, 1 review
The Hounds of Sunset 109 copies, 2 reviews
The Horn of Roland 106 copies, 2 reviews
Afterglow and Nightfall 99 copies, 2 reviews
She Goes to War 51 copies, 1 review
Ellis Peters' Shropshire 51 copies, 3 reviews
Lost Children 35 copies
By Firelight 32 copies
The Price of Light 10 copies, 1 review
Aunt Helen 5 copies
Iron-Bound 1 copy
Don Juan 1 copy
Closely Watched Trains (Translator, some editions) 996 copies, 25 reviews
The Mammoth Book of Historical Whodunits Volume 1 (Contributor; Foreword) 553 copies, 4 reviews
The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries (Contributor) 251 copies, 8 reviews
The Mammoth Book of Historical Detectives (Contributor) 216 copies, 3 reviews
The Cadfael Companion: The World of Brother Cadfael (Introduction) 165 copies, 1 review
The Mammoth Book of More Historical Whodunnits (Introduction) 149 copies, 1 review
The Folio Book of Christmas Crime Stories (Contributor) 114 copies, 1 review
Stories Not for the Nervous, Part 2 (Contributor) 92 copies, 1 review
Crime for Christmas (Contributor) 85 copies, 1 review
Legends of Old Bohemia (Translator, some editions) 79 copies, 2 reviews
More Mystery Cats: Feline Felonies (Contributor) 72 copies, 1 review
Cadfael Country: Shropshire and the Welsh Borders (Introduction, some editions) 66 copies, 1 review
2nd Culprit: A Crime Writers' Association Annual (Contributor) 65 copies, 1 review
Murder Most Medieval: Noble Tales of Ignoble Demises (Contributor) 64 copies, 2 reviews
Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Scream Along with Me (Contributor) 60 copies, 1 review
Mysterious Pleasures (Contributor) 32 copies, 2 reviews
Murder in Midwinter (Contributor) 25 copies
Cadfael: One Corpse Too Many [1994 TV episode] (Original book) 17 copies, 2 reviews
A Feast of Stories (Contributor) 14 copies, 1 review
Winter's Crimes 11 (Contributor) 12 copies
Dangerous Ladies (Contributor) 8 copies
Vijf historische zaken 7 copies, 1 review
Winter's Crimes 13 (Contributor) 6 copies
Winter's Crimes 16 (Contributor) 5 copies
Winter's Crimes 17 (Contributor) 5 copies
Du sang sous le sapin 2 copies, 1 review
Mystery and Suspense (Contributor) 1 copy
Argosy - November 1958 (Contributor) 1 copy
Historical Whodunits (Preface) 1 copy

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Short biography
Edith Mary Pargeter, BEM (September 28, 1913 in Horsehay, Shropshire, England –October 14, 1995) was a prolific author of works in many categories, especially history and historical fiction, and was also honoured for her translations of Czech classics; she is probably best known for her murder mysteries, both historical and modern. Born in the village of Horsehay (Shropshire, England), she had Welsh ancestry, and many of her short stories and books (both fictional and non-fictional) were set in Wales and its borderlands, and/or have Welsh protagonists.

During World War II, she worked in an administrative role in the Women's Royal Naval Service, and received the British Empire Medal - BEM.

Pargeter wrote under a number of pseudonyms; it was under the name Ellis Peters that she wrote the highly popular series of Brother Cadfael medieval mysteries, many of which were made into films for television.
Disambiguation notice

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