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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 3,584 copies, 86 reviews
One Corpse Too Many 2,493 copies, 55 reviews
Monk's Hood 2,123 copies, 43 reviews
The Virgin in the Ice 1,893 copies, 42 reviews
Saint Peter's Fair 1,885 copies, 38 reviews
The Leper of Saint Giles 1,803 copies, 41 reviews
The Sanctuary Sparrow 1,749 copies, 30 reviews
The Rose Rent 1,641 copies, 21 reviews
A Rare Benedictine 1,628 copies, 29 reviews
Brother Cadfael's Penance 1,603 copies, 25 reviews
The Devil's Novice 1,586 copies, 32 reviews
The Potter's Field 1,579 copies, 20 reviews
The Summer of the Danes 1,569 copies, 24 reviews
The Holy Thief 1,567 copies, 22 reviews
Dead Man's Ransom 1,562 copies, 30 reviews
The Hermit of Eyton Forest 1,559 copies, 23 reviews
An Excellent Mystery 1,556 copies, 29 reviews
The Raven in the Foregate 1,546 copies, 21 reviews
The Pilgrim of Hate 1,509 copies, 26 reviews
The Confession of Brother Haluin 1,501 copies, 22 reviews
The Heretic's Apprentice 1,474 copies, 22 reviews
The Brothers of Gwynedd Quartet 513 copies, 6 reviews
A Nice Derangement of Epitaphs 471 copies, 7 reviews
Fallen into the Pit 453 copies, 16 reviews
Flight of a Witch 447 copies, 6 reviews
The Knocker on Death's Door 445 copies, 5 reviews
Death and the Joyful Woman 386 copies, 8 reviews
A Bloody Field by Shrewsbury 374 copies, 6 reviews
The Piper on the Mountain 346 copies, 8 reviews
Rainbow's End 325 copies, 3 reviews
City of Gold and Shadows 293 copies, 6 reviews
The Heaven Tree 278 copies, 7 reviews
The House of Green Turf 260 copies, 3 reviews
Mourning Raga 258 copies, 4 reviews
The Grass Widow's Tale 230 copies, 3 reviews
Death to the Landlords! 224 copies, 4 reviews
The Green Branch 207 copies, 3 reviews
The Scarlet Seed 200 copies, 5 reviews
Death Mask 168 copies, 1 review
The Will and the Deed 156 copies, 3 reviews
Sunrise in the West 151 copies, 3 reviews
The Fourth Cadfael Omnibus 135 copies, 1 review
Never Pick Up Hitch-hikers! 126 copies, 3 reviews
Funeral of Figaro 126 copies, 1 review
The Marriage of Meggotta 121 copies, 3 reviews
Holiday with Violence 115 copies, 2 reviews
The Assize of the Dying 113 copies, 1 review
The Dragon at Noonday 110 copies, 2 reviews
The Hounds of Sunset 102 copies, 2 reviews
The Horn of Roland 99 copies, 2 reviews
Afterglow and Nightfall 90 copies, 2 reviews
Ellis Peters' Shropshire 49 copies, 2 reviews
She Goes to War 47 copies, 1 review
By Firelight 32 copies
Lost Children 32 copies
The Price of Light 8 copies, 1 review
Aunt Helen 5 copies
Iron-Bound 1 copy
Don Juan 1 copy
Closely Watched Trains (Translator, some editions) 932 copies, 25 reviews
The Mammoth Book of Historical Whodunits Volume 2 (Contributor; Foreword) 520 copies, 4 reviews
The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries (Contributor) 220 copies, 7 reviews
The Mammoth Book of Historical Detectives (Contributor) 201 copies, 3 reviews
The Cadfael Companion: The World of Brother Cadfael (Introduction) 161 copies, 1 review
The Mammoth Book of More Historical Whodunnits (Introduction) 144 copies, 1 review
The Folio Book of Christmas Crime Stories (Contributor) 107 copies, 1 review
Stories Not for the Nervous, Part 2 (Contributor) 90 copies, 1 review
Crime for Christmas (Contributor) 81 copies, 1 review
Legends of Old Bohemia (Translator, some editions) 72 copies, 1 review
More Mystery Cats: Feline Felonies (Contributor) 67 copies, 1 review
Cadfael Country: Shropshire and the Welsh Borders (Introduction, some editions) 65 copies, 1 review
Murder Most Medieval: Noble Tales of Ignoble Demises (Contributor) 62 copies, 2 reviews
2nd Culprit: A Crime Writers' Association Annual (Contributor) 59 copies, 1 review
Mysterious Pleasures (Contributor) 31 copies, 2 reviews
Murder in Midwinter (Contributor) 16 copies
Cadfael: One Corpse Too Many [1994 TV episode] (Original book) 14 copies, 1 review
A Feast of Stories (Contributor) 11 copies
Winter's Crimes 11 (Contributor) 11 copies
Dangerous Ladies (Contributor) 8 copies
Vijf historische zaken 7 copies, 1 review
Winter's Crimes 13 (Contributor) 6 copies
Winter's Crimes 17 (Contributor) 5 copies
Winter's Crimes 16 (Contributor) 4 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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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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