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Dead Man's Ransom by Ellis Peters

Dead Man's Ransom (1984)

by Ellis Peters

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Brother Cadfael (9)

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1,397288,556 (3.85)55
In the February of the year of our Lord 1141, men march home from war to Shrewsbury, but the captured Sheriff Gilbert Prestcote is not among them. Elis, a young Welsh prisoner, is, and he is delivered to the Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul to begin a tale that will test Brother Cadfael's sense of justice... and his heart. By good fortune, it seems, the prisoner can be exchanged as Sheriff Prestcote's ransom. What none expects is that good-natured Elis will be struck down by Cupid's arrow. The sherrif's own daughter holds him in thrall, and she too, is blind with passion. Now regaining her father means losing her lover. But then the sheriff ailing and frail, is brought to the abbey's infirmary and murdered there. Suspicion falls on the prisoner, who only has his Welsh honour to gain Brother Cadfael's help. And Cadfael gives it, not knowing the truth will be a trial for his own soul.… (more)



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English (24)  French (2)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (28)
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
Adequate entry in this entertaining series, and I didn't guess the culprit before it was revealed. ( )
  fuzzi | Sep 19, 2019 |
Sheriff Prescote is wounded and a prisoner of the Empress Maud's forces. An exchange is being arranged and he is brought back to the Abbey at Shrewsbury where Brothers Edmund and Cadfael can care for him. However he has made enemies and is murdered in the infirmary. So what happens to the young man to be exchanged! And who murdered the sheriff, who as a dead man cannot be ransomed.

In this book, we see medieval Wales under Owain Gwynedd (the grandfather of Llewelyn, "the one, true and only Prince of Wales," as well as the continuing feud between King Stephen and the Empress. A book well worth reading! ( )
  fdholt | Jun 16, 2019 |
It is a turbulent time in England. King Stephen and Empress Maud battle for the throne. In one such battle, Stephen is taken and Gilbert Prestcote is felled. In another battle, a group of Welsh attempt to loot an area for ill gotten gains during which Elis, is left nearly drowned in the local stream. The nearby nunnery deflected the ransacking of their area, rescued Elis, Welsh royalty. Quickly Hugh Beringar sees that Elis may be exchanged for Gilbert.

As Hugh's prisoner of war, Elis finds himself missing his foster-brother Eilud and falling madly in love with Prestcote's daughter, Melicent. Eilud is, meanwhile, in love with Elis' bethrothed since childhood, Cristina.

But then Gilbert Prestcote dies, and Brother Cadfael declares it murder. ( )
  phoenixcomet | Oct 12, 2018 |
This is an awesome installment of the Brother Caedfael novels! Not only is the writing as compelling as ever, the characters are well written, complex, and engaging, and the plot is both fascinating, consistent, but very surprising. There was more than one twist that completely surprised me, but worked perfectly. I highly recommend this book! ( )
  hopeevey | May 19, 2018 |
Another romp through murder, civil war, border raids, well-seasoned with star-crossed young lovers. A wonderful palate cleanser. ( )
  MarysGirl | May 19, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (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
Chwat, SergeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kendall, RoeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thorne, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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On that day, which was the seventh of February of the year of Our Lord 1141, they had offered special prayers at every office, not for the victory of one party or the defeat of another in the battlefields of the north, but for better counsel, for reconciliation, for the sparing of blood-letting and the respect of life between men of the same country - all desirable consummations, as Brother Cadfael sighed to himself even as he prayed, but very unlikely to be answered in this torn and fragmented land with any but a very dusty answer.
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Futura paperback blurb:
The year is 1141 and civil war continues to rage. In the battle of Lincoln the sheriff of Shropshire is captured and the king himself is taken prisoner by his enemies. Nothing more natural than that an exchange of prisoners should take place: the sheriff to be recovered in place of a young Welsh lordling seized in the course of a misguided assault on a convent. But before the exchange can be completed, one captive is murdered. To Brother Cadfael, who first notices the evidence of unnatural death, falls the task of gathering enough clues to prove it.
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