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The Rose Rent (1986)

by Ellis Peters

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Brother Cadfael Mysteries (13)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,749239,294 (3.93)61
Fiction. Mystery. Historical Fiction. HTML:

The sleuthing monk unravels a thorny case of murder in this "accomplished whodunit meticulously wrought with a wealth of medieval detail" (Booklist).
A late spring in 1142 brings dismay to the Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, for there may be no roses by June 22. On that day the young widow Perle must receive one white rose as rent for the house she has given to benefit the abbey, or the contract is void. When nature finally complies, a pious monk is sent to pay the rent??and is found murdered beside the hacked rosebush.

The abbey's wise herbalist, Brother Cadfael, follows the trail of bloodied petals. He knows the lovely widow's dowry is far greater with her house included, and she will likely wed again. Before Cadfael can ponder if a greedy suitor has done this dreadful deed, another crime is committed. Now the good monk must thread his way through a tangle more tortuous than the widow's thorny bushes.… (more)

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» See also 61 mentions

English (20)  Spanish (2)  French (1)  All languages (23)
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
The abbey rents donated land from a young widow whose only request rent in the form of a rose annually. When a young monk requests to be replaced by another, trouble starts. First, the rose bush is hacked & the young monk is found dead next to the bush. Second, the young widow vanishes without a trace. When another body turns up & then the rose bush is set on fire, Cadfael knows he has little time to resolve 2 murders. When the widow turns up alive, Cadfael suspects its all about the donated land. But will Cadfael discover the murderer before the young widow becomes the next victim? ( )
  walterhistory | Aug 17, 2022 |
A little better than average, and I like Cadfael in general. The problems of agency for a woman with property in feudal england, plus love and the usual bad / trapped actors make for a fun story. ( )
  jercox | Jun 2, 2021 |
This one had me guessing about "whodunit", and had several red herrings to deceive the reader. I liked it as well as most of this series entries, if not a tad more. ( )
  fuzzi | Sep 18, 2020 |
a widow's gift to the abbey is threatedned and the paths of two cirminals cross
  ritaer | Apr 7, 2020 |
In 1745, the Wistar family sold land to the Reformed Church in Richland, Pennsylvania for a nominal sum and the payment of one red rose every year to the family in June, a practice the church continues to this day. (In the interests of disclosure, my uncle belonged to that church.) Mildred Jordan Bausher used that story when she wrote her famous novel, One red rose forever but changed names and places.

Ellis Peters uses that same idea in The rose rent but changes some important details. The rent of a single rose is for a house given to the Abbey at Shrewsbury by a young widow. But things go wrong on the third anniversary. The bush is trampled and almost destroyed, a body is found and the lady goes missing. Father Cadfael has his hands full with further murder of a man and a rose bush.

A map helped put the landscape of the story in perspective but the story was slow going and especially lagged in the middle of the book. Not Peters at her best, but, if you have read the other Cadfael Chronicles, you'll want to read this one as well. ( )
  fdholt | Jun 17, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Peters, Ellisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
健, 大出翻訳secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
BascoveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chwat, SergeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fredriksson, Karl G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fredriksson, LilianTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Janssens, PieterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kim, HunTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Langowski, JürgenTranslatorsecondary 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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By reason of the prolonged cold, which lingered far into April, and had scarcely mellowed when the month of May began, everything came laggard and reluctant into that spring of 1142.
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Fiction. Mystery. Historical Fiction. HTML:

The sleuthing monk unravels a thorny case of murder in this "accomplished whodunit meticulously wrought with a wealth of medieval detail" (Booklist).
A late spring in 1142 brings dismay to the Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, for there may be no roses by June 22. On that day the young widow Perle must receive one white rose as rent for the house she has given to benefit the abbey, or the contract is void. When nature finally complies, a pious monk is sent to pay the rent??and is found murdered beside the hacked rosebush.

The abbey's wise herbalist, Brother Cadfael, follows the trail of bloodied petals. He knows the lovely widow's dowry is far greater with her house included, and she will likely wed again. Before Cadfael can ponder if a greedy suitor has done this dreadful deed, another crime is committed. Now the good monk must thread his way through a tangle more tortuous than the widow's thorny bushes.

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When Judith Perle's husband dies, the young widow bestows one of her properties - a house in the Monk's Foregate - on the Abbey of Shrewsbury. The only rent: a single white rose, to be delivered annually upon the day of translation of St Winifred.
But a beautiful woman with a substantial dowry must represent a target for would-be suitors. How much greater the dowry if the house should revert to her! Someone, it seems, will stop at nothing to prevent payment of the rose. In the summer of 1142 the rose is violently hacked down and lying beside it, equally brutally hacked, a murdered man is discovered.
To Brother Cadfael, as ever, falls the enquiry into this sensational crime of passion.
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