St. Peter's Fair is a grand, festive event, attracting merchants from across England and beyond. There is a pause in the civil war racking the country in the summer of 1139, and the fair promises to bring some much-needed gaiety to the town of Shrewsbury. Until, that is, the body of a wealthy merchant is found murdered in the river Severn. Was Thomas of Bristol the victim of murderous thieves? And, if so, why were his valuables abandoned nearby?
Brother Cadfael, that shrewd but kindly monk, offers to help the merchant's lovely niece Emma. But while he is searching for the killer, Thomas of Bristol's wares are ransacked and two more men are murdered. Emma almost certainly knows more than she is telling - as others will soon realize. Cadfael desperately races to save the young girl, knowing that in a country at war with itself, betrayal can come from any direction - and even good intentions can kill.
St. Peter's Fair is the fourth chronicle of Brother Cadfael, of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, at Shrewsbury.
©1981 by Ellis Peters; (P)1997 by Blackstone Audiobooks
Yes, I would recommend this book to anyone. It's great for those who like mysteries, history, suspense, good characters, and a good read.
So many moments come to mind, the moment when they find the bottle, the time they have to break in to the booth, the last conversation Cadfael has with the Welsh merchant. The list gets longer as I think on it.
You just asked me that! See above.
Extreme? how about
You don't have to start at the beginning of the series,
Unfortunately, this is a great story, let down by poor narration. Ms. Ward's accents wander around all over the place and her pronunciation of Welsh words and place names is often just plain wrong. She even has Brother Cadfael pronounce his own name wrongly on several occasions! I would have thought a familiarity with Welsh pronunciation would have been essential for at least one of the production team, but apparently not. . .
The narration also failed to convey the dynamism of Cadfael's character. Yes, he's a middle-aged monk, but the whole point of the character is that he's actually the least-likely monk you'd ever come across.
I shall be checking out the versions of Stephen Thorne.
In the US, they're allowed a better narrated version of this. In australia, we are stuck with Johanna, probably due to licencing issues. Bless her, she does her best, but has no idea how to approach any of the necessary accents. In some places she rambles, possibly because some of the linguistics of the sentences are a bit complicated for her. Definitely worth a listen, but whoever chose her as the reader, did a poor job of casting, in my opinion.
"Good Book - Let down by narration"
I am in the process of building up my collection of the whole series of Cadfael books and am, as usual, completly delighted with the book itself, however it is let down by the reader. Cadfael is Welsh, albeit years away from his native ground, but he would, I think, retain the accent and musical cadences of the language. Unfortunatly, on first hearing, his accent moves between West Contry and Irish, with a touch of Sheffield here and there. I suppose I have been spoiled by the readings by Stephen Thorne, who in my opinion, is the ideal 'voice of Cadfael'. Do not let this spoil the experience, though. I soon found that I was able to listen to the book and hear Stephen Thorne's voice.
"How do YOU pronounce 'provost'?"
I nearly gave up within the first few minutes, but am persevering. How do you say 'provost'? Surely with equal accent on both syllables, not PRO-vost? and the same with PHA-lanx? Added to this the narrator's choice of SHREWsbury rather than SHROWsbury (all right - that's a matter of personal preference), and her struggles with Welsh names, it's like having a file scraped across my nerve-endings. I don't want to be too harsh, but I would not have chosen this if I had realised. Only Ellis Peters' story keeps me hooked ... it's a lesson to me to check the sound of the narrator's voice first
"the narration is terrible"
The narration is appalling with american intonations despite set in medieval England with Welsh and Norman characters. It is neither nuanced nor accurate and although I loved the story it is impossible to get past the voices and accents used.
Cadfael; if he were real you would want him to be your favourite uncle. World savvy, he tends his garden of herbs and watches the world but when a mystery comes along he is the best person to unravel the tengled web of lies, murder and overbearing personalities.
The story itself is a good murder mystery and I would re-read/listen to it again but with a different reader
Ellis Peters is a good writer and i would recommend any of her books
"Excellent story....but spoiled by the narration"
I've loved the Cadfael books for years, and listened to the majority as audiobooks, borrowed from the library, so was delighted to think I could build up my own collection. Sadly however, after the first three narrated by Stephen Thorne, this one is spoilt by the narration - no use of accents and feels generally rushed. As another reviewer said, please bring back Stephen Thorne!
"Excellent story, poor narration"
I love the Cadfael stories and was therefore able to cope with this audiobook but I would certainly not recommend it to someone who is not a fan. Sadly, the narrator has a very poor, staccato delivery and cannot do a Welsh accent to save her life. She would have done far better not to try rather than give us the very odd mixture of accents that we get. As other reviewers have stated she also has some very strange pronunciations of normal English words. Despite this, the quality of the story wins through.
A great medieval mystery - fully up to Ellis Peter's best standard.
She really did not seem to have got to grips with the characters at all and cannot do accents.
Don't let the poor quality of the narration put you off the Brother Cadfael books.
I loved this tale as I did the three previous ones but sorely missed Stephen Thorne as the narrator. Tales about monks with a largely male cast of characters sounds far better with a male narrator. A hard task to follow one as good as Stephen Thorne too. Bring back Stephen Thorne! Please!
I was unable to listen to this book as the reader was obviously late for an appointment or trying to break the speed reading record.
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