The New Year’s resolution to rock a bathing suit for my 20th anniversary trip to the Caribbean has been thoroughly productive from one perspective: the audiobook perspective, that is. Looking for something light and engaging enough to keep my mind off the treadmill miles, I chose the second Brother Cadfael mystery, One Corpse Too Many. As expected, it was very entertaining.
Set against the backdrop of the siege of Shrewsbury Castle during the dynastic struggles of King Stephen and Empress Maude, the novel follows the scrupulous Brother Cadfael’s search for the murderer of a minor noble whose death was not warranted by King Stephen, unlike the other 94 men of the castle who were brutally but legally hanged for their participation in the siege: the “one corpse too many” of the title.
What I love about the Brother Cadfael novels is the unfolding of the deductive reasoning process. The unorthodox monk, who lived the worldly life of a Crusader before taking up the cowl to tend the abbey’s herbarium, brings his life’s experience to bear on every problem. And this book presents a lot of problems. Along with the solving of a murder, Cadfael also must save the life of a courier, outwit the cagiest of nobles, protect a young woman from the King, and hide the truth about a crime from an innocent orphan.
One of the most charming parts of the audiobook for me was Patrick Tull’s excellent narration. His accent changes from heavy Welsh to proper British falsetto effortlessly. And his voice is soothing, but not at all dull. As mysteries go, this is good, clean, historical fun. I liked this one even better than A Morbid Taste for Bones, and I think it would stand on its own, even if you didn’t read the first one. This book is highly recommended for lovers of deductive mysteries and historical mysteries.
This is my first book for the What's In A Name 4 Challenge: A Number. It's such a fun challenge, and the categories are so open that you can always fill them with something you wanted to read anyway, but didn't make time for. Thanks to Beth Fish Reads for hosting. And it clears some of my backlog, so it's a Bloggiesta chore as well!