book reviews by Althea

The Devil’s Novice – Ellis Peters ***

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(Brother Cadfael, #8)

A perfectly adequate mystery. I don’t really have any complaints about it, but neither was it groundbreaking or astounding. It was a nice, undemanding vacation read – I’d read a couple of others in this series, and it was exactly what I expected. I enjoy the medieval/monastic setting.

Here, a new novice enters Brother Cadfael’s monastery. The boy is clearly unsuited to the lifestyle, but he vehemently insists that he wants nothing more than to become a monk, even requesting that he be allowed to expedite the process and take vows immediately. During the day, he professes devotion… but at night, he suffers nightmares that disturb the whole community.

Cadfael decides to look into the background of this novice, to discover what he is hiding. The secret appears like it may be more sinister than suspected when a body is found…


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