Eye Candy again

April 12, 2013

Another of my favourite relaxation genres is detective fiction.  For me, Sherlock Holmes is the greatest, and I’ve read and re-read, and listened repeatedly – I think one of the good things about a well-crafted detective story is that over time sufficient of the plot should become vague enough in one’s mind to allow re-reading without the ending being too obvious too soon.

Along with Sherlock Holmes, I have developed a liking for Ellis Peters‘ Brother Cadfael novels over the years. They are well-crafted, and the setting is very convincing – possibly riding on the back of Eco‘s Name of the Rose? – mediaeval and monastic, with a hero with a past to make him interesting, and the Shropshire setting, which is an added attraction for me as I grow to know and appreciate the area. So, I recently re-read One Corpse Too Many. It’s one of the very early ones, so the characters are still developing and have a way to go before they become fully fledged and settled as they are later in the series. There’s rather less about the daily life in a mediaeval monastery and town than we get later on, too. Peters fascinates on several levels – she weaves in historical detail effectively and convincingly – though as I’m no expert on twelfth century England, I don’t know how accurate she is; she recognises that there are similarities and differences between human beings and their behaviours over the centuries, and she manages to make us care briefly about her characters.

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