Extended Audio Sample

Download Dead Man's Ransom Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Dead Mans Ransom (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Ellis Peters
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,646 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ellis Peters Narrator: Roe Kendall Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc. Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2005 ISBN:
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It is early in the twelfth century, and the civil war between King Stephen and the Empress Maud rages with renewed vigor. In the battle of Lincoln, the sheriff of Shropshire is captured, and the king himself is detained by his enemies. An exchange of prisoners is arranged: the sheriff will be bartered for a young Welsh lordling who has been captured during a misguided assault on a convent. All seems to be going according to plan until one of the prisoners dies under mysterious circumstances before the exchange is completed.

Canny as ever, Brother Cadfael suspects that more than a little evil is afoot, and before long his suspicions are confirmed. How Cadfael determines that the man's death was not a natural one is the stuff from which the best and most satisfying suspense stories are made.

In this case Ellis Peters's sleuthing Benedictine bases his indictment for murder on literally a single thread. Of extraordinary softness and hue, this filament will bind together the destinies of an unusual trio of young lovers. The unraveling of their tale yields a powerful subtext that explores the nature of love, identity, and divided loyalty.

A stunning conclusion and a memorable cast of characters, including the debut of the irrepressible Sister Magdalen, are sure to engage every devotee of medieval suspense. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristin | 2/16/2014

    " Any man (or woman) is capable of anything (even murder) in a rash moment. How I admire Brother Cadfael. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laverne | 1/28/2014

    " Like the Brother Cadfael books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 1/27/2014

    " Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael series - set around 1000/1100, a Welsh man who had been with the Crusades, soldier/sailor, loved women etc settles down to retirement as a Benedictine monk, working as an apothecary within the abbey and the community, and assisting the sheriff with mysteries. He's a really wholesome character who understands people and life, not at all narrow and irritating. There is also a series of movies made based on these books with Derek Jacobi playing Brother Cadfael "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cathy | 1/23/2014

    " This is a wonderful series, and I particularly enjoy the stories that see Cadfael romping through Wales as this one did. The audio version is well done -- good to hear those Welsh names pronounced correctly after so many years of making it up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 1/23/2014

    " Not one of my favorite Ellis Peters mystery, but still an excellent read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 TJ | 1/21/2014

    " Reached my limit on this series. Too much alike. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Trisha | 1/21/2014

    " I love the Brother Cadfael books - not so much for the mystery part (since I'm not a mystery reader) but strictly because of the characters , specifically Brother Cadfael, the spunky little 12 century Welsh Benedictine monk and herbalist, and Hugh Berengar, Sheriff of Maesbury who is Cadfael's sleuthing sidekick. The books all take place in and around the Abbey of Sts Peter and Paul in Shrewsbury in Shropshire, England during the the civil war between King Stephen and Empress Maud of England. I love the sense of place and time that is evoked because of all the details and descriptions, as well as the historical setting that forms the backdrop for all the books. So the various plots - which all seem to follow a similar pattern anyway - don't matter nearly as much as the people and places and way of life that I can read about in these books - or in this case listen to since this time I "read" the book while listening to the audio version in my car on a long trip across Iowa. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Misty | 1/17/2014

    " This is my favorite Ellis Peters yet. If you are only ever going to read one of hers, read this one! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meghan | 1/13/2014

    " I'm knowing the style enough now that I can figure out the "whodunit" part of these mysteries but the writing keeps me engaged and satisfied. Many times I will reread a paragraph just for the pleasure of how she's phrased it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 D.w. | 12/30/2013

    " Seems more a semi believable love story. The color of the period however makes this a joy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sharon | 12/28/2013

    " This is a fun series of mysteries about Brother Cadfael, in the 1100's. I read the entire series many years ago and am reading the ones I can find in the library for a second time. They are all very entertaining as well as informative. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beka | 12/25/2013

    " A very complicated mystery deftly solved by the hilarious Cadfael. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 M Christopher | 12/14/2013

    " Another fine entry in the Cadfael Chronicles, in which changes come to the regular cast of characters as well as to the political situation in Shewsbury and England as a whole. Also, two pairs of young lovers figure prominently in the action. Quelle suprise! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jill Crosby | 11/30/2013

    " Not my favorite of the Cadfael books. A bit too much intrigue and far too many Welsh names to keep plot lines sorted. Still---the question of "Mercy vs. Justice" underlies the entire story, acting as almost a character who has a cameo in every scene. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 11/26/2013

    " Yet another strong entry in the Brother Cadfael series, though I am starting to notice similar character types showing up in these books (generally, a young couple trying for love despite inauspicious circumstances). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gwyndyllyn | 10/15/2013

    " A very enjoyable read...as are all of the Cadfael books. I particularly enjoyed the young Welshman's fall into bardic satire...it made me laugh aloud. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cat | 10/6/2013

    " One of the things book taught me is, if you're going set your book in a certain era of history, know your stuff. Ellis Peters certainly did, and it really adds depth to the story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hazel | 8/2/2013

    " The Brother Cadfael series by Ellis Peters is a wonderful set of mysteries that take place in 12th century England. Ellis Peters does a wonderful job of describing all the characters and she is a great mystery writer. The cases are complicated enough to make them interesting. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 amy | 7/11/2013

    " Do I care about these handsome young folks? No, I do not. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Trudy | 7/10/2013

    " I did not like this particular book as much as the other Cadfael books that I have listened, but it was still a pleasant way to pass the time as I travelled back from taking my son to College. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marlene | 7/9/2013

    " Brother Cadfael tries to resolve his inner conflict over the consequences of the death of Sherrif Prescote. A book the evokes sympathy and questions justice. Good reading but kind of an unsettling ending, I thought. mm "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fredrick Danysh | 2/23/2013

    " Brother Cadfael is caught up in the murder of the Sheriff of Shropshire while the sheriff is recovering from wounds suffered in the war between Stephen and Maud for the crown of England. Welsh nobles are raiding into Shropshire. Two pairs of star crossed lovers have to resolve differences. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenn | 1/16/2013

    " Another well written and fun Cadfael mystery. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Priscilla | 12/22/2012

    " S'okay. Didn't get into this one as much as the other Cadfael books, primarily because it focuses so much on the civil war that is usually only a backdrop for the main story, and I basically think the whole civil war storyline is pretty boring. No biggie; there are other Cadfaels left to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 7/24/2012

    " This was the last of the Brother Cadfael books that I read. They were all really good, but I think I read too many, too quickly and spoiled my appetite for any more. Shame really. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 6/10/2012

    " I remember this as being one of the more bittersweet, somber episodes. But I felt that was important--it prevented the Cadfael series from being all heroics and romance. And it gives the reader something more to contemplate, even wrestle. So I recommend it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Miriam | 4/16/2012

    " One of my favorite in the series so far, in part because some of it takes place in Wales. It is interesting to see the differences between the English and the Welsh approaches to the idea of law and justice. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael Culbertson | 4/12/2012

    " Interesting spin on the love triangle. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marisa | 4/19/2011

    " I think this is my favorite Brother Cadfael novel yet. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jill | 4/8/2011

    " Not my favorite of the Cadfael books. A bit too much intrigue and far too many Welsh names to keep plot lines sorted. Still---the question of "Mercy vs. Justice" underlies the entire story, acting as almost a character who has a cameo in every scene. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Miriam | 4/4/2011

    " One of my favorite in the series so far, in part because some of it takes place in Wales. It is interesting to see the differences between the English and the Welsh approaches to the idea of law and justice. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 1/15/2011

    " Yet another strong entry in the Brother Cadfael series, though I am starting to notice similar character types showing up in these books (generally, a young couple trying for love despite inauspicious circumstances). "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 amy | 11/30/2010

    " Do I care about these handsome young folks? No, I do not. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Misty | 10/22/2010

    " This is my favorite Ellis Peters yet. If you are only ever going to read one of hers, read this one! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cat | 4/17/2010

    " One of the things book taught me is, if you're going set your book in a certain era of history, know your stuff. Ellis Peters certainly did, and it really adds depth to the story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 liirogue | 3/15/2010

    " Cadfael sure sees a lot of action for a monk! I figured out the murderer way early though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura | 11/22/2009

    " Available at BBC Radio 7. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beka | 9/1/2009

    " A very complicated mystery deftly solved by the hilarious Cadfael. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sharon | 3/19/2009

    " This is a fun series of mysteries about Brother Cadfael, in the 1100's. I read the entire series many years ago and am reading the ones I can find in the library for a second time. They are all very entertaining as well as informative. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marlene | 3/11/2009

    " Brother Cadfael tries to resolve his inner conflict over the consequences of the death of Sherrif Prescote. A book the evokes sympathy and questions justice. Good reading but kind of an unsettling ending, I thought. mm "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 D.w. | 1/21/2009

    " Seems more a semi believable love story. The color of the period however makes this a joy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debbie | 11/15/2008

    " Enjoyable romp with Cadfael. I worked out whodunnit and why before he did, which makes me feel all smug inside :).

    Charity shop find. "

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About the Author
Author Ellis Peters

Ellis Peters (1913–1995) was the pen name of English novelist Edith Pargeter, author of scores of books under her own name. She was a recipient of the Silver Dagger Award and the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award, conferred by the Crime Writers’ Association of Great Britain, as well as the coveted Edgar, awarded by the Mystery Writers of America.

About the Narrator

Roe Kendall (a.k.a. Vanessa Benjamin), a native of the British Isles, graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London. She has performed on stage, as a voice-over artist, and as an audiobook narrator.