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Ellis Peters Books In Order

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Publication Order of Inspector Felse Books

Fallen Into the Pit (1951)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death and the Joyful Woman (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
Flight of a Witch (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Nice Derangement of Epitaphs (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Piper on the Mountain (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
Black Is the Colour of My True Love's Heart (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Grass Widow's Tale (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
The House of Green Turf (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mourning Raga (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Knocker on Death's Door (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death to the Landlords (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
City of Gold and Shadows (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rainbow's End (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Chronicles of Brother Cadfael Books

A Morbid Taste for Bones (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
One Corpse Too Many (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
Monk's Hood (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
Saint Peter's Fair (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Leper Of St. Giles (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Virgin in the Ice (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Sanctuary Sparrow (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Devil's Novice (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dead Man's Ransom (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Pilgrim of Hate (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
An Excellent Mystery (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Raven in the Foregate (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Rose Rent (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Hermit of Eyton Forest (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Confession of Brother Haluin (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Rare Benedictine (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Heretic's Apprentice (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Potter's Field (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Summer of the Danes (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Holy Thief (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Eye Witness (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Price of Light (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Brother Cadfael's Penance (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Holiday with Violence (1952)Description / Buy at Amazon
Aunt Helen (1958)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death Mask (1959)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Will and the Deed (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Funeral of Figaro (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Horn of Roland (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Never Pick up Hitch-hikers! (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fair Young Phoenix (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

The Assize of the Dying (1958)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Trinity Cat (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Shropshire (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Strongholds and Sanctuaries (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Murderous Christmas Stories Books

Murder under the Christmas Tree: Ten Classic Crime Stories for the Festive Season (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder on Christmas Eve (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Very Murderous Christmas: Ten Classic Crime Stories for the Festive Season (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Anthology series.

Publication Order of Anthologies

Historical Whodunits(1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
2nd Culprit(1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mammoth Book of Historical Whodunnits(1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Feline Felonies(1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder in Midsummer: Classic Mysteries for the Holidays(2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Edith Mary Pargeter, better-known by her pen name, Ellis Peters, was born in 1913, just before the onset of WWI, in Horsehay, a village on the western outskirts of Dawley, Shropshire, England. She was the last-born in a family of three children. Her brother/eldest sibling was named Ellis, the name she later adopted as her pseudonym. Her elder sister was named Margaret.

They lived in a small community situated a short distance from Dawley. The family loved music and the children were encouraged to read from a tender age. The atmosphere at Peters’s home was sympathetic, encouraging and vibrant. Her mother influenced her life and her siblings’ lives greatly, as she was once quoted saying.

Ellis attended elementary school in Dawley and then Coalbrookdale High School for Girls. In elementary school, she had to walk to and from school, four times a day, as lunch was not provided at the time. All through school she would show interest in composition and art. She participated in various contests and competitions, where she scooped a number of awards and certificates. While in high school, her special interest and passion in writing was realized, encouraged, and eventually turned out to be a great part of her life.

As she neared the end of her time in Coalbrookdale, she took the Oxford local exam and passed, and later in 1931 she did the Oxford Higher exam. After she left school, she stayed at home to study for the executive division of the Civil Service. The competition for a place was great and even though she excelled in the written English exam, she couldn’t do as well in Mathematics. It was also in the 1930s that she worked as a pharmacist’s assistant, and in the early 1940s she served in the Women’s Royal Navy Service. It was while at the Royal Naval Service that her writing career set off and her first books were published.

Her Writing Life
Edith Mary Pargeter had a Welsh ancestry and this influenced most of her writing. Many of her short stories and books happen to have been set in Wales and its borderlands, with others having Welsh protagonists evident.

Beginning in the mid 1930’s, she wrote historical fiction and crime novels. She wrote using her real name as well as several pseudonyms. She wrote her first book when she was only 15 and still in school, and sent her manuscript to Heinemann Publishing. Her first novel to ever be published was Hortensius, Friend of Nero, before she had even reached the age of 20. The book was initially rejected, but was published in 1936. It was this first success that marked the start of her 60-year writing career, in which she published more than 70 books. Between 1936 (her first publication) and 1947, Edith is noted to have written many books, including a war-time trilogy that boosted her profile to a national level.

In 1947, she visited Czechoslovakia in the short period between war’s end and the political changes resulting from the nation’s incorporation within the Warsaw pact. Like many others, Edith felt that the politicians in the country before the war had let the people down. What appeared to be a simple interest and empathy for the people of Czechoslovakia turned out to become a lifetime interest in their culture, language and stories of the country. She visited the area numerous times in her next 21 years. When the war ended, she translated numerous volumes of prose and poetry from Czech and Slovak and continued writing her own fiction.

In 1951, she published her first detective book, Fallen into the Pit, which featured George Felse ( a policeman) and his family. The characters appeared in more books including Death and the Joyful Woman and Rainbow’s End (1979). She used the name Ellis Peters on all of the Felse Investigations Series. In this series, the Felse family is caught up in the middle of serious crimes, with George tasked to unravel the truth that will distinguish the culprits from the innocent.

In 1977, she began a series of detective novels set in and around the Benedictine Abbey at Shrewsbury in the 12th century. The first book was A Morbid Taste for Bones: A Medieval Whodunnit. In the series, she combined detailed depictions of medieval life with the investigation of a crime and a romantic sub-plot. The books enjoyed immense popularity. The romantic sub-plot in some of her works gained importance in the series she worked on. The main character, who also happens to be the detective in the series, is a monk, Cadfael, a former crusader who tends the abbey’s garden. Some titles of the series books include Saint Peter’s Fair (1981), The Virgin in the Ice (1982), The Confession of Brother Haluin (1988), One Corpse Too Many (1979), The Raven in the Foregate (1987), The Devil’s Novice (1984), and The Heretic’s Apprentice (1989). Most of The Cadfael Chronicles books were adapted for television, with Derek Jacobi playing the main role.

Edith passed on at her home in Madeley, Shropshire, after having returned from hospital following a stroke. She was 82 when she died on 14th October 1995. In 1997, in efforts to honor her memory, a stained glass window depicting St. Benedict was installed in Shrewsbury Abbey.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Ellis Peters

5 Responses to “Ellis Peters”

  1. Susanne Seymore: 1 year ago

    I own all of the Father Cadfael books and most of her detective novels and some short stories. I love the fact that I could find some titles on your site that I have never heard of before and would love to be able to find them. I live in South Africa, so chances are slim! Kindle is great, but I love to be able to handle a book. Most of my copies are falling to pieces, having been read so often and passed around to family and friends who also love to read a good story without foul language and explicit sex, only a well thought out plot, good clean murder and even better detection! Thank you.

    Reply
    • digna landrove: 1 year ago

      Love love Ellis Peters, she was recommended by a friend in 2007, and it has been a very joyful discovery. I feel the same as Susanne, like to have the book in my hand and make notes, but I then I go further and find the locations, enlarge the maps, trace the journeys, look for the plants, try to make the potions. Can’t sell the books afterwards, I become part of them and they part of me. I like to read them in the order written just to see if I can follow the mind that created them. With Ellis, the first book (Hortensius…) has proved hard to find and expensive but haven’t lost hope. I have read 2 of WWII, 1 Felse. 4 Cadfael and have a few more in line. When I run out of the ones I have, I read some of them again, especially the Cadfael Series. Great Author!

      Reply
    • Christina: 12 months ago

      Did Ellis Peter’s write a book about a carver of stone who was to die as soon as the work on the magnificent church was finished? In the book I’m thinking of, he and his love were entombed in the church to die together. I would love to find this book again, but I cannot remember the title. Can you help? Thank you in advance and best wishes!

      Reply
  2. Stephanie Chazalon: 2 years ago

    What a wonderful site! I’ve read the Cadfael series and bought the DVDs but was unaware that Ellis Peters had written modern mysteries until I heard about one of the Felse books and looked them up. Love them and am working my way through the series thanks to the list of books in order. I shall look into more of her writing when I finish the Felse series.

    Reply
  3. Diane Stephenson: 6 years ago

    Thank you so much for this detailed post. I have read about a dozen Cadfael mysteries–twice. I had not realized until recently that Ellis Peters was a woman. I will be on the lookout for the rest of the series and for the other series I was not aware of before.

    Reply

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