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Publisher's Summary

Setting out for the Saint Giles leper colony outside Shrewsbury, Brother Cadfael has more pressing matters on his mind than the grand wedding coming to his abbey. Yet as fate would have it, Cadfael arrives at Saint Giles just as the nuptial party passes the colony's gates. He sees the fragile bride looking like a prisoner between her two stern guardians and the bridegroom, an arrogant, fleshy aristocrat old enough to be her grandfather. And he quickly discerns this union may be more damned than blessed. Indeed, a savage murder will interrupt the May-December marriage and leave Brother Cadfael with a dark, terrible mystery to solve. For the key to the killing - and a secret - are hid among the lepers of Saint Giles. Now Brother Cadfael's skills must ferret out a sickness, not of the body, but of a twisted soul - in the fifth Brother Cadfael Chronicle, a work that displays Ellis Peters' special genius at her best.
©1981 by Ellis Peters (P)1998 by Blackstone Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Each addition to the series is a joy. Long may the Chronicles continue." (USA Today)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
  • Overall
    out of 5 stars
  • Wm Bruce Ford
  • 25-10-2009

The Leper of Saint Giles

Good. Moderately enteraining.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Suzo
  • 23-05-2018

Questionable Narration

The narration of Ms Ward wasn't bad, except when she was speaking Cadfael's voice. The voice she used, supposedly to mimic Welsh speaking, was more reminiscent of Calcutta or Bombay. It was quite annoying. Only the excellence of Ellis Peters' story carried me to the conclusion. I'll make it a point to avoid Ms Ward's narration in the future.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tom
  • 05-12-2012

Another great listen!

Any additional comments?

I have been slowly going through the BC series, and have enjoyed them all thus far. But I want to comment specifically on the reader, Joanna Ward. There have been some comments on this, and other BC books, about her being a bad choice. I have to strongly disagree. Of the readers I have heard so far, she is clearly the top one. Her ability to add Welsh inflections, where needed, are terrific, and her male/female character voices are as good as anybody else's given that any reader, male or female, is going to be challenged to sound authentic doing the "other sex".

I have just started "Virgin in the Ice", and the reader (Vanessa Benjamin, I believe) is already bothering me immensely.

I wish that Joanna Ward had read them all.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Joyce
  • 19-12-2011

Another well written Brother Cadfael mystery

What made the experience of listening to The Leper of Saint Giles the most enjoyable?

Well written story; well told

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

While the plot is good; the enjoyment for me is in the telling.

What does Joanna Ward bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Like many peiople I

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

Any additional comments?

The whole series gives a wonderful picture of 14th century England. It is also provides a peep into customs, religion and the basics of forensics and criminal psychology. Reading in chronological order provides a good insight into a civil war not often written about.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • monique
  • 19-11-2011

Why was this narrator chosen?

I have read all of the Brother Cadfael books in French as well as English, and am a solid fan of this author and series.
While I enjoyed the accent of this narrator, however, and her skill, her efforts to convey male voices failed in my view (as a function of her voice capabilities), with the unfortunate and unintended consequence of making all of these characters (and almost all characters are male of course) sound pompous and self-important. I have much preferred male narrators for this series.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Kimberly
  • 11-10-2008

No mystery at all

Well-narrated, but this murder was no mystery at all. I really dislike books peopled by caricatures rather than characters, who do stupid things merely to advance the plot. Ellis Peters is no grand master of crime.

1 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Bookaholic
  • 19-07-2013

Good story, spoiled by narrator

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes...it is a good Ellis Peter story...well written and interesting.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Totally! Her ludicrously bad attempt at a Welsh accent for Cadfael was so irritating and jarring that it spoiled the experience for me. It would have been better if she had not tried...I am amazed that the producers accepted it. Rather than being absorbed by the story I was constantly being wrenched into the present whenever Cadfael spoke!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nadia
  • 20-07-2008

A masterpiece of historical fiction

This is the fifth in the absorbing and highly aclaimed Cadfael series and shows author Ellis Peters at her best. With deeply sympothetic characters, vivid descriptions and a fantastic twist, this is a great listen from start to finish.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Miss J. P. Ross
  • 19-01-2018

Spoiled by poor narration

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

The narrator's dreadful attempt at a Welsh accent entirely spoiled my enjoyment. Stephen Thorne's narration is superb and it is a pity Audible haven't commissioned him to read all the Ellis Peters books.

What other book might you compare The Leper of Saint Giles to, and why?

The other Ellis Peters Cadfael novels are all great entertainment.

How could the performance have been better?

By having the book narrated by Stephen Thorne.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mary Carnegie
  • 15-05-2017

Great story but not best narrator

Stephen Thorne did a great job with Cadfael, so it's sad he didn't read them all. Still Joanna Ward is reasonable if you're happy with a reader rather than a performer- she (thankfully) avoids putting on silly voices as some do!
It's a great story, no question, and unabridged, thank God.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-08-2016

Let down by terrible narrator

I like the plots and historical setting of the Cadfael stories, but this version is completely ruined by the narration. Joanna Ward's accents are laughably bad, with her Welsh resembling the clipped syllables from the Indian subcontinent, while Shropshire swerves between Somerset and Cockney. Seriously, listen for a moment and you'll think Brother Cadfael is from Pakistan. On top of that, it's hard to tell when she's doing a character's voice or a description, as she delivers in a monotone with little variation in pace or pitch. They must have scoured the land to find an actress who can't do a Welsh accent ... or indeed act.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • C. Davis
  • 07-05-2016

Gentle murder

Love Cadfael stories. Not so keen on this narrator but at least voice not jarring. Would listen again.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sue
  • 04-02-2016

Not my favourite reader

I loved the story but have already read it several times so I knew I would. BUT for the first time ever with an Audible book I was very disappointed with the reader. Stephen Thorne has read all the other Cadfael book I have listened to and I really feel it needs a male voice. More disappointingly she was particularly bad at the required accent for a Welshman and she, like so many people , think all country folk speak with the "oh ar" accent that dreadful TV peasants use. I am a proud Salopian born and bred here and know no one who speaks like that. If readers are unable to genuine local accents they should not try to differentiate Te voices but just use expression and emotion to read the different voices. I am also disappointment when people make no effort to find out. The proper pronunciation of place names which is probably the producer or directors job, not the reader .

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Susan
  • 01-12-2015

Wonderfully twisting tale of murder

If you could sum up The Leper of Saint Giles in three words, what would they be?

very well crafted

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Leper of Saint Giles?

Spoilers - the reveal at the end of who the leper was, which if am honest I had suspected, but the way it all comes out was very well done.

What does Joanna Ward bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

She carries the charaters well, th

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not really, but it wouldn't hurt it

Any additional comments?

Very good story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • L. Hopkins
  • 14-07-2015

Wonderful!

Love the whole series! Engaging listening. Adequately well read. Personally prefer a male narrator for these, but that's just a slight preference.