Brother Cadfael's creator dies aged 82

THE bestselling writer Ellis Peters, who created the Brother Cadfael medieval mystery novels, died yesterday aged 82 after suffering a stroke.

Miss Peters, real name Edith Pargeter, was a prolific author who achieved her greatest success with Brother Cadfael, a Morse of the monasteries who detected wrongdoing while tending his Benedictine herb garden.

Cadfael sleuthed his way through 20 bestselling books which were translated into more than 20 languages. A series based on the Cadfael books, starring Sir Derek Jacobi, was screened on ITV last year.

Miss Peters, who was awarded the OBE last year, wrote from her home in Madeley, Telford. As well as her success with whodunits, she was a notable translator of Czech. She also wrote war books and historical romances.

The novelist, who never married, was one of the wealthiest women writers in Britain. Last year she earned royalties of about pounds 570,000 plus about pounds 60,000 from ITV. She wrote her final book, Brother Cadfael's Penance, last year.

Brother Cadfael brought worldwide fame to Shrewsbury, the novels' setting. Last year a pounds 1m visitors centre opened in the shadow of Shrewsbury Abbey. Partly based around the exploits of the quick-thinking monk, it gives an insight into life 800 years ago. Miss Peters was so popular that the centre includes a re-creation of her study.

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