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Edith Pargeter; Wrote Detective Novels

Edith Pargeter, 82, the best-selling mystery writer known as Ellis Peters who created a series about the medieval monk detective Brother Cadfael. The native of Shropshire, England, first worked as a pharmacist’s assistant and dispenser. She began writing in the mid-1930s and published scores of novels before inventing the monk detective in 1977. Brother Cadfael’s adventures made her an international celebrity, and her series of mystery novels set in 12th-Century Shrewsbury has been translated into 20 languages. Her last book was “Brother Cadfael’s Penance,” published last year. Many of the books were adapted for television episodes starring Sir Derek Jacobi. Among her literary awards were the Edgar Allan Poe Award for best mystery novel of 1961 for “Death and the Joyful Woman,” the Czechoslovak Society for International Relations gold medal and the Crime Writers Assn. Silver Dagger. During World War II, Pargeter was in the Women’s Royal Naval Service, earning the British Empire Medal. On Saturday in Telford, England, after a stroke.


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