|Derek Jacobi as Brother Cadfael|
One of the commenters on my Tales in Wales post suggested the Brother Cadfael mystery series written by Ellis Peters (aka linguist-scholar Edith Pargeter).
I am only familiar with the good brother through PBS's Mystery! program starring Derek Jacobi as the 12th century monk. According to information I gathered on Wikipedia, Cadfael is Welsh, served as a soldier and sailor, and then, in his forties, became a Benedictine monk in Shrewsbury Abbey in western England.
He solves mysteries by close observation and sometimes uses his knowledge of herbal medicine to solve the crime. His background and age make him a bit worldly, and of course he comes into conflict with his superiors, which only adds to his charm.
The Mystery! series (1994-1996) includes thirteen episodes. Peters wrote twenty books featuring her Welsh monk-detective between 1977 and 1994.
A Morbid Taste for Bones is the first chronicle and involves moving Saint Winifred's remains from Wales to the abbey in England. Someone gets murdered in the process and the chase is on.
Sounds like this series combines a bit of botanical knowledge, history, and mystery. Although not my favorite time period, they don't call it The Dark Ages for nothing, I will put Brother Cadfael on my list.
Any Cadfael fans out there?