The Ninth Chronicle of Brother Cadfael. Uses the civil war between King Stephen and Empress Maud as a background, but it is really a good love story with mystery interwoven. A quick read that is enjoyable.
Ellis Peters fooled me again. As the plot unfolded, I assembled a list of five possible suspects in the murder, two of which I suspected were red herrings. Since Peters often lets characters you grow to love or admire do the killing, I didn't overlook those either. So I was surprised at the end of the book, when the murderer turned out to be someone not even close to being on my list.
The Sherif of Shrewsbury is captured, a prisoner exchange is planned, and complications ensue that test Brother Cadfael's Welsh Honor, and faith. Psychological Mystery. Excellent. Part of a many volumes Series this is book #9. These well crafted stories, can stand alone, but after reading a few you want to keep reading more of the series.
This is a series which is fascinating and you can fall in love with the character development over time.
The civil war between King Stephen and Empress Maud is raging, and in the fierce Battle of Lincoln, Gilbert Prestcote, sheriff of Shropshire, is taken prisoner. But his captors have also lost a man of value - headstrong young Elis ap Cynan is delivered to the good monks of Shrewsbury after he's found almost drowned in a nearby stream.
A trade of the two prisoners is arranged, but while Elis is being held in Shrewsbury he falls in love with Prestcote's daughter, Melicent. What future can they hope for when he must return to Wales in exchange for her father's freedom?
Then Prestcote is murdered and young Elis is the object of every suspicion. Only kind Brother Cadfael, herbalist monk and cunning amateur detective, can untangle the threads of this delightful mystery. Indeed, a thread of wool - bright, clear blue wool - holds many answers...