#12 in Brother Cadfael's medieval mystery series, in which Abbot Rodolphus returns from a conference in Winchester with a new priest in tow to head up the church in Shrewsbury. Much more harsh and rigid than his predecessor, who was well-loved and forgiving, Father Ailnoth is found dead in the mill-pond on Christmas morning with at least half a dozen parishioners with good cause to have murdered him. Hugh Beringar is off at King Stephen's court to pay homage to his leader now that Stephen has dealt soundly with the upstart Empress Maud and is back on the throne, where Hugh hopes to find out if he will become the official sheriff of the county or if Stephen will appoint someone more influential. Cadfael pokes around in his usual wise yet unofficial manner to solve the mystery. Enjoyable, as always...my very favorite medieval mystery series ever!
No spoilers here, as I'm 75% thru it. I loved to detail, the hints the glimpses, and the shadows, which alert a perspective reader to the clues that brother cadfael has tucked away...These books are mysteries for readers who like to become involved in the puzzling, can you think as well as Brother Cadfael and puzzle out the murder before they escape?
Another Brother Cadfael mystery and, once again, true love raises its ugly head. I guess there is at least one 'undying love' relationship in every one of these novels. While I certainly do not have anything against that, it might be nice (different anyway) to have a young man and young woman swear undying hated against each other at least once in this series.
Once again the Sheriff lets one of the 'guys from the other side; slip safely away, once again a murder is solved, and this time the 'murderer' is about as high as you can get; once again Cadfael's herbal hut is the place to be for secret meetings; once again someone saw something that doesn't get revealed until near the end of the book, and once again I enjoyed reading Ellis Peters' story.
When the beloved Father Adam dies, Abbbot Radulfus recommends the young priest, Ailnoth for the parish of Holy Cross, known as the Foregate. Ailnoth has much to recommend him, but his zeal and lack of pity quickly alienate fim from his flock.. So much so that no one is truly sorry when his body is discovered in the millond on Christmas morning.
Brother Cadfael, herbalist monk and amateur sleuth, fears murder and because of Father Ailnoth's unholy zeal, the malefactor could be almost anyone. Worse yet, one of the prime suspects is Cadfael's friend Benet, a young man who arrived with Father Ailnoth and went right to work eagerly helping the monk in his Herbarium. With partisans of the dispossessed Empress Maud believed to be in the area, Cadfael wishes that his assistant's identity was not so clearly another piece of the mystery.