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The Raven in the Foregate The Twelfth Chronicle of Brother Cadfael
The Raven in the Foregate The Twelfth Chronicle of Brother Cadfael Author:Ellis Peters Christmas of A.D. 1141 approaches and Brother Cadfael is met with the unseasonable task of resolving a case that involves a tyrannical priest, a parish in uproar, and, possibly, a murder. — It begins innocently enough when Abbot Radolfus of the Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Shrewsbury assigns a young priest to the parish of Holy Cross, k... more »nown as the Foregate. Ailnoth, the new priest, has much to commend him - his learning and discpline are prodigious - but his terrifying zeal quickly alienates him from the common folk of the Foregate. Indeed, he is so dreaded, and his policies represent such a radical departure from those of his well-loved predecessor, Father Adam, that no one is particularly distraught when his body is discovered in the millpond on Christmas morning.
Cadfael, however, makes it his business to determine the circumstances of the priest's death. Once a Crusader and a man of the world, Cadfael is now not only a dedicated monk whose intelligence and wry humor have earned him a special place in the abbey, but also an herbalist and part-time detective whose considerable talents have both endeared him and made him indispensable to the larger community in Shrewsbury. Yet Cadfael's task is not an easy one, despite a long list of those bearing grudges against Ailnoth. A paucity of significant clues and the mysteries presented by Ailnoth's entourage, a widow and her protege, lead to even more puzzlement.
Set against the continuing struggle for power between King Stephen, now ascendant over his cousin and arch-rival, Empress Maud, the drama takes a new twist when it is suspected that one of the empress' partisans is at large in Shrewsbury - the king's territory. How the presumed interloper will affect Cadfael's dilemma and what role the beautiful Sana Bernieres will play in its relocation are unclear until Cadfael and his old friend and ally, Hugh Beringer, Sheriff of Shrewsbury, set a daring trap for the murderer.« less