The year is 1143, and once again Brother Cadfael is forced to abandon the tranquility of his herb garden and use his knowledge of human nature to solve a murder- this time frighteningly close to home. When a newly ploughed field, recently given to the Abbey yields that body of a young woman, Cadfael is quickly thrown into a delicate situation. The field was once ownded by a local potter named Ruald, who deserted his beautiful wife to take monastic vows among the Benedictines. The woman was said to have gone away with a lover, but now it would appear otherwise. With the arrival of young Sulien Blount, a novice fleeing homeward from the civil war raging in East Anglia, the mysteries surrounding the corpse start to multiply.
Ellis Peters is one of the pseudonyms of Edith Pargeter who wrote several books under her own name and also Peter Benedict, Jolyon Carr and John Redfern. She was the recipient of the Crime Writers Association and the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award. She died in 1995.