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In the summer of 1143, William of Lythwood returns to Shrewsbury in a coffin...his pilgrimage at last at an end. William's young attendant, Elave, accompanies the body and sets about trying to secure a burial place on the grounds of the Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, despite William's once having been reproved for 'heretical views.' Elave too, has evidentally learned scepticism. After he drunkenly expresses heretical opinions, the mighty prelate Gerbert brings capital charges against him. The beautiful Fortunata, whom Elave adores, becoms a reluctant witness for the prosecution. When violent death follows, Brother Cadfael is once again called from his herbiary to aid his old friend Hugh Beringar, the sherriff. Cadfael's new task is twofold- there are charges of heresy to be rebutted as well as a murder to be solved...

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780751511161
ISBN-10: 0751511161
Format: Paperback
(172mm x 179mm x 16mm)
Pages: 256
Imprint: Sphere
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 19-May-1994
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

US Kirkus Review » It's the summer of 1143 in Shrewsbury, England, and, at its Benedictine Abbey, Brother Cadfael, one-time adventurer, continues to tend his herbarium and bring his worldliness, warmth, and detecting skills to bear when needed (The Rose Rent, etc.). Sturdy, sensible young Elave, attendant for seven years of pilgrimage to William of Lythwood, has come home, bringing with him William's body and a dowry for his ward, Fortunata, in the form of a locked, ornate box. The old man is buried at the Abbey, as he wished, after some doubts about his worthiness are raised by Canon Gerbert, an important visiting cleric with rigid views on church dogma. In the meantime, Elave finds William's household much as he left it, with nephew Girard in charge of his uncle's sheepherding and wool-trading interests; the vellum workshop run by nephew Jevan; the bookkeeping, once done by Elave, now in the hands of slower-witted Aldwin; domestic chores done by Girard's wife Margaret and Fortunata, grown into handsome womanhood. Within days, Aldwin's baseless fears for his job and home escalate some careless talk by Elave into a charge of heresy brought before the Abbey hierarchy. While Elave awaits a verdict, Aldwin's body is discovered, stabbed in the back, and he becomes a major suspect. Sheriff Hugh Beringer and Cadfael work hard to find proof of Elave's innocence, and they succeed, uncovering too a forceful motive for the murder, connected with Fortunata's dowry. The major elements in the steady stream of Peters' novels don't change - plots that make psychological sense; a vivid window on the everyday life of another age; a touch of romance; a happy ending with justice served, and a fine, literate style. Not for every taste, but Brother Cadfael's legion of fans will celebrate once again. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Ellis Peters

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.

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