Ellis Peter's first Cadfael murder mystery takes as its setting the events surrounding the translation of the holy relics of Saint Winifred from the remote Welsh village of Gwytherin to the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Shrewsbury in 1138. Taking this real event as her starting point, Peters weaves an enchanting if rather overly romanticised tale of mediaeval rural and monastic life. Naturally, the practical common sense and basic human decency of her very worldy central character, Brother Cadfael, win out in the end. Here, he neatly side-steps all of many power-struggles - both secular and ecclesiastical - going on around him, to provide everyone with their heart's desire and solve the inevitable murder mystery into the bargain! Ellis Peters' writing style is so wonderfully erudite that one can always forgive her the occasional lapse into stereotypical characterisation or silliness of plot which tend to pepper her novels. "A Morbid Taste for Bones" is no exception in this regard, and whilst the story's central murder mystery is not at all hard for the reader to solve, the telling of it is so captivating that the book is hard to put down until it's finished!
Incidentally, I would recommend reading this book before any others in the series, because otherwise you will know which of the main suspects can be eliminated immediately! Of course, if you've seen the TV dramatisation, you'll know the main outcome already, but even then, the book is sufficiently different to still make it well worth reading. Recommended.