A change of style this time for Miss Pargeter but a great story (again) none the less! For once in a Cadfael novel, I had no idea who the murderer was but then again I feel that this murder mystery is exceptional!
The writing is first class (as usual!) and the story has the usual romantic sub-plot. It's basically about the local annual St. Peter's Fair (unsurprisingly) run by the local monastery. Each year, the stalls are hired out and the monastery gets a fee for each. The aggrieved locals feel that the monastery should make a contribution to the upkeep of the town of Shrewsbury where the previous year there was a siege and a lot of damage was done (see the previous novel, a corpse too many). The monastery (naturally) refuse since this would set a precedent and the law states they cannot do that.
This leads to bad feeling between the stallholders and the locals when after an appeal to get a contribution directly from them rather than pay the full amount to the monastery leads to a mini riot.
A Bristol merchant gets murdered and the ringleader of the mini riot is the prime suspect but not is all as it should be. If you want to know more - read it. I recommend it heartily!
Why don't I give it 5 stars I hear you ask? I feel that for a Cadfael novel, Cadfael was almost a spectator in the story. But if I didn't account for that, I'd give it a 5!