This is one of the best of the Cadfael genre. It combines a scintillating mystery with humour and history. Ellis Peters breathes life in to her characters and it is extremely easy to form a mental picture of them. All the action is centred around Saint Winifred's remains, consequently, there is much scope for 'double entendre', due to the ambiguous nature of the contents of the reliquary (see 'A Morbid Taste for Bones'). The plot moves with greater pace than some of the other novels and there is no place for boredom. However, it would perhaps be wise to read some of the earlier Cadfael stories before this one, if you are a newcomer to the genre, as much of the plot is based on facts known from other books.