There is always something intriguing about the Brother Cadfael stories. This one kept me guessing until a few pages from the end. Unusually, the murder has taken place far from Shrewsbury, in Winchester, rather than on Cadfael's own patch. The story is based around the celebrations of the feast of St Winifred, whose bones were generally believed to have been transferred to Shrewsbury Abbey. A motley collection of pilgrims arrive to share in the celebration, and a miracle occurs. Is one of the visitors a murderer?
Brother Cadfael and Hugh Berenger are again joined by Olivier de Bretagne, a character from an earlier story, the son of a Syrian widow and a crusader, but it is Cadfael who plays the central role in preventing further bloodshed.
I love these books. Well written, atmospheric, ideal for bedtime reading, they have enabled me to imagine life long before modern media based ease of communication, when the sending of a messenger, riding hard, was the way news was spread. A token from a bishop could spell protection for the traveller. One of the pilgrims carries such a ring, but for what true purpose?
Read this exciting story and find out.