In his fourteenth chronicle Brother Cadfael's tranquil life as a herbalist is disturbed by the arrival of a saintly hermit and the disappearance of a young boy.
The year is 1142, and all England is in the iron grip of a civil war. And within the sheltered cloisters of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, there begins a chain of events no less momentous than the political upheavals of the outside world. First, there is the sad demise of Richard Ludel, Lord of Eyton, whose ten year old son and heir, also named Richard, is a pupil at the Abbey. Supported by the Abbot Radulfus, the boy refuses to surrender his new powers to Dionysia, his furious, formidable grandmother. A stranger to the region is the hermit Cuthred, who enjoys the protection of Lady Dionysia, and whose young companion Hycacinth, befriends Richard. Despite his reputation for holiness, Cuthred's arrival heralds a series of mishaps for the monks. When Richard disappears and a corspe is found in Eyton forest, Brother Cadfael is once more forced to leave the tranquility of his herb garden and devote his knowledge of human nature to tracking down a ruthless murderer.
Charmingly and humourously told. - TLS
Ellis Peters is a pseudonym of Edith Pargeter, author of historical novels such as The Heaven Tree Trilogy. Under the name of \nEllis Peters she wrote crime fiction including The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael and a more "modern" detective, Detective \nChief Inspector George False. Ellis Peters won many distinguished writing awards including an Edgar Award, the Silver Dagger \nAward and the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award of the Crime Writers Association. She lived in Shropshire, England.