In his thirteenth chronicle Brother Cadfael believes the motive for a callous murder is all too obvious, but he soon learns that when love and money are involved, nothing is straightforward.
Ellis Peters is one of the pseudonyms of Edith Pargeter who wrote several books under her own name and also Peter Benedict, Jolyon Carr and John Redfern. She was the recipient of the Crime Writers Association and the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award. She died in 1995.
In this 13th mystery in the Brother Cadfel series, a beautiful widow rents part of her estate to the brothers of Shrewsbury Abbey for the modest sum of one rose from a certain bush, per year, and all are happy with this arrangement for three years. But then Brother Eluric,the young monk whose job it is to deliver the rose on the day of St. Winifred's translation (the pre-arranged rent-paying day) asks to be excused from the task (he finds he's starting to fall in love with the widow); he is later found murdered near the recently ruined rose rent bush. The abbey is thrown into a panic; not only has an innocent young monk been killed, but with no rose to pay the rent, the contract is canceled and the widow's wealth multiplies remarkably. Soon, the widow herself disappears, and Brother Cadfel begins his search for her and for Eluric's murderer, casting his eye over a large collection of suitors, all of whom would gain greatly from a match with the widow. Peters (The Raven in the Foregate is in fine form in this 13th book, with a leisurely mystery that once again creates a 12th century world that is both comfortable and strange, and a series of delightful, interesting characters. (June 18)
'Cosy as a teapot.' THE TIMES