Back once again to 12th-century England, rife with civil and border wars: an unsuccessful Welsh foray over the border has left Shrewsbury's Deputy Sheriff Hugh Berenger with wild young Welsh prisoner Elis ap Cynan and badly wounded Sheriff Gilbert Prestcote. And prisoner Elis, though betrothed since childhood to another, falls madly in love with Prestcote's daughter Milicent--a glowing romance until Prestcote is murdered, with Elis the prime suspect! Who can clear up this tangle? Warm, worldly Benedictine monk Brother Cadfael (The Devil's Novice, etc.), of course--Peters' herbalist-sleuth and romantic Mr. Fixit. So, while Milicent takes refuge in an isolated nunnery, soon under attack by marauding Welsh (a grand, good/evil battle ensues), Cadfael closes in on the murderer--and brings on a denoument that combines rough justice and love triumphant. For anyone with a taste for period mystery: another fine Peters performance--charmingly inventive, textured with intriguing subplots, and as rich as ever in fresh period details.