A new adventure for canny, urbane Brother Cadfael, herbalist monk at Shrewsbury's Benedictine Abbey in 1142, that provides more romance than detection. Brother Haluin, the Abbey's gifted illustrator, has suffered a near-fatal accident and, in what seems to be a deathbed confession, tells of his love 20 years ago for Bertrade, daughter of Adelais de Clary of Hales. His plea for marriage denied, Haluin entered the monastery, then learned from Adelais that Bertrade was pregnant. He gave her herbs from Cadfael's store for an abortion and was later told. by Adelais that both Bertrade and the child were dead. Following this confession, however, Haluin does not die. Crippled and on crutches, with Cadfael at his side, he sets out on a pilgrimage to Bertrade's tomb to make a nightlong vigil of atonement. The two make their tortuous way to Hales--with Cadfael witnessing another seemingly doomed love affair; delving into old mysteries; solving a new one for his own satisfaction; righting old wrongs, and changing some lives forever. As always with Peters, an absorbing passage to another world, but this one lacks some of the swift pacing, tension, and excitement of her best work (The Rose Rent, etc.). Nevertheless, a must for fans--and refreshment for all.