Hugh Corbett (The Angel of Death, etc.), the medieval clerk and sometime spy for Edward I of England, is assigned a complex task: to discover who murdered Lady Eleanor in her bedchamber at the abbey and then tried to make it look like suicide. The Lady Prioress is a possibility, as are several of the good sisters, but also to be considered is Edward's son, who spurned Lady Eleanor for the charms of the sodomite Gaveston. Moreover, there are French assassins roaming about it, and Lady Eleanor's death may herald the beginning of prolonged warfare between the English and the French. Does her murder tie in with the deaths of an unidentified lady and gentleman 18 months back? A priest and two sisters will die--plus Hugh and his man Ranulf will be besieged by Irish wardogs, crossbow-wielding midgets, and unseen assailants--before Hugh's pregnant wife Maeve provides a clue to unravel the puzzle. A feeble denouement is no help in an otherwise engrossing tale--and Hugh, now married and an expectant father, is more low- keyed than usual (even his sidekick, Ranulf, seems more circumspect here). Overall, though: a neatly reasoned historical possibility, and a fairly decent puzzle to resolve.