In the summer of 1139, there is a pause in the civil war racking the country, and St. Peter’s Fair promises to bring some much-needed gaiety to Shrewsbury—that is, until the dead body of a wealthy merchant is found in the river Severn. Was Thomas of Bristol the victim of murderous thieves? If so, why were his valuables abandoned nearby?
Brother Cadfael, that shrewd but kindly monk, offers to help the merchant’s lovely niece, Emma. But as he searches for the killer, Thomas of Bristol’s wares are ransacked and two more men are murdered. Emma almost certainly knows more than she is telling, and others will soon discover this, too. Cadfael desperately races to save the young girl, knowing that in a country at war with itself, betrayal can come from any direction—and even good intentions can kill.
“Each addition to the series is a joy. Long may the Chronicles continue.” (
“Wonderful history lessons wrapped up in a mystery and served with style and grace.” ( Cincinnati Post)
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