Make your own free website on
A Morbid Taste for Bones (May 1137) Since the prior of Shrewsbury Abbey wishes to have the bones of St. Winifred on display, a party of monks treks to Wales to dig up her remains. The monks are met with much hostility, but things go from bad to worse when the main opponent to their excavation efforts is found dead. Not even the monks are exempt from suspicion. This tangled tale is complicated by a young monk's insistence that he is seeing visions of St. Winifred. Though Cadfael exposes him as a liar, Cadfael withholds the truth behind the young monk's fabrications... One Corpse Too Many (August 1138) When a novice monk arrives at Shrewsbury Abbey and turns out to be a young girl in disguise, Cadfael decides she is in need of a friend. But when he discovers his novice's true identity, Cadfael finds himself caught in the crossfire of the civil war between King Stephen and the Empress Maud. He is called upon to bury 94 rebel soldiers executed on the King's orders after the fall of Shrewsbury Castle. But when Cadfael counts up the dead bodies and finds one corpse too many, it sets him on a murder trail. His investigations lead him to suspect the shadowy Hugh Beringar -- a man who appears to have recently pledged his allegiance to King Stephen... Monk's Hood (December 1138) When a wealthy landowner decides to cut his stepson out of his will and leave his inheritance to the Church, it is Shrewsbury Abbey which looks like the beneficiary. But before Gervase Gurney is able to complete the transaction, he is poisoned while staying at the Abbey. When Cadfael is called in to identify the poison, he is shocked to discover that Gervase's wife Richildis is his own childhood sweetheart, whom he has not seen in 40 years. He last saw her before leaving for the Crusades, promising he would be back to marry her... Saint Peter's Fair (July 1139) The murder of a cantankerous visiting merchant upsets the festivities of the Shrewsbury Fair. Local tradesmen have plenty of motive for murder, but Cadfael thinks there is something more than gree and jealousy at play. When a second merchant is murdered, the hunt intensifies and a young girl put at great risk is sheltered by the Abbey. Cadfael's invesigation is further complicated when his suspect is killed while trying to escape questioning! THe girl is abducted and the chase to retrieve her puts Cadfael at the end of a sword with his old friend, Beringar, when the true cause of the murders is exposed... The Leper of Saint Giles (October 1139) A great wedding is to take place at the Abbey of Shrewsbury between the powerful Huon de Domville and the young an beautiful Iveta de Massard. But this is no love match. The old, fat Baron is only interested in Iveta's lands and estates. The orphaned Iveta loves another. All of Shrewsbury turns out to see the Baron and his bride-to-be ride into town and their differences are immediately noticeable. While the kind-hearted Iveta throws money to the lepers at the side of the road, the Baron strikes out at them with his whip. On the eve of the wedding, the Baron mysteriously rides off alone into the night, and that's the last time he's seen alive. Cadfael sets out to investigate his disappearance... The Virgin in the Ice (November 1139) Cadfael's clumsy but much-loved novice, Oswin, is found close to death and babbling that he has raped a nun. A search ensues in the snowy countryside for Oswin's companions -- a young brother and sister, and their guardian, a young nun. The two are found but the nun is dead at the bottom of a frozen brook -- ravished and abandoned. The Abbey monks believe Oswin is the murderer and Cadfael sets out to clear his name. In doing so, he exposes a band of turn-coat Crusaders and discovers that the young squire sent to rescue the brother and sister is the son he never knew he had... The Sanctuary Sparrow (Spring 1140) When the town's goldsmith is robbed and left for dead, the local people launch a witch-hunt. The finger of suspicion is pointed at a young juggler who was performing at the wedding feast of the goldsmith's son. Pursued by the mob, the young entertainer stumbles through the town to the Abbey where he seeks the Sanctuary of the Altar. Cadfael is given the job of keeping an eye on the youngster while the authorities investigate. But his discreet inquiries are cut short when the goldsmith's neighbor is found dead floating in the river... The Devil's Novice (September 1140) When a young man turns up at the Shrewsbury Abbey wanting to join as a novice, Cadfael suspects his motives may not be entirely selfless. A senior cleric sent to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a colleague forms the same impression as Cadfael. Suspicions increase when the half-burnt body of the cleric is found and a wild man from the woods is falsely accused of his murder. Cadfael investigates and flushes out the tortured family story from which the young man is fleeing. And, although he admits to the murder, Cadfael exposes his lie as a cover-up for the cowardice and treachery of others... The Pilgrim of Hate (June 1141) Cripples Day at Shrewsbury brings a hoard of disabled pilgrims to the Abbey Within a short while, a body is found in a leather sack amongst the visitors. Cadfael boils down the man's body to inspect the bones and uncovers two possible explanations for his death. But in the excitement of the day's festivities, the bones of the deceased are stolen. Then, the chief robbery suspect escapes, leaving Cadfael to delve deeper into the mystery of the bones' disappearance and the reason's for the victims death. The Raven in the Foregate (December 1141) Father Ailnoth, the new parish priest in Shrewsbury, earns the scorn of all his parishoners. After refusing to baptize the illegitimate baby of a local prostitute, the priest is found dead in the river. There are plenty of suspects, but a shortage of clues. Cadfael's initial investigation fails to uncover the culprit. But then he finds the priest's old skull cap on a nail underneath the bridge. In a case where anyone could have done it, Cadfael confounds even his good friend Beringar, the Under Sheriff, by revealing how the priest lost his life... The Rose Rent (May 1142) Brother Eluric, a young monk, falls in love with a beautiful widow in Shrewsbury town. While the widow has many suitors vying for her hand, no one seems concerned about Brother Eluric's affections. But then, when Brother Eluric is found cruelly bludgeoned to death, Cadfael's investigations lead from the young monk's death to another murder, exposing the seething greed and hypocrisy among the town's residents. And the widow, who would choose to become a nun rather than marry any of her suitors, finds love with the most unlikely candidate of all... The Potter's Field (August 1143) A woman's skeleton is discovered in a local potter's field. Since the potter, Ruald, left his family to answer a calling from God, everyone concludes that the body belongs to his wife, and that Ruald murdered her when she tried to prevent him from taking the tonsure. Cadfael is puzzled by this conjecture since the corpse shows no signs of foul play. His journeys to give pain relief to members of the community lead him to a twisted turn of events that involves an angry mob baying for his head. The Holy Thief (August 1144) Brothers from Ramsey come to Shrewsbury looking for money to rebuild their monastery, which has been ransacked by rebel soldiers. They claim that a loan of Saint Winifred's Holy Relics, which are housed at Shrewsbury, would be ample generosity. Cadfael and Abbot Radulfus, however, opt to provide the men with a gift of precious gems instead of the desired relics. Then, during a cataclysmic night of violent storms, the Holy Relics disappear. Cadfael and Beringar are dispatched to recover them and unearth a wrong much greater than they had expected.
Last modified on 10 September 1998 by Eldred and Ealdthryth