I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
An ingenious killer disposes of a strangled corpse on a battlefield. Brother Cadfael discovers the body, and must then piece together disparate clues--including a girl in boy's clothing, a missing treasure and a single flower--to expose a murderer's black heart.
"The trouble with me, he thought unhappily, is that I have been about the world long enough to know that God's plans for us, however infallibly good, may not take the form we expect and demand."
Brother Cadfael, that former military man in a monk’s robe, knows his onions….and his murder victims and fugitives! When a murderer dumps his victim amongst the bodies of those hung for treason, Cadfael is not willing to let the perpetrator get away scot-free. Dragged away from his garden and his herbal potions, the good Brother must search for justice, but not interfere in politics.
I so enjoy the time period and setting of this particular series! I also appreciate the non-gory nature of the mysteries and the slower pacing more suited to the historical period depicted. Sure, there are pressures to solve the murder, but Cadfael has the time and thinking space in his garden to put the facts together and come up with a logical argument. He has both his military experience and his monastic learning to draw on, a formidable combination.
But it is Cadfael’s common sense and knowledge of human behaviour that makes him a good detective—and his willingness to admit that sometimes his monastic duties will need to be set aside if justice is to be done. A good man to have on your side!