<b>A monk embarks on a dangerous quest to find a trio of missing travelers in this medieval mystery by an Edgar Award–winning author.</b><br /><br /> The winter of 1139 will disrupt Brother Cadfael’s tranquil life in Shrewsbury with the most disturbing of events. Raging civil war has sent refugees fleeing north from Worcester. Among them are two orphans from a noble family, a boy of thirteen and an eighteen-year-old girl of great beauty, and their companion, a young Benedictine nun. The trio never reaches Shrewsbury, having disappeared somewhere in the wild countryside.<br />  <br /> Cadfael is afraid for these three lost lambs, but another call for help sends him to the church of Saint Mary. A wounded monk, found naked and bleeding by the roadside, will surely die without Cadfael’s healing arts. Why this holy man has been attacked and what his fevered ravings reveal soon give Brother Cadfael a clue to the fate of the missing travelers. Now Cadfael sets out on a dangerous quest to find them. The road will lead him to a chill and terrible murder and a tale of passion gone awry. And at journey’s end awaits a vision of what is best, and worst, in humankind.<br /><br /> “Each addition to the series is a joy. Long may the Chronicles continue.” —<i>USA Today</i><br />  <br /> “Some of the most elegant, unstilted prose being written in mystery.” —<i>Chicago Sun-Times</i><br />  <br /> “Murderous though they be, the Ellis Peters books set in 12th-century Britain have the freshness of a new world at dawn. . . . Peters weaves a complex, colorful and at times quite beautiful tapestry. Medieval of course.” —<i>The Houston Post</i><br /><br /> Ellis Peters is a pseudonym of Edith Mary Pargeter (1913–1995), a British author whose Chronicles of Brother Cadfael are credited with popularizing the historical mystery. Cadfael, a Welsh Benedictine monk living at Shrewsbury Abbey in the first half of the twelfth century, has been described as combining the curious mind of a scientist with the bravery of a knight-errant. The character has been adapted for television, and the books drew international attention to Shrewsbury and its history.<br /><br /> Pargeter won an Edgar Award in 1963 for <i>Death and the Joyful Woman</i>, and in 1993 she won the Cartier Diamond Dagger, an annual award given by the Crime Writers’ Association of Great Britain. She was appointed officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1994, and in 1999 the British Crime Writers’ Association established the Ellis Peters Historical Dagger award, later called the Ellis Peters Historical Award.