The summer of 1273 is peaceful for most of England, but Prioress Eleanor of Tyndal Priory is troubled. Her friend, Crowner Ralf, is newly widowed with a baby daughter. Her new anchoress is terrifying her servants and welcoming visitors to her window at night. And then Martin the Cooper is poisoned at the local inn.
Could the murderer be his usual whore, about to be tossed aside for another woman? Or is it the innkeeper's niece who has secret reasons for fearing him? Perhaps the blacksmith did it, a man whose temper might have exploded when he was mocked once too often?
Eleanor offers what help she can to the investigation, as does Sister Anne, a former apothecary. Yet Eleanor's own problems multiply and she soon has good reason to regret her kindness: one of the nocturnal visitors to the anchoress' window has been Brother Thomas, a man the prioress secretly loves....
Priscilla Royal grew up in British Columbia and has a degree in world literature from San Francisco State University, where she discovered the beauty of medieval literature. Before retiring to write full-time, she worked for the Federal government in a variety of positions. She is a theater fan as well as reader of history, mystery, and fiction of lesser violence. She lives and writes in Northern California.