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When a visitor to the abbey dies, Brother Cadfael faces a personal drama. For not only was the man poisoned by monk’s hood oil, made in Cadfael’s own laboratory, the dead man’s widow is also the woman to whom Cadfael was betrothed before he took his vows.
The body of a woman is unearthed in the freshly plowed fields that once belonged to a local potter—now a Benedictine monk. The woman is revealed to be his beautiful young wife, thought to have run away. Medieval Benedictine monk Brother Cadfael must determine if one of his own order is guilty of the crime.