I have got to read this series more regularly – every time I come back to it, I enjoy it immensely, and then I wait forever to read the next book. I realized a while ago I’m basically hoarding the next books’ enjoyment, since it is a finite series. But is that really a good thing?
Anyway, in this seventeenth story, Brother Cadfael is called in to help survey a new field that has been donated to the Abbey. One of the local landowners had donated it after the tenant, a potter, had left to join the the abbey as a brother. The potter had left his wife on the land, but when it became clear that her husband was serious in his vocation, she left. She had been very angry before leaving, and no one thought much of it. So now the field is in abbey hands, but when they begin to plow, they find a body there, clearly a woman, but too far gone to be able to clearly determine who she was.
At the same time, the younger son of the landowner who had donated the land has returned from a far off monastery where he had gone to take vows, when it’s become clear to him that it was a mistake to do so. His fate is tied up with the body found in the potter’s field.
There were some great twists to this book – the identity of the body has several very plausible turns, and even when it’s determined who is truly is, the why came out of left field for me. I absolutely did not see the final resolution coming, which made for an oddly exciting ending. I really enjoyed this book.