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By Michael Jecks

It truly is 1321, and woman Elizabeth of Topsham, prioress of St. Mary's, is scuffling with to hold her place within the face of devastating competition. She has been accused through Sister Margherita, St. Mary's treasurer, of giving much-needed cash to the recent vicar, a guy she frequently sees by myself at evening. some of the nuns are confident that Margherita might make a greater prioress—especially now that it's convinced that Moll, a tender nun, used to be murdered in her unwell mattress. Sir Baldwin Furnshill, Keeper of the King's Peace, along with his previous pal Simon Puttock, are summoned to enquire. there's no doubt that the threefold vows of obedience, chastity, and poverty are being damaged with alarming frequency. Then, whilst a moment nun is murdered, they locate themselves dealing with their so much tough case but.

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As always, most went quietly in the freezing corridor, huddling their arms about them, walking with their heads down, chins resting on their breasts, trying to conserve the warmth of their bodies by leaving as little of themselves as possible exposed to the bitter draughts that gusted about the dorter and church. None of the women had the energy even to bicker, not at this time of night; all Elizabeth could hear was the soft slapping of their night-slippers on the flags. Moll stirred again before the bell, lying in a relaxed haze, her eyes scarcely open, absorbing the atmosphere with near-ecstatic yet languorous delight.

Last evening Elizabeth had been worried lest the terrier wouldn’t see the dawn, but after an hour or two Princess had lapped thirstily at her bowl of water, into which Elizabeth had put a little wine for strength, and fallen into a deep sleep. It was a relief that Princess had recovered so speedily. Elizabeth was sure it was only something the bitch had stolen to eat. She often ate carrion when she went out over the moors. There were always dead sheep and ponies to chew. The bell pealed and Elizabeth heard her obedientiaries groan and murmur as they got up and prepared to make their way to the church.

He had been a Poor Fellow Soldier of Christ and the Temple of Solomon - a Knight Templar - and although his Order had been destroyed by an avaricious French King and his willing lackey the Pope, both trying to grab as much of the Templars’ wealth as they could, Sir Baldwin had been confused, knowing that his desire for Jeanne was most unchaste. In the early days of their marriage he had felt as though he was denying his faith by making love with his wife; it was as if each occasion was a renewal of his act of apostasy.

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