OVERVIEW

It is the year 1141, and the nuns of the Benedictine Abbey at Shaftesbury face new tribulations. The abbey is near bankrupt, threatening the completion of a much-needed altarpiece for St. Edward’s chapel. Worse, the tranquility of the daily round of prayer and ritual is disrupted by the murder of Saviette, a maiden of the town. Suspicion falls on Master Levitas, who is a Jew and thus a ready target for the intolerant townsfolk. Convinced that Levitas could not have committed the crime, Master Hugo, brought to Shaftesbury to sculpt the altarpiece, befriends the old man. Dame Averilla, now the abbey sacrist, abhors the prejudice as well, and suspects that Jared, son of the abbey’s reeve, is responsible for Saviette’s death. Averilla, Hugo, and Abbess Emma must shelter the falsely accused Levitas while they discover the truth, lest chaos topple the rule of law.